Doctor mobile application is already changing the healthcare sector and how doctors work. Healthcare providers are likely to engage in healthcare mobile app development that brings convenience to their practices. These healthcare smartphone-based applications for doctors can simplify interactions among medical experts and patients, give access to medical and patient data, and foster quick collaboration among healthcare professionals. There are many different types of medical applications for doctors, all solving different problems. If you’re looking to develop a medical app, the first thing to do is understand the market and its players.
#Why invest in medical apps
According to a recent report from Health Startup, the current midyear funding till July has gone record high and now tops $3.9 billion. VCs are investing equally active in Seed and Series A rounds, meaning that early-stage companies are striving. Yet, at the same time, having a validated app idea can significantly increase your chances of closing a larger round.
The top-5 largest deals made in 2016 so far by different companies were the following:
- Ping An Good Doctor – a Chinese patient scheduling/booking mobile-based application obtained $500 million from undisclosed investors.
- Oscar – a startup disrupting the health insurance market received over $400 million in crowdfunding.
- Human Longevity Inc – a company addressing aging-related issues in human received almost $220 million from GE Ventures.
- Flatiron Health – a startup that is redefining oncology technology and treatment has received $175 million from Roche and this was a big achievement for them.
- Clover – a company aiming to become a more affordable alternative to Medicare received $160 million in funding in the year 2016.
Suppose it is safe to say that medical app development is on the rise. And now maybe the right time to make a mobile app for finding doctors as the user demand and the funding is there.
#Problems with the current healthcare system
There is no specific problem with the existing system of finding doctors and booking an appointment, but sometimes it can be a long drag and confusional about which doctor to prefer. By using an online system for finding and appointing a doctor can be done so easily with so many professionals to choose from. Also booking the appointment can be easily done as booking movie tickets.
#How can overcome these problems with medical app
Patient information is so hard to tackle when it comes to swiftly diagnosing health problems, as well as resolving billing and other payment issues. However, over 50% of all healthcare institutions fall prey to at least one cyber attack happen from the internet. And one in three of these attacks is a success for the attackers.
How to Overcome
This situation makes it imperative to have in place, a mobile storage and retrieval system that handles sensitive data and is resistant to security threats and attacks. Not having one such system in place is a major roadblock for mobile-based healthcare application providers.
Complexity in Implementation and Integration
Mobile healthcare applications that are difficult to integrate and implement with the existing systems and complicated to use, defeat the purpose of efficiency. The simplicity of deployment of these applications and ease of use are two factors that developers, healthcare providers, as well as users, prefer.
How to Overcome
Developers must create applications that are following the existing system that doctors and hospitals use; don’t necessitate overhauling of the system, and are easy to use on both ends – healthcare providers as well as patients.
Transparency in the interaction between healthcare providers/doctors, hospitals and patients is the pulse of mobile healthcare services. However, an incredible number of smartphone-based applications end up feeling like a monologue and fail to engage the patients. If the mobile application fails to enhance the medical experience of the individuals through vital information and data regarding their interaction, it fails the purpose.
How to Overcome
To engage patients with the application it is not only necessary to resolve their pain points but also to provide them with the health and treatment-related data and information that they need and show that data on the application. On the other hand, the other side of the app, i.e. the doctors should also have the information that they deem necessary for staying engaged in the application.
Difficulty for Users
The fact that different patients could be accessing this mobile-based application on different devices demands for an experience that is suitable for all interfaces. Also, various devices like blood pressure monitors, fitness bands, glucometers, health bands could be connected to these applications.
How to Overcome
Developers must keep ease of use in mind while developing the mobile application. User experiences input can be given by using a review option and it is something that healthcare providers should look into. The apps should not only take into consideration the availability of several devices in the market, but also the scope for the integration of medical and fitness devices with the app.
Health Awareness and Literacy
A big challenge for healthcare mobile application providers is to think from the perspective of the users. While the application provider and doctors are health literate, the patients may or may not come with a reasonable medical understanding.
