There's no need to say that the last two years have been very challenging from a medical point of view. Besides the Covid-19 pandemic, which made our life much more complicated, patients with other types of diseases have also been affected. Increased occupancy rates in hospitals, ultra-busy medical schedules, more caution when meeting with other people; all these things made us look for alternative solutions for our health issues.
Besides the traditional video consultations with doctors, there has been an increasing demand for healthcare apps. They are just a tap away from you, on your phone, and you can use them safely anywhere. Well, we'll see how "safe" is in a moment because security is just one of the strong points that a healthcare app should have.
What other aspects do you need to pay attention to if you want to build such an app in 2022? Let's see.
There are various types of apps related to the Health sector, some more general, others more specific, but we can classify them into two big categories:
1. Apps used by healthcare providers. These are usually present in hospitals or labs, storing medical data or acting as companions to medical devices. They are only accessible to the authorized staff, not the general public.
2. Apps used by patients. These apps are present on our phones, assisting us with our medical treatment or general advice. We can also use them to make appointments or talk to our doctors, but more about that in a minute.
Now that we got an idea about the general types of healthcare apps, let's continue with the checklist we mentioned in the beginning: what to consider when building such an app in 2022?
Such a surprise, right? When it comes to medical data, there's no room for errors. We're talking about sensitive information that needs to be protected.
Indeed, the mobile side usually doesn't store such data, most of it is in the cloud, in a database. However, the app itself can offer access to that sensitive information, and it is this access that we need to protect. We have an entire article about that right here, but here are a few more tips:
On the privacy part, there are a series of regulations and rules that you need to obey when creating a healthcare app. If you store any personal information (that can identify people, like the date of birth), then you must be HIPAA Compliant.
HIPAA stands for Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act. It's a collection of rules and regulations about how you can record, save and manage a person's protected health information (PHI) electronically. It has three major components:
We're talking about apps that serve a specific purpose, so it's crucial to know who will be part of your audience. That's because you can tailor the app itself to those people better:
The list goes on, but we will handle the UI/UX part in a separate section below.
An app alone can be helpful, but to take it to the next level, you need to allow patients to interact with healthcare professionals easily. Many hospital visits are for simple problems or questions, and we could solve them over the phone or with a video call. Moreover, that would also be safer during these pandemic times. So, how to improve your app's communication level?
Features like these can make your app stand out from others while creating a pleasant user experience. Speaking about user experience...
Medical apps don't need to be boring and formal. To keep users engaged and happy, you need to pay attention to how you design your app and the user interaction. The goal should be to provide an elegant and smooth user experience throughout the entire app.
To achieve this, it starts right from the first impression that your app makes, and it continues to each functionality you offer. The list of good UI/UX practices is long, so make sure you check our articles on those topics. Here’s a good one to start you off.
It's hard to say where healthcare apps are heading because most of today's "hot topics" can be used in the health industry as well:
The important thing is to make sure that you pay attention to the aspects presented above while also striving to create a unique and helpful experience for your target audience. In the end, it's about solving problems and making our life easier and better.
If you're looking for a technical partner to build such an app, especially one with experience in the healthcare industry, let's get in touch! In the meantime, please check out the products and articles that we've already made in this area.
Stay up to date with the tech solutions we build for startups, scale-ups and companies around the world. Read tech trends and news about what we do besides building apps.