It’s the era of all things tech, and medical companies are partnering with developers like never before. In 2021 alone, 90,000 new digital health apps were created. Since the early days of Covid-19, digital health has continued to skyrocket and the results have been overwhelmingly positive. Research has shown that many patients are now making many of their healthcare decisions based on their access to digital health resources.
If you’re a doctor or entrepreneur in the medical field who is considering a healthcare app of your own, this post is for you! We’ve complied a comprehensive list on how to build your own healthcare app.
Determine what kind of Medical App You Want to Build
There are hundreds of approaches that you can take when creating a software solution, so it is important to narrow down a specific focus and determine what the purpose of your app will be. Identify a pain point or problem to solve and write down how your software solution will resolve it. For example, if your medical office is looking to streamline its training process for new employees, an online platform that includes training modules, videos, and exams would be a software solution. During the planning phase, you will also need to consider the necessary features to include in your first version of the app. You can determine this by categorizing your “must have, “should have”, “nice to have” and “next version” features.
Web or Mobile?
Once you have determined the problem and solution, you’ll need to decide if the app will be Web or Mobile based. This will be one of your biggest decisions and we strongly encourage you to talk to the experts about this. Our team determines web and mobile apps on a case by case basis. There is no “one size fits all” answer to this question! There are pros and cons to each option, so it will be important to consider these four questions:
What is the purpose of the app? What is the budget? Who is target audeince? Why will this specific software solution stand out?
Cross or Native Platform?
The next step in the development process is to consider if the app will live on a cross or native platform. To summarize, “native development is the process of building apps for a specific operating system like Android and iOS. Each system has a specific design language, integrated development environment, and guidelines…cross-platform development involves the usage of a single code base across platforms. The codebase is combined with OS runtime environments for execution. So, these environments interpret the app’s code at runtime and execute it.” Similar to the Web vs. Mobile discussion, there is not a single correct answer. Many factors determine this decision such as your budget, timeline, and goals for the app. It is recommended that you talk to experienced developers who can walk you through the differences and benefits of each option before you hand off your app to development. Read more about cross and native platforms here.
Design the App
Here’s where the development really comes to life! Wireframes display the UI (User Interface) or design of the software. There are two types of wireframes – low and high fidelity.
Low fidelity wireframes include basic and static content to visualize layout of the interface. These wireframes are built with publishing software, such as the Microsoft Office suite. “Low-fidelity wireframes usually serve as a checkpoint for the product team and stakeholders at the beginning of the design process. They help teams visualize and test early concepts, requirements and design assumptions at the beginning of a web design project.”
High fidelity wireframes are extensive prototypes that include color, content, and interactive buttons. They offer a finalized view of the app. Though they are more expensive than low fidelity wireframes, they provide an accurate depiction of the product and allow stakeholders to see the style of the app and interact with the interface.
Development and Launch
Your healthcare app is ready for development, testing, and launch! The developers have all of the information they need to build the healthcare app. Keep in mind that medical apps require HIPAA compliance guidelines throughout the development process. We recommend that you reserve 10% of the project budget for HIPAA compliance protocols.
It’s important for you and any key decision makers to meet frequently with the development team to communicate any changes that need to be made throughout the process. You should feel empowered to be a part of the development, even if you don’t understand the “tech talk”. We always say that a sign of a good development team is if they can take complicated concepts and communicate them in a way that anyone can understand.
After development, it’s time to test the app and get it LIVE! Our team at Oak City always encourages our clients to spend a good amount of time using the app, asking questions, and making sure that each feature displays the desired behavior.
We understand that developing a healthcare app is a long and complex process – but it is worth every step. We believe that technology exists to make day-to-day tasks simpler. With healthcare apps, the potential to improve lives is unfathomable.
Are you ready to build your own healthcare app? Schedule a call with our team to get started!