As per Statista, the mobile health industry across the globe is expected to reach a market size of $60 billion by the year 2020. Now there are three important factors which are working towards making it happen-the increased use of mobile devices in day-to-day life, rapid expansion in the world of mobile technologies and innovations in healthcare industry focused on offering excellent medical service to the patients.
What is mHealth?
mHealth or say Mobile Health is a term which is used for the integration of healthcare with mobile technology. mHealth apps are today used by doctors and patients for seamless communication. It helps doctors with getting medical data of patients quickly, monitoring chronic diseases and much more. For patients, it becomes easy to have quick access to healthcare services and professionals.
Different types of mHealth apps?
Today mHealth apps are used by both doctors and patients. Such mobile technology comes with a number of opportunities like keeping health-related data, monitoring health, getting online consultations and managing chronic conditions. This category also comes with wellness and fitness apps. So now let’s see different types of mHealth apps that are available in the market.
Telemedicine app is focused on offering consultation to the patients without having the need for a visit to the clinic of the doctor. It is a fact that the majority of the doctor visits, ER visits, and urgent care are possible to be handled effectively using a video or audio call as they are unnecessary. By using telemedicine apps, it becomes possible for the patients to have easy and convenient access to healthcare as the medical facility will be made available using mobile phones. All the while getting a better experience, patients will be able to save enough money and time using telemedicine apps.
Personal health record apps
As per Deloitte, around 74 percent of patients end up providing the same health information to different healthcare professionals. The doctors will be able to take more care of the patients instead of wasting time knowing the medical history if they can have access to shared health-related data.
Now the patients can make use of personal health record apps in order to store and manage data related to their health. This data can be shared with the doctors and they can make use of electronic health records to get access to it. All these things can be made possible with ease just by using mobile devices.
Apps for remote health monitoring
Patients use remote health monitoring apps in order to manage different chronic health conditions. You can have such devices linked to other health monitoring devices which measure different health parameters like weight, blood glucose, and others. By making use of such apps for monitoring health, it becomes possible for the doctors to have a constant update on the health of the patients without arranging frequent office visits.
Apps for alerts and reminders
For patients, it is a common thing not to take medications as prescribed or take them incorrectly. This does not come as a surprise as patients lead a busy life and forgetting to take medicine as expected is normal. Additionally, it has been seen that forgetting to take medicines is seen to be one of the main issues in delivering effective medical care. In such scenarios, remainder apps can turn out to be helpful. By making use of reminder apps, it will become possible for the patients to take a note of everything that ranges from taking medications to be on time for doctor appointments.
The number of people interested in a healthy lifestyle is on the rise now. It has been seen that two-thirds of all mHealth apps are targeting wellness. Such kind of health & fitness app helps the users to track activity, nutrition, and exercise. In order to help the app users reach their goals, such kind of apps provide nutrition plans and training programs. Majority of such apps work in connection with a wearable device and there are even apps which are capable of collecting and storing information from third-party apps as well as devices at a single place.
What is the MVP?
MVP also called the Minimum Viable Product is the basic representation of the actual product. Building an MVP is crucial when you are developing an app for the healthcare industry. You need to be sure you are focusing only on the main features while ensuring to keep the budget in control. Developing an MVP is the best way to collect feedback from the users and know what they think about your project. As a business, you should be serious about working on those feedbacks and try to include them in your app so as to make it a grand success.
Benefits of MVP
- Minimum development costs
- Time-to-market is quick
- Collect real user feedback
- Gives you a clear idea of whether your app will work or not, before getting deep into app development completely.
- If the app prototype fails to impress the users, you can stop all the investments and efforts put into the app development before incurring any further loss.
- If the MVP turns out to be a success, you will be able to get investors on your project.
- In case the MVP works well, and it proves to be valuable to the users then this means that the app will have a set of prospect customers ready to be used at the initial when it is completely developed.
- By coming up with an MVP for your healthcare app, you will be saved from carrying out any more market research.
