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How to Build a Healthcare App : The Ultimate Guide

Healthcare app development

The healthcare industry, along with the integration of technology, has always been profoundly significant in our world. However, its importance to society magnifies as technology becomes more advanced. The blend of technology with healthcare, including the development of an incredible healthcare app, enables a multitude of discoveries that have the potential to save millions of lives in the years to come.

The massive volume of searches for doctors, hospitals, diagnostic centers, and pharmaceutical firms by billions of people globally has strengthened this category, which now encompasses nearly every health-related vertical. The growth is fueled by the widespread use of mobile devices, rapid mobile tech expansion, and healthcare providers' innovative efforts to deliver outstanding medical services while safeguarding patient data.

The Future of Healthcare App Development: Latest Trends

Mobile health (mHealth) is a popular trend because of the convenience it offers. With more people using wearables and smartphones, mHealth apps let patients monitor their health in real-time from anywhere. These apps can keep an eye on vital signs, medicine schedules, and quickly alert in emergencies, encouraging proactive healthcare management.

According to Statista, the mobile health market is projected to witness continuous growth in the upcoming years, with an estimated value surpassing 300 billion U.S. dollars by 2025. This trend highlights significant opportunities in the field of medical app development.

Healthcare apps are advancing with these key technologies:

  1. AI for Personalized Care
  2. IoT for Real-time Monitoring
  3. Telemedicine and Remote Care
  4. Blockchain for Data Security
  5. AR and VR for Enhanced Experience
  6. Chatbots and Virtual Assistants
  7. Data Analytics
  8. Personalized Medicine
  9. Healthcare Gamification

These technologies enhance accessibility, personalization, and engagement in healthcare apps, with ongoing innovations ahead.

An Overview Of A Leading Healthcare App

Healthcare apps have emerged as a convenient and efficient way for patients to access healthcare services. These apps offer a comprehensive range of features, including doctor search, appointment booking, medical record management, and online payment options.

One of the leading healthcare apps, Practo has achieved significant success in the Indian healthcare market. This app's impressive features and practices have demonstrated the potential of medical apps to revolutionize the medical industry.


Healthcare web and mobile app development
Healthcare web and mobile app development

The app used to manage 180,000 patients per month a few years back. Now, they manage 2 crore patients monthly and over 2 million doctors annually.

Also it employs AI to improve patient experiences and streamline healthcare processes. They use patient feedback and data to train AI algorithms, while also automating content verification. With the absence of a tech legacy in Indian healthcare, the application seizes the opportunity to adopt new technologies, especially through APIs for efficient online appointment booking and real-time doctor availability management, particularly in large hospitals.

While Practo is an example of a successful healthcare app, the focus should be on the broader trend of medical apps gaining traction. These apps are transforming the way patients interact with the healthcare system, providing seamless access to services and improving overall patient experience.

The absence of a tech legacy in Indian healthcare provides an opportunity for medical apps to adopt innovative technologies, including APIs for efficient online appointment booking and real-time doctor availability management.

As healthcare apps continue to evolve, they have the potential to redefine the way healthcare services are delivered and experienced.

4 Unique Features to Include in Your Healthcare App Development

Building a successful healthcare app involves grasping the needs of the target audience, especially medical professionals. It's crucial to translate these needs into valuable features. When developing a medical app, one must not forget about the essential components that enable smooth and effective communication between medical professionals and patients. This is the key to success when aiming to build a healthcare app that truly makes a difference."

Patient Panel Module 

  • Profile - To create a profile, a patient submits their name, residence, gender, age, medical history, and other critical information required to begin the treatment process.
  • Find Doctor/ Clinic - The medical app must provide patients with a way to search for profiles of doctors & clinics in their area. Their profiles include information about their qualifications and experience, contact details, patient reviews, price per treatment, and other interesting insights that help you make a better decision about which doctor or clinic to choose for your needs.
  • Appointment - One of the main advantages of healthcare apps for patients is that users may browse a list of doctors, read their profiles, and make an appointment with the doctor of their choice. This feature tells patients about a doctor's availability and makes it easy for them to schedule an appointment.
  • Real-Time Audio/ Video Chat is another essential element in fostering patient-doctor confidence.
  • Both parties can communicate via audio and video chat during a remote consultation via the medical app. Doctors can recognize observable symptoms, allowing them to make a more accurate diagnosis, while patients may effectively convey their difficulties, just as they would during an in-person session.
  • Medical Records -  When patients create their accounts, they have access to Medical records that contain all of their information, including medical data and communication history. If required, the medical app must have a feature to share healthcare documents with another specialist, spouse, or other family members.
  • Medicine Delivery - In medical software development, you can add an extra feature to the existing online store. This feature allows customers to easily buy a variety of drugs and medicines. Customers can search for prescription or non-prescription medications using names or relevant keywords, like dosage instructions. They can then place an order and expect timely delivery. It's essential to ensure HIPAA compliance when handling patient data and maintaining confidentiality when each patient books a doctor appointment."
  • Payment Gateway - Allow patients to make online payments by paying through the different modes of payment available, for example, using a debit card or credit card.