The challenge is to bridge this gap in knowledge.
How to Overcome
The solution lies in studying the needs and the health literacy level of the audience targeted for application and then delivering such an experience as resonates with them. Healthcare providers either need to adapt to the audience’s health literacy level or find a way to help them make sense despite the gap in knowledge and try to get them to use the application.
Patient’s Concern over Data Privacy
While collecting data via mobile healthcare applications is extremely important for healthcare providers to understand their customers and cater to them efficiently, the patient’s concern over the privacy of their data is only natural. It is imperative to impart a sense of security and uncompromised privacy to patients.
How to Overcome
Healthcare mobile-based applications need to comply with the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act’s (HIPAA) guidelines and ensure the patients’ privacy at all times.
#Essential features for medical app
If you opt for an MVP, here are the key features to include:
- Powerful search refined by the variety of criteria – type of care/doctor specialty, area range, preferable time and date, supported insurance, price range.
Geolocation module to determine the user’s current location. Additionally, you may want to implement routing functionality to suggest the best way to get to the doctor’s clinic or hospital for a visit.
- Doctor profiles and listings – those should include a picture of the Doctor, name, and specialty, address, current user rating given by past clients and available appointment hours.
Map view of the doctors available to review all the specialists available based on the proximity should be built-in the application.
- One-click appointment booking – ask users to include only essential information such as symptoms, full name, and phone number.
- Review functionality- To encourage users to leave a quick comment and rating about their visit afterward. You can follow up with a quick push message reminder to increase the number of ratings.
If you are up to build a more advanced mobile-based application, here are some more functionality ideas:
Telemedicine and video conferencing functionality, which would allow patients to instantly get consultations without leaving their homes (and wasting time in the queue).
Emergency Room Check-ins and Waiting Times. Twisting an ankle and waiting hours in the ER can be frustrating for anyone. Your healthcare mobile application can include information on the wait time for multiple hospitals so that patients can choose where and when to go.
built-in Prescription and medication tracker in application– a dedicated section of the app where doctors will include the details of the medication treatment and the app will then send reminders on when it’s time to restock medicines from the pharmacy.
Electronic health records database and secure storage that can auto-sync with the practice’s EHR and offer immediate access to the doctor’s notes and medical files for patients this feature can be a great help for doctors and users.
You can expand the scope of on-demand services to booking home visits from nurses, chiropractors, nutritionists or doctors, etc.
#Revenue model to start a medical mobile app
Take a look at the main ways on how you can make money with the healthcare mobile application.
Offer subscription packages
Sell monthly or yearly packages with useful and extra features for your users.
Incorporate premium services
Such premium services may include unlimited access for doctors, access to artificial intelligence physicians, online prescriptions, medicine delivery, and many other features.
Take a percent from a few doctors to get for each appointment.
That’s how most of the healthcare apps make money. But remember that you need to ensure that doctors get benefit from your app before taking a commission from their appointments.
Include paid offerings for enterprises
When your healthcare mobile application is promoted enough, you can include enterprise service for managing employee health care conditions, sick days prescription, referrals to specialists, etc.
- To enable video and audio calls, use Twilio.
- To implement chat options, use WebSockets, Socket.io, or PubNub.
- Omise, Stripe or Paypal can help you integrate a convenient payment gateway.
- WebRTC technology and React Native
#The Cost To Build a Medical App on Android or iOS platform
In this case, the final price tag will heavily depend on the functionality you plan to implement and how many feature rice you want your application to be. While a simple discovery and appointment booking app can cost you under $40,000 to build, a more advanced solution, especially the one with video functionality can easily go up and beyond $100,000.
If you choose to create a Healthcare application for the iOS platform, the development price will be slightly lower compared to an Android app (as those require more testing and debugging).
A seasoned Digital Marketer and a pro-blogger, Suprabhat loves writing about anything. He is working as a Digital Marketing Executive for Tech Pathway, a company that provide world-class social media and search marketing services and web & mobile app development.