How to Build an App Ready for Today’s Digital Health Market

Robby Gupta

The healthcare industry is increasingly going digital. Today, healthcare providers and patients are connected 24×7 with each other which has increased patient satisfaction. On the other hand, It has led to improved care delivery and outcomes for the healthcare providers.

Healthcare applications are a popular tool used by patients to monitor their health. There are more than 300,000 healthcare apps available on the different app stores. Even though the number seems massive, only a few have made it to the big leagues. Patients are still unaware of the different applications that can contribute to improving their health.

Focusing on building the right app is crucial if digital health providers want to stay ahead of their competitors. How these healthcare applications are developed is equally important along with the technology used to build them. Creating a good application that smoothens the entire customer experience is a necessity for its wide-scale market adoption.

But why is there a need for digital health apps?

The smartphone and digital devices market is booming. These devices have made their way to the healthcare industry. Fitness bands, health monitors, smart gadgets, etc. are becoming increasingly popular among patients to regularly monitor their health. The more they participate in managing their health, the more they are satisfied with the healthcare app.

The growth rate of digital health apps is skyrocketing. In 2018, the European healthcare market stood at €7.1 billion with a growth rate of nearly 61%. Yet, only a handful of providers recommend digital health apps to their patients. What’s contributing to the growth of the digital health industry are the consumers using healthcare apps themselves.

The healthcare market is becoming competitive with each day. The thousands of apps in the app store give consumers numerous options to choose from without any assistance from their healthcare provider. This has resulted in only a few apps becoming popular and capturing a majority of the market share.  

So, what’s stopping other apps from succeeding?

Today, many healthcare providers are figuring out how to integrate digital technology with their services. They have great ideas for building an app but their execution is a struggle for them. Companies often try to build products without understanding their needs. 

AI and wearable gadgets are the most popular technology. However, most companies are playing it wrong by investing the technology rather than the solution. These advancements in technology will only work if the right solutions are created using them. The main players in the healthcare app market are startups. They understand the patient needs at the basic level and are building effective solutions by leveraging technology instead of getting dragged along with it. 

How to build a digital health app ready for market adoption

Every organization looking to enter the digital health market must consider the following few points to build a top-notch healthcare application:

◙ Build a Minimum Viable Product
Minimum viable product (MVP) allows you to assess the value your product can offer. It is a simple version of the application with a basic outline of how it can help users. Directly launching the final product engenders huge cost and time risks if the product fails. An MVP allows you to understand whether the product is going to work in the market or not. It can save you from putting a hole in your budget. You can obtain valuable data and feedback from the users upon which the final product can be built.

A minimum viable product takes a few weeks to develop. It has simple functionalities for testing with the users and receiving feedback. To build an MVP –

  1. 1. Find out assumptions and uncertainties

It is a good start to identify what you know and what you don’t know. Your initial knowledge and assumptions will form the basis of how the health app should be developed. It will help you figure out whether the assumptions are correct or not.

2. Create a light product
Identify your preferred level of fidelity and develop a product. Low fidelity products are based on ideas that are experimented with. They are created to authenticate the ideas before more resources are invested. On the other hand, high fidelity products have some functionalities and have interactive features. They can be given a proper finishing touch and turned into the final product.

3. Evaluate and adapt
The last stage is to identify whether your experiment worked or not. Here you can decide if you should discard the application idea or move forward with it. If you find the idea to be effective, you can build the final product on that.

◙ Conduct rigorous user testing
It is important to find out what the users think about your application before you do the final release. User testing is a crucial stage to determine what improvements can be made. It helps you identify the bugs and errors in the healthcare application.

User testing entails finding out how users respond to the application and whether or not they will be able to adapt to it. It provides invaluable insights into the product which can be used to install upgrades and improvements.

There are two ways to do user testing. Quantitative user testing is based on accumulating user data. It is done using A/B testing, eye tracking, analytics, etc. It provides an objective view of the application and is done once the product is launched.

Qualitative user testing is subjective and is based on user behavior data before the app is launched. Formal interviews are conducted to understand what the users think of the application. It is an efficient and powerful way to test the value your healthcare application will deliver to the user.

Release and scale your application
The final step is to launch the product and conduct quantitative testing. Launch the product with the appropriate feature set without thinking of making it perfect. As users operate the application, you can learn about their behavior and introduce continuous improvements in the product.

If the application offers a good user experience, there will be increased engagement. Once there is a good user database, it is time to scale the application. Ensure that the entire team is working in unison to improve user engagement rather than just taking the app to a large number of users. 

Bottom Line

It’s inevitable that the digital health market is going to witness a major shift in the coming decades. However, companies need to be ready with the value providing applications that can better serve their consumers. It’s a matter of improving society and not just of individual patients. TechJini is a leading healthcare solutions provider, empowering organizations by building top-notch applications. Contact us today for building a market-ready healthcare app.

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about the author

Robby Gupta

Robby Gupta is the head of US operations for TechJini, Inc. He has had varied experiences working in New York, Cupertino, and Bangalore with packaged & amp; custom web and mobile app development for an assortment of industries. His current focus is Immersive Technologies, IoT, AI bots and their applications in the digital enterprise.