Doctor Panel Module 

Professional medical apps like this one prioritize doctor-patient communication. Through video calls or chat, doctors can easily connect with their patients using the doctor module of the medical app. The doctor's dashboard is equipped with a range of valuable tools, including access to electronic health records, to enhance patient care and streamline healthcare processes.

  • Profile - The name, address, photos, specialty, and availability of the doctor must all be provided. They may also share information about their expertise and education.
  • Appointment Management - With the current circumstances,  applications may get overburdened by the influx of appointments. This necessitates using a powerful feature capable of scheduling and listing a large number of remote appointments at once. The app requires an appointment management tool to enable doctors to manage daily appointments while giving patients timely service.
  • Patient Records & Medical History - Doctors should be able to see their patients' medical records via the app in order to make effective and efficient diagnoses. Having a complete record will enable them to find solutions more quickly to keep both the patient and themselves safe and healthy.
  • Prescription - Doctors should have the capacity to provide prescriptions directly from the app. Patients can use these prescriptions to purchase medication at medical institutions. The bottom line is that all of a patient's information is accessible to easily follow their appointments and results (like treatment plans, prescriptions, and medications).
  • Transaction & Analytics - This software will help in keeping all the transactions organized and safe. It will also highlight whether the doctor has performed a proper job or not and how frequently he makes appointments with his patients.

Admin Panel Module

Admin module of the healthcare app keeps patient records, analyzes and reports on data, manages financial affairs, and more. Ensuring security measures during the medical app development ensures the complete safety of sensitive user information while cleverly implemented functions enable the seamless operation of your system.

Healthcare web and mobile app development
Healthcare web and mobile app development

Features:

  • Dashboard 
  • User Management
  • Manage Appointments 
  • Manage Doctors
  • Management of the Diagnostic Center
  • Clinic Administration
  • Delivery Personnel Management
  • Payout Administration

Medicine Delivery Panel

The delivery panel is a window that gives members access to the order database containing the contact information, timing, and status of orders on the site. It ensures that all orders can be verified in one place for delivery personnel to provide their services quickly and easily. 

  • My Account 
  • View Delivery
  • Notification 

How to Develop a Healthcare Application?

Developing a healthcare app requires careful planning and collaboration with an experienced software development company. From conceptualization to deployment, it is essential to consider various factors, including app development cost and choosing the right app development company. With the growing demand for digital healthcare solutions, creating a user-friendly and feature-rich medical app can provide immense value to patients and healthcare professionals alike.

  1. Goal - Before going into the specifics of how to create an app (i.e., its features), you should be sure to explain why you want to build a healthcare app. Your web or mobile app needs to achieve two primary purposes, ‘your appropriate user goal’ and 'your business goal'. Therefore, by developing your mobile application, you'll also want to make sure it can complete the following questions:
    Why do users need this app?
    How will your app accomplish this goal?
    How does this benefit my business?
    What potential challenges may arise from a mobile app attempt like mine?
  2. Market Research - Market research is a crucial step in product development, especially for professional medical apps. It is a method of discovering and analyzing information about the market. It helps you identify what your competitors are doing, how they are faring, why people choose to buy their products instead of yours, and more. Understanding this information can be immensely helpful in shaping or targeting your product or service offering and figuring out how to best market it. You also can gain insight into how much such an app would cost you to make versus the money it takes in, thus refining your idea if needed based on actual inputs and market demand before actually going out there and building anything.
  3. Features and User Flow - After you've completed your research and settled on your approach, start planning. This should build a more concrete picture of what you want the product to be and how it will become a reality. Write all the features you wish to add and draw an example of user flow. Describe how the features will work, who will use them, and why people would buy them now or in the future. It helps you and developers who may need to make sense of this data, which affects every aspect of the project from conception to delivery.
  4. Eliminate Irrelevant Features - With these detailed texts, you can get a general idea of what can be removed from your application. Initially, it is recommended to keep only the main idea of your application. For example, you can easily update or add new features over time and accomplish all of your goals with accurate improvements. Removing less essential features will simplify basic application development and save your initial budget. It will also allow you to quickly bring your latest app to market, saving on application development costs.
  5. Hire an app development agency - Building a healthcare application, is no small feat. Even experienced agencies can sometimes get overwhelmed by technical hiccups and unforeseen budget problems, so it’s certainly not for the faint of heart. If you are to go against our advice and try your luck at getting such a complex system built with freelancers instead of something more reliable like an outsourcing agency, be prepared to encounter several challenges that could eventually lead to you losing a lot of money entirely.

