2020 has reset our perspective on many spheres, including health. Every component of telemedicine, including health education services, remote patient monitoring, and virtual consultation has got a tailwind. According to CB insights, these areas received an increased investment of up to 300%.
On this line, the health app market has also seen new players entering the health tech landscape. In 2021, there were over 350,000 health apps available to users. It means that there has never been a better time to enter the market.
Today, we’ll go over the basics of health applications, types, and core features.
What types of health apps are there?
First and foremost, any application in the health category offers health-related services for users across devices. The solutions are then divided according to the target user group. Below, we will outline the most popular app categories in Medtech.
Applications for professional use
This application category caters to healthcare professionals such as doctors, clinicians, and other medical staff. These applications usually store patient data, such as name, date of birth, insurance number, and address. From the regulatory perspective, these apps require HIPAA compliance to prevent data breaches and penalties.
Clinical communication/networking apps
Communications apps are common among hospitals since they allow sharing of important updates and patient data fast and to a large number of professionals. However, traditional messengers do not offer a compliant way for data sharing. Conversely, clinical communication apps are developed to improve clinical decision-making and communication with clinical specialists in a compliant way. Based on the specific hospital needs, they can include messaging and voice chat, file sharing, and an integrated health record system.
CareAware Connect is a prominent specimen in this category. The application offers providers an all-in-one platform to manage workflows and clinical communications on a single device.
Hospital information systems
These apps serve as a data management system for healthcare. This application category helps healthcare professionals collect, store, manage and share a patient’s electronic medical record (EMR), hospital operational management, and healthcare policy decision support.
Medical dosage applications
As such, medication dosage apps are designed to help both doctors and patients keep track of the medications and their doses. They can also provide alerts when it’s time for a dose, remind patients when to take them, and even keep a log of the medication the patient has taken.
Doctors can also use medical dosage solutions to calculate individualized doses of medicine and leave notes on the patient’s state, medications, and dosage assigned.
Health risk calculators
The use of risk assessment apps for doctors can help to improve patient safety by flagging potential risks and helping doctors to make better decisions. Developed with the help of data scientists and clinicians, these apps are designed to quickly assess patient data to identify potential problems. The aim is not just to reduce the number of medical errors but also to equip doctors with the tools they need to make better decisions.
Usually, risk assessment software is integrated directly into an EHR system so that doctors can calculate risk in the same application.
Medical apps for patients
The patient-facing type of applications can be mainly divided into two groups by medical impact. The first group is referred to as wellness applications, while the second one includes medical solutions. The latter can complement a medical wearable or provide additional monitoring for doctors. Let’s have a deeper look at the two.
Telemedicine solutions or doctor-on-demand apps are a new type of health care service that provides patients with access to doctors over the phone via a video chat or messaging. Patients use the app to request a doctor’s visit, which is then scheduled and paid for through the app. Alternatively, telemedicine apps can be a standalone solution to provide consultation or necessary guidance.
These apps have been growing in popularity in recent years as they offer a more convenient and affordable option for medical care than traditional doctor’s offices. According to McKinsey, telehealth use has increased 38X from the pre-COVID-19 baseline.
In addition, doctor-on-demand apps allow patients to have more direct control over their health care. By providing easier access to doctors, patients can get diagnosed and treated for minor illnesses and injuries without having to leave their homes.
Functioning as a personal trainer, meal planner, and more, fitness apps help people of all fitness levels manage their workouts, nutrition, and goals. These apps vary widely in their features and purposes, but most of them share one common goal – to help people make better choices about their health. Some of the most popular fitness apps include MyFitnessPal, which helps people track their caloric intake, as well as Strava, Glo, and others.
Diet and nutrition apps
This app category helps users adopt a healthier lifestyle by enabling them to record their calorie intake and choose healthier food. Diet and nutrition apps also help monitor eating and activity habits to assist users in weight loss efforts. As usual, these apps have a built-in food or meal base so that users can quickly check and track the right option.
This app type helps users master a variety of meditation skills to promote mindfulness and reduce stress. Mood trackers, guided meditations, meditation timers, and an avid community are among the common features of meditation applications. They can also be divided into breathing apps, sleep solutions, and apps for spirituality.
How much does it cost to build a healthcare app?
The average price range for building and deploying a medical application may vary from $25K to over $400K. This thick margin is justified by a wide number of cost drivers present in every development process.
Thus, the pricing is majorly impacted by the following criteria:
- App complexity (simple, medium, complex)
- A set of core functionalities
- Team location (onshore, nearshore, offshore)
- Maintenance costs, if any.
Most healthcare providers start with building a Minimum Viable Product first to minimize risks and check the app’s viability. Once in the wild, the MVP is then available to the end-users and serves as a feedback aggregator to enable further improvements. An MVP allows businesses to reduce costs and makes sure your application delivers maximum value to the end-users.
How to nail the development process
To create a health app, you need a few tried and tested approaches that ease the process. First, healthcare providers need an experienced tech vendor aware of health tech specifics. In particular, HIPAA excellence is the main criterion when choosing a tech partner.
Another tip to reduce development costs is offshore outsourcing. It means that you can farm out the development process to a third-party supplier from an outside country. Also, consider taking bids from a few shortlisted vendors to get the best solution idea and development pricing.
The Final Word
Building a healthcare application allows you to stay on top of evolving trends and reach a wider audience of potential users and patients. As the number of consumer digital health apps ballooned last year, more and more businesses strive to ride the wave.
However, this application type requires hands-on expertise and HIPAA proficiency to prevent penalties or business risks. Therefore, healthcare providers and associates should choose only reputable providers privy to HIPAA and local guidelines.