- Planning an efficient market strategy will become possible based on your experience in MVP.
The process of developing MVP for healthcare app
If you are planning to build an MVP for your healthcare industry, then you need to be alert as building an app for this industry is very critical. Before you roll out the MVP, you need to be sure that the app is FDA & HIPAA compliant and ensures all the legal implications are met. There is a process which you need to follow while developing MVP and the same has been explained here in detail. So just be sure you don’t miss out anything and go through everything.
The first and the foremost step that you need to take when you are building an MVP for your healthcare app is definitely market research. This should be done based on a few questions like:
- Who are the other players already in the market?
- Who is your target audience?
- What is that point of building the app? What pinpoint will your app address for your target audience?
The Healthcare IT Solutions, which you are planning to revolutionize, also have compliance frameworks associated. You need to understand that for sure. By keeping some scope for legal and regulatory compliances from the beginning will help you avoid any significant loss in the end as well as avoid any huge changes later.
Ideation & concept
Based on what you learn from the market research and analysis would serve as the base of brainstorming a few ideas for your app. Your idea is what will help you stand out in the market against the competition. The MVP development should start by developing a functional roadmap. You should also identify the USPs and value proposition. You should also make some important decisions at the moment like
- Business model
- Product design which matches with the business model
- Service offerings
- Delivery strategy
If you want a mobile app based on the healthcare industry to be successful, then it should be able to address a said issue that the user is facing. In the healthcare industry, you will be directly catering to the needs of healthcare professional like a doctor or to the patients directly. Some of the features which should be included in the app are:
- Scheduled appointments
- Medical record assessment
- Payment gateway system with different options
- Real-time checking of body vitals
- Chat feature to talk with healthcare professionals
- Appointment management
- End-to-end patient management
- Medical report scanning and uploading
- Encrypted chat to connect with other healthcare professionals
Once you have taken care of the things mentioned above, you would have got a basic idea about what you will need to spend to come up with the MVP for your mHealth app. When making the calculations for the budget, just be sure you come up with an accurate figure as it will let you know the long-term returns that you will get from the app.
Once you are done with the budgeting, it is time to decide who will take care of the development. Are you planning to hand over the project to an in-house team or planning to hire expert MVP developers who can take care of your needs? It is up to you. Just keep in mind that spending on the in-house team can be a costly affair if you are a startup or a small business.
Design, development and iteration
The main part of the MVP development is the design, development and the iteration process. Compared to any other stage of healthcare MVP development, it is considered as the most crucial part. This stage will determine whether your MVP will be user-friendly and intuitive in nature or not. You should focus on certain things when you are passing through this stage and they are:
- Design and wire framing of UI/UX
- Developing critical features
- Rolling out the app MVP
- Collecting feedback from the users
- Based on the gathered insights making changes
What it takes to build an MVP for your healthcare domain
No doubt, the main purpose of developing an MVP is to make the right use of resources and keep the costs under control. Still, you will need to make some investments in the form of efforts, time and money. Based on the estimation, it can take around 3 - 6 months to build the MVP and it can go around $30K - $50K. How much human resource you will need will develop on the app concept and features required.
Keep in mind that these figures are just an estimation so as to help any startup business or entrepreneurs who are planning to build an MVP for their healthcare domain. What the business expects from the MVP will determine the final utilization of the resources. App idea can be different and so the business model and so the estimation will vary from project-to-project too.
The resources in the form of a number of developers and other professionals who will be part of the development also have a great role in deciding the budget of the MVP. An ideal team that works on MVP development should consist of:
- A project manager
- App developers
- A business analyst
- UI/UX designers
- QA engineers
How many professionals will be needed on board will completely depend on the requirements of your MVP.
Wrapping it up
At the end of the day, the usability of the app, the need and its user-friendliness will altogether work towards deciding whether your app will work or not. Unlike other kinds of apps in the market, the usability of healthcare app does not come with a small life; rather its true value will be seen over a longer period of time.
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