This is why it’s important to team up with the best software development company that will create your app to align with your vision and handle any challenges you might encounter as you work together. This way, you also get to enjoy a reduced app development cost thanks to the fact that many firms are open to flat rates - this means that whatever happens with the project, the software development company won't charge you extra and will stick by their quote!

So hire developers from a top app development company and let your imagination become a reality. 

Do You Need to Be HIPAA-Compliant?

Yes. As a company that works with patients, you’ll need to be HIPAA compliant at all stages. For example, doctor’s notes and test results are considered PHI(Personal Health Information), and they must be protected under HIPAA regulations for patient data confidentiality. As such, it is important to use HIPAA-as-a-Service hosting services provided by companies like AWS and GAE so that you’re protected at all times by them rather than having someone attempt to protect the data themselves using their own equipment. 

So now you know what are the necessary steps you need to take to develop your own healthcare app - but it doesn't stop there. While this is an excellent place to begin, there are some important additional features that you should include in your app! Let's talk about them below:

API Integration

Building a healthcare app without market-ready APIs can easily take 1 to 2 years. However, with the components readily available in the market, a healthcare app can be built in 3-6 months. This doesn’t mean that it’s easier today than it was previously because setting up everything to work as desired isn’t necessarily any less complicated or time-consuming than at any other point in history.


Let’s take a look at some of the leading ones:

  • Agora - Agora allows you to quickly create a highly engaging video and audio chat feature in your own application. It has diverse lists of libraries for Web and iOS platforms. We require real-time video conferencing software in healthcare app development, and we can attest that Agora is capable of handling mobile-to-mobile video messaging very smoothly. It works seamlessly in the Web interface as well, though if you're planning on amassing a large user base, you may want to consider using the dedicated program they have just for this purpose.
  • WebRTC - WebRTC is a powerful, free, open-source platform that enables real-time communication in web and native apps. It has simple APIs that have been optimized to transmit audio, video, and data. This platform is supported by Firefox, Chrome, Opera browsers used on desktop and Android devices. It’s also available for Android and iOS mobile devices which support native integration. macOS and Windows operating systems are not supported for now.
  • Twilio - Twilio works on all mobile devices without the need for any special plugins and can easily be integrated into the platforms you’re working on. APIs offer voice, video, messaging, live chats, and more. Twilio boasts all the functionality one could want to deliver services through an app. Twilio is incredibly versatile and can be scaled instantly from starter to enterprise plan and also has the lowest latency than other available platforms and shows up to 50% better call quality.

For a healthcare app to help improve patient outcomes and treatment plans, it will be vital for them to communicate directly with their doctors and have easy access to real-time health updates. By using Agora,  WebRTC, or Twilio, doctors and patients can interact in multiple ways when it comes down to getting all the relevant information they need directly through their favorite devices.

The Best Technical Stack to Build a Healthcare App

During the software development process, highly skilled developers thoroughly examine various programming languages, frameworks, cloud environments, payment gateways, databases, and third-party services

Technology Stack
Frontend framework ReactJS, NextJS
Backend framework NestJS, Hasura, AWS Lambda,
Payment gateway Stripe
Database Postgres
Cloud Google Cloud or AWS
Message & notifications Firebase Cloud Messaging

Revolutionizing Healthcare: Exploring AI And Machine Learning In App Development

AI and Machine Learning are making healthcare better. Here's how:

  1. Better Diagnoses: Doctors can use AI to get more accurate and quicker diagnoses.
  2. Real-Time Health Check: Wearable gadgets connected to AI can keep an eye on your health always, so you can catch problems early.
  3. Easy Doctor Chats: AI chatbots help you talk to doctors online, making it easier to get medical advice.
  4. Faster Medicine Discovery: AI helps find new medicines faster, so patients can get better sooner.
  5. Personal Health Advice: AI can look at your health data and give you advice just for you.
  6. Secure Medical Records: AI keeps your medical info safe and follows all the rules to protect your privacy.
  7. User-Friendly Apps: AI chatbots make healthcare apps easy to use and give you quick answers.
  8. Preventing Problems: AI can tell you about health risks and how to stay healthy.
  9. Easier for Doctors: AI helps doctors do their job better by handling paperwork and other tasks.

