Best Practices for Developing a Successful Mobile Medical App

Mobile Medical App
                         Mobile Medical App

Mobile medical app serve both patients and physicians in dealing with various health conditions. Be it for monitoring chronic diseases or for informing about care decisions, the marketplace for medical apps is encountering a steep rise in demand. Also, the developers are introducing innovative technologies in the apps to help increase healthcare efficiency. According to the reports of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) about 1.7 billion smartphone and tablet users are using medical apps in 2018. Surveys also suggest that majority of the users are of the opinion that medical apps improve the quality of life, and this implies that the usage will increase in future. However, with increasing usage, the security concerns are also rising as it is crucial to maintain the privacy and safety of health information. Let’s take a look at the best practices that should be kept in mind while developing mobile medical apps.

Focus on a Specific Problem

To develop a successful mobile medical app, one needs to identify and focus on a specific problem. It’s important to define a problem first and then design an app that will solve the problem in the best possible way. There’s no point in developing an app that just mimics a healthcare function and doesn’t offer any improvement. Your app must add value. You can start with simple projects like scheduling patient admissions in busy areas like Operation theatres or Emergency Departments. Starting with simple apps also helps developers see the bigger picture, acquire knowledge about the field and move to a bigger project that encompasses more functions.

Know Your Audience

Your mobile medical app must be consumer driven. With a number of surveys being conducted these days, developers have a way to know what the consumers actually want. You need to align the functionality and user experience of the apps with the requirement of users. Today, more and more consumers expect to receive services digitally, be it in any industry. This also holds true for healthcare industry which is becoming increasingly competitive. So before designing or conceiving an app, try to know who will use the app and for what purpose. Also try to find out what features your target audience will like or dislike. For instance, older audience would prefer easy navigation while the young generation may get impressed by the look and feel of the app. Integrate all the elements that make your app attractive yet useful.

Great User Experience

Your health app must offer a great user experience. Use latest technology and whenever required provide an upgrade, bug fixing and additional features. It’s important to keep your app simple and easy to navigate. You can adopt an already used framework and modify it to personalize it. Integration with other apps is another feature that consumers look for. Make the integration easy and seamless. Your medical app must be so configured that it can be upgraded easily. If your app fails to keep up with the changing trends and increasing demands, it’s bound to lose users.

 Manage Privacy and Security

Since the inception of health apps, data security has been a major issue. While developing an app, make sure your privacy policy is clear and provides privacy information even before the app is purchased or downloaded. Failing to provide privacy may lead you to disappointed customers. There should be a direct access to privacy policy for consumers which they can review even before using the app. Similarly security is also vital for any health app. To ensure data protection you should incorporate government-level data encryption, app expiration policies and corporate authentication requirements for sign-on. Also if your app deals with personally identifiable patient information, it should meet HIPAA requirements. In recent years, a number of healthcare breaches have been reported and, if needed, you must consult experts to ensure the safety and security of your app.

Testing

Consumers may fail to identify a good user experience but they surely never fail to recognize a bad one. Once your app is developed, test it thoroughly. Test every feature or function and analyze which provides a good user experience and which one needs improvement. You can distribute test apps to collect user reviews and ratings in the form of closed loop feedback to app administrators and developers. This helps in improving the efficiency of your app. Also, analytics help greatly in understanding the app usage pattern. It’s also important to collect data at the back end to understand how the app is being used or why users are abandoning it.

Make it Easily Accessible

Make your medical app easy to download for end users. There are a number of ways to distribute an app and you need to find which one suits your audience the best. Highest level of adoption can be achieved through a private app store. It also works as a source of analytics for managing the app usage and experience. A private enterprise app store can also help your app reach a wide range of audience like visiting physicians, direct employees, contractors etc. And, this also prevents security breach.

Mobile medical apps are meant to create a great healthcare experience for users and thus you need a good amount of investment to develop an effective one. And, if you fail to achieve that you will ruin the experience of the users and your app will soon be uninstalled and forgotten.

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