Mobile health is experiencing a paradigm shift as consumers require ease of accessibility and transparency in healthcare. However, there is still reluctance among users regarding the privacy of data and information shared. Statistics suggest that the global digital health market was valued at 80 billion U.S. dollars in 2015 and is expected to increase to over 200 billion U.S. dollars by 2020. The mobile health segment of the industry is expected to generate the second-largest revenue share, reaching 46 billion U.S. dollars in 2020.
Following the advent of the internet revolution and subsequently mobile, the healthcare industry is seen as quickly adopting mobile technology as a tool for connecting users with medical professionals. This has empowered patients to connect and engage with their physician directly, schedule medical appointments, receive diagnosis, besides sharing and storing information. Moreover, hospital management software and mobile solutions that facilitate internal communication are in huge demand nowadays.
This graph illustrates the projected revenue generated from healthcare wearable device sales worldwide from 2015 to 2021. By 2019, this figure grew to around 4.4 billion U.S. dollars globally. Mobile application development for healthcare provides an innovative way of collecting health-related information without using conventional laptops or desktops. With smartphones or mobile devices such as an iPad or an Android-based tablet, data can be exchanged, helping connect patient monitoring devices to practitioners.
There are several categories of healthcare apps:
Types of Healthcare Apps Development
- Clinical or assistance in diagnosis
- Symptom checkers
- PHR access
- Digital imaging (MRI/X-Raying viewing abilities)
- Electronic chart review
- Lab results review
- LifeScan for patients with diabetes
- Remote heart monitoring
- ECG viewer
- Oxygen level check
Reminders and alerts
- Prescription management
- Appointment reminders
- Applications for references
- E&M coding
- Specialized medical reference material
- Pregnancy and baby development
- Healthy Diet & Diet assistance
- Exercise and fitness
- Remote dictation
- Surgery Scheduling
- Interoffice communication
Rise of Healthcare Mobile Apps
Amidst challenging regulatory environments, as well as new trends in consumerism, pharmaceutical companies need to engage with patients to show real value and increase in pricing, if any. Companies are developing several innovative ways to engage with patients, including mobile apps and other services. These apps and services are being developed with a singular focus on improving engagement with consumers. Several consumers suffering from chronic health conditions are willing to share data with pharmaceuticals and drug companies in anticipation of a high level of personalization.
The Internet has transformed the way healthcare industry functions, as patients and healthcare providers are now more accessible to each other. Patients can now seek every information from hospital infrastructure to treatment options, including medical experts, which earlier was a real challenge for the sector struggling with accessibility.
Also, web applications have helped simplify workflow and business processes of healthcare facilities, enhanced hospital management, improved internal staff communication as well as error-free digitally empowered diagnosis and treatment options.
Unlike web solutions, mobility brings in limitless opportunities for businesses willing to create an edge for themselves in the healthcare sector. However, this calls for adherence to specific characteristics that providers should always keep in mind.
According to a survey, the top 5 key health segments for newcomers include:
- Connection to doctor (25%)
- Heart and blood circulation (20%)
- Staying healthy and fitness (19%)
- Diabetes (18%)
- Mental health (17%)
Serve Diverse Audience: Healthcare is a sector with an enormous overlap of consumers across different levels – right from physicians, hospitals, individual healthcare providers to patients. The only way business providers can cater to the demands of the industry is by creating a broad spectrum of solutions like mobile apps, mobile websites, and messaging systems.
Easy-to-use Interface: The Healthcare sector is one of the most regulated industries with user experience being a prime factor. This makes it essential to build an easy-to-use interface where simple features are maintained to ensure that users can get where they want to go quickly and easily in just a few clicks.
Improved Usability: Integrate features that prove beneficial and keep patients engaged when they are on the move. This can be something in the likes of GPS feature that will provide users the direction to the nearest or desired healthcare facility from the current location, or empower users to schedule appointments as well as change them as and when required.
Simplicity & Uniqueness: With millions of mobile applications available at the app store, it is highly essential to create an intelligent solution that, besides being simple, secure, and scalable – is unique and user-friendly. Ensure that your app idea is validated by experts so that you do not spend time and money unnecessarily in building a product that makes no ripples at the highly competitive and dynamic app market.
Tracking Patients is Much Easier: Mobile apps deliver leverage to tap into people’s awareness through push notifications, SMS, and alerts. It also tracks the location to assist the healthcare providers in reaching the patient at the earliest. This indicates following the users/patients is much more convenient using health apps.
Treatment Personalization: People are vouching for an individually tailored treatment alternative concentrating on the particular specifications and providing an accurate output. For instance, a fitness conscious person would fancy having a fitness app with peculiarities like a heart-rate monitor, blood pressure checkers, physical activity tracker, number of steps taken, sleep quality, and timer in some other cases.
Significant Cost Savings: If a patient is following his or her symptoms and those symptoms are being wirelessly conveyed to a clinician in the hospital, that patient just avoided a trip to the clinic, and the hospital saved expenses linked with treating that patient. Point-of-care clinical apps can lead a physician to appropriate examination and treatment decisions, assisting in preventing unfavorable events that end up costing the healthcare system more money. mHealth brings a more comprehensive, accessible, and data-driven industry that aids in utilizing resources more efficiently and productively.
Advantages of Healthcare Mobile Apps
Improved Patient Safety: Healthcare mobile apps provide patients with tools to manage the overall health and well-being of patients. Apps can help remind users to take medications or set an alert for the next follow-up visit. Mobile apps help patients overcoming traumatic health issues about the next steps when they arrive home. You could focus on the most urgent tasks, and the app would take care of the rest. It is as if mobile healthcare apps are the key needed for a safe and healthy recovery.
Improved Patient Engagement: Whether it is a lack of transparency, long wait time at the physician’s office, or more, very often the entire healthcare system can turn out to be a complex maze to the dismay of patients.
Improved Access to Care: With the new age digital connectivity, the requirement for patients and doctors to be in the same location is reduced. Patients suffering from chronic diseases living in areas with limited access to doctors will be able to “visit” with primary care physicians or specialists located in the next major city. Increasingly, the patient will be in his or her home.
Reduced Risk of Wrong Diagnosis: Previously, we had heard about cases and people being wrongly diagnosed, and some had even lost their lives. Now, with the Healthcare apps’ entrance, reliable and accurate reports are provided through the apps, and the doctors and the patients are assured of getting proper stories.
Goes beyond boundaries: Another field where healthcare apps are demonstrating to be advantageous is in accessing patients’ past medical records. Think of a situation where a patient is on vacation to a different city and needs urgent medical attention. In this case, the patient’s physician can convey his medical files via cloud service to the place he is receiving his treatment.
Emerging Trends in Healthcare App Development
According to research from Accenture, healthcare consumers are continuously showing secure digital technology usage, with numbers rising each year. Close to 75% of consumers surveyed said technology is essential to managing their health. The research also indicated an increase across the board in the use of mobile, electronic health records, social media, wearables, and online communities. More precisely, nearly half or 48% of healthcare consumers are adopting mHealth apps, compared to just 16% in 2014 said Accenture in the same survey.
While several other industries have embraced emerging technologies such as artificial intelligence, drones, and augmented reality, healthcare is still lagging. Right from augmented reality and virtual reality, artificial intelligence, blockchain, drones, IoT to 3D printing, this year marks the arrival of these technologies, and we’re beginning to see their impacts on business models, operations, workforce needs, and cybersecurity risks.
With the changes in the healthcare industry and its paradigm shift towards mobile apps, it is essential to partner with the right mobile app development company. Check the portfolio of healthcare app development and technical expertise of app developers.