These technologies are making healthcare more accessible, personal, and efficient. The future of healthcare is looking brighter thanks to AI and Machine Learning.

What Does It Take To Develop a Healthcare Application?

Without question, the primary goal of building an app is to make the most use of resources while keeping expenditures to a minimum. However, you will need to make some technical time, effort, and money investments. The number of developers will depend on the app design and features required.

The eventual usage of the resources will be determined by what the business expects from the app. The app idea may fluctuate from project to project, as will the business strategy and estimation.

The cost of developing the app will be discussed later. When partnering with an app development company, an ideal MVP development team should include the following members:

Project Manager

Duties: The project manager serves as a link between the world of business and IT. They proactively identify potential issues that may arise during the project and take necessary measures to prevent them, ensuring timely delivery and adherence to the cost of developing the app. Project managers utilize tools to ensure that all communication channels are available. Check out our blog on the finest project management tools.

Working Hours: 6-7 Weeks. Will engage part-time on the project.

Business Analyst

Duties: They're your best friend when it comes to making informed decisions about technology investments. Business Analysts (BAs) are instrumental in providing valuable insights and recommendations for your company's development services.

Working Hours: 3 Weeks. Will engage part-time on the project.

UI/UX Designers

Duties: UI/UX designers help you transform your product vision into user-friendly designs and create user journeys optimized for the best user experience and highest conversion rates.

Working Hours: 4-5 Weeks. Initially will engage full-time and eventually become part-time involved.

App Developers

Duties: App developers produce the part of your application that people view and interact with directly. They ensure that everyone who uses the app has an equally seamless and user-friendly experience. They are also in charge of everything that goes on behind the app’s hood, and they are your primary problem-solvers.

Working Hours: 30-32 Weeks. Will be engaged full-time on the project.

Front-end Developer

Duties: Front-end developers focus on visual layout and user interface/interaction. They create components that are directly accessed by a user through the front-end of a website or application. They translate wireframes from UI/UX designers into fully realized user interfaces by creating the buttons, images, links, and pages that all need to function efficiently, accurately, and quickly. Read in detail here.

Working Hours: 12 Weeks. Will be engaged full-time on the project.

Back-end Developer

Duties: As a crucial part of the development services, back-end developers are responsible for creating and improving server, server-side applications, and databases that allow users access to your products. The backend developers are also responsible for everything that stays behind the curtain, including all business logic, databases, and integration with Tubular, and third-party services. Click here to learn more about backend developers.

Working Hours: 17 Weeks. Will be engaged full-time on the project.

QA Engineers

Duties: QA engineers are the testers who ensure that your application is bug-free, supports all devices/browsers, and meets all requirements. They make sure your app looks and runs the way it was imagined to look and run without any blockers.

Working Hours: 10 Weeks. Will engage part-time on the project.

Create Your Healthcare App By Optimizing Workflow

To improve your healthcare app, focus on user-friendliness, security, and advanced technologies. Use IoT for real-time health monitoring, blockchain for privacy, and AI for better care. Gather user feedback and streamline processes with APIs.

  1. Interoperability: Make sure your app can easily work with other healthcare systems, so patient data can flow smoothly.
  2. Clinical Decision Support: Help doctors make better decisions by adding tools that suggest treatments and medication dosages based on data.
  3. Telehealth Features: Create a strong telehealth setup, allowing secure video calls with waiting rooms and remote patient monitoring.
  4. Data Analysis: Use big data analysis to find valuable insights in healthcare data to improve patient care.
  5. Secure Messaging: Improve communication between doctors and patients with secure messages that follow healthcare privacy rules.
  6. EHR Integration: Connect your app with Electronic Health Records (EHR) systems to give doctors a full view of a patient's medical history.
  7. Machine Learning: Use machine learning to find patterns in patient data, helping to detect diseases early and plan treatments.
  8. Voice Recognition: Add voice control so doctors can access patient information without typing, which is especially helpful in healthcare.
  9. Advanced Imaging: Enable your app to understand complex medical images, like X-rays or pathology slides, using AI and ML.
  10. Health Data Sharing: Let different healthcare organizations share patient information securely, so everyone can work together for better patient care.

These changes will make your medical app more advanced and efficient for healthcare professionals.

What Is the Cost of Healthcare App Development?

You will undoubtedly be concerned about the cost of developing a healthcare app, but various factors impact production expenses when building a mobile app or web app.

The optimum technology stack selection is crucial for application production and development expenses. Another essential framework is the app's interface, which attracts users' attention. As a result, to create an emotional relationship between the user and the software, you must include animation, images, and other sorts of UI/UX. However, each of these new design elements will raise production costs.

Healthcare apps cost anywhere from $120k to $200k to develop. It can depend on several factors, including the time frame and complexity of the app. You can develop yourself for less, but it will take longer. Or you can hire other specialists, either full-time or part-time, to work on the project alongside you who specialize in the functionalities of your app. 

To create a healthcare app with all of its personalization and individualized elements throughout the user experience, please contact our team of experts who will analyze your specs and clarify the actual expenses of the medical app to assist you with your web or mobile software development.

10 Simple Tips for Developing a Healthcare App

  1. User-Friendly Design: Make it easy for patients and healthcare pros to use your app.
  2. Keep Data Safe: Protect patient info with strong security measures.
  3. Telemedicine: Let users video chat with doctors and monitor their health from home.
  4. Personalize Care: Tailor the app to each user for better results.
  5. Smart AI: Use AI for diagnoses, personalized care, and expert advice.
  6. Real-Time Tracking: Track vital signs and meds in real-time with IoT.
  7. Privacy with Blockchain: Keep patient data secure with blockchain.
  8. Listen to Users: Use feedback to improve the app.
  9. Make It Fun: Add games to motivate healthy habits.
  10. Efficiency with APIs: Use APIs for smooth appointments and updates.

Conclusion

The healthcare industry has undoubtedly evolved over the past decade, and there are many new players in the marketplace trying to get their share of this multi-billion dollar market. While building a leading healthcare application is by no means inexpensive in terms of time and resources invested, incorporating quality design can help your medical app stand out against its competitors. So, these aspects will have to be taken into consideration while planning to develop a healthcare application.

We hope this RaftLabs article has served as a brief introduction to the app development process of a medical app.

Do you plan to create a healthcare app? Or are you considering integrating AI technology into your healthcare app?

Our team is here to provide you with the necessary assistance. We offer comprehensive development services tailored to your specific needs to build a healthcare app for your business. Our experienced developers can help guide you to create a medical app while keeping the costs optimized. We are well-equipped to meet your requirements with a proven track record across various industry verticals in the UK, USA, India, and Ireland. Feel free to reach out to us and discuss your idea to make a healthcare app, including the associated software development cost you can afford.

FAQs

How much does a healthcare app cost?

The cost to build a healthcare app can vary greatly depending on the complexity of the app, the experience and expertise of the development team, and the specific features and functionality required. However, as a general guideline, it is estimated that the cost to build a basic healthcare app could range from $120k to $200k. And, the price to create a healthcare app that is more complex with additional features and functionality could cost upwards of $200K.

How does the health app work?

Healthcare apps serve different purposes and can be helpful when you want to build a healthcare app. Some common features of these apps include:

  • Patent portals: These apps allow patients to access their medical records, schedule appointments, and communicate with their doctors.
  • Telemedicine apps: These apps allow patients to have remote consultations with doctors.
  • Fitness tracking apps: These apps track users' physical activity, diet, and sleep patterns.
  • Medication management apps: These apps help users to track their medications and ensure that they are taking them correctly.
  • Mental health apps: These apps provide users with tools and resources to manage their mental health.

How big is the healthcare app market?

The global healthcare app market is expected to reach $197 billion by 2027. This growth is being driven by a number of factors, including the increasing adoption of smartphones and tablets, the rising demand for remote healthcare services, and the growing awareness of the benefits of preventive healthcare.

In response to this trend, many individuals and businesses are exploring opportunities to create a healthcare app to cater to the evolving needs of healthcare consumers.

How do medical apps make money?

Medical apps can generate revenue in a variety of ways, including:

  • Subscriptions: Some healthcare apps charge users a subscription fee to access their features and content.
  • In-app purchases: Some healthcare apps offer in-app purchases, such as access to premium features or content.
  • Advertising: Some healthcare apps display ads to generate revenue.
  • Partnerships: Some healthcare apps partner with other businesses, such as pharmaceutical companies or insurance companies, to generate revenue.

If you're looking to create a healthcare app, these are potential ways to earn money.

Kaushik Nath
Content Crafter at RaftLabs.
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