Table of Contents
Table of Contents
mHealth apps have proven to be a powerful tool in the healthcare industry, creating the perfect union between a technology-driven society and the ever-important need to be healthy.
Regular appointments are now accessible with the click of a button, providing both patients and healthcare providers with a cheaper and faster solution.
This movement is quickly reshaping the future of healthcare, with an increasing number of providers adopting this practice to reach the new tech-savvy generation. In fact, the global mHealth app market is forecast to be valued at 105.9 billion by 2030 (yep, you read that right.)
Before long, everyone will have at least one mHealth app in their pocket. To keep up with this modern take on healthcare, businesses must understand the importance of custom mHealth app development.
What are mHealth Apps?
mHealth apps, or mobile health applications, are software programs on mobile devices that provide healthcare services, information, and support to users. They facilitate real-time patient monitoring, tips for living a healthy lifestyle, and a range of features that help users reach their health goals. Key features include health tracking, appointment tracking, scheduling and reminders, patient information databases, real-time chats, and more.
Just as health is an umbrella term for many subcategories, mHealth is an umbrella for a wide range of appliances and mobile apps in the health space. These apps are utilized for various health-related areas: to create custom meal plans for patients, provide mental health support, track symptoms, manage medications, and even provide emergency services.
Importance and Benefits of mHealth Apps
Mobile health applications offer an innovative way to deliver healthcare outside of the traditional approach.
- Improve patient health outcomes.
- Boost health care professionals’ productivity.
- Save patients and providers time, money, and resources.
- Provide healthcare access to anyone at any time, including people in remote areas.
- Enhance data management.
- Improve patient-provider communication through consistent health monitoring.
- Encourage individuals to monitor and take control of their health.
Overall, mHealth apps have improved the quality and approach to healthcare services. This well-needed advance may in part be due to studies and overall opinions about current healthcare around the world.
For instance, the AAPA-Harris Poll survey interviewed 2,500 U.S. adults and found that 56% of adults wait more than a week for an appointment, and 65% say coordinating and managing healthcare is overwhelming and time-consuming.
Technology has enabled us to find solutions to such problems, putting personal health monitoring tools in the palms of our hands. With 7.33 billion mobile users in 2023, it’s clear that the way to better health is to build the bridge between health and our mobile devices, which is exactly what mHealth apps do.
Evolution and Growth of mHealth Applications
There’s an increasing need to provide individuals with quick and easily accessible healthcare. This was made evident throughout the pandemic, where people discovered the importance of taking an active role in their health without having to leave the house.
Mobile health applications are quickly becoming the norm in healthcare, offering opportunities for both patients and providers. They continue to grow by the day, targeting people of all ages and health conditions. What was once thought to be only for those with chronic conditions is now being utilized on a regular basis for mental health, diet, early detection, daily habits, and so much more.
The number of available apps has doubled since 2015, driven by investment in the digital health market as well as the continual growth of smartphones’ presence in our lives. To better understand the vast world of mHealth apps, let’s take a look at the various types on the market.
Understanding the Landscape of mHealth Apps: Types
Wellness and Fitness Apps
With the global wellness market expected to grow to almost 7 trillion dollars by 2025, there’s a clear demand for apps that keep up with the constantly changing health trends. These apps are crafted to motivate users to create healthy habits and promote a healthy lifestyle; they typically revolve around tracking exercise, meal prep, weight loss, or even yoga and meditation.
To engage users, health and fitness apps typically include features such as: push notifications, food logging, goal setting, exercise timers, trainer videos, personalized plans, and more.
Clinical and Diagnostic Apps
Diagnostic apps can be used by both medical professionals and patients. These apps use algorithms to gather information to make an accurate diagnosis, saving time and money. Diagnostic mHealth apps are a great option for those who don’t have time to go to the doctor, live in a remote area, or just don’t want to go. And in a clinical setting, it helps professionals confirm or double-check a diagnosis to guarantee accuracy.
Clinical mHealth apps should be user-friendly and include everything a provider or patient requires in one app. This may include a symptom checker, appointment management, electronic health record integration, and medical test scheduling.
Medication Tracking Apps
Medication tracker software alerts users when it’s time to take their prescriptions and sets reminders to refill them. The application should be capable of connecting to multiple devices at once and allow both patients and doctors to interact, share medical records and medication plans, and store information. Some apps even have vitals tracking for doctors to monitor progress and adjust the medical plan if necessary.
Mental Health Apps
Mental health apps are designed to help users understand and manage their mental health. They often include tools for assessing, preventing, and managing different aspects of a person’s mental health. They check symptoms, connect users with professionals, and offer valuable tips, such as breathing exercises, meditation techniques, and more.
Telemedicine apps allow patients to have doctor’s appointments by video or phone, making healthcare more accessible and affordable. Developing telemedicine apps should focus primarily on designing secure, reliable, and user-friendly applications to improve the delivery of medical care.
The necessity of this type of platform emerged during the pandemic, allowing patients to get care without leaving their home. Key features of this platform include a user-friendly interface, audio and video conferencing, medication management, appointment scheduling, and remote monitoring.
Remote Monitoring Apps
Remote patient monitoring allows providers to monitor and manage their patients’ conditions while delivering healthcare services to them in real-time. RPM technology automates the monitoring process, helps spot disease progression, and improves care quality. Common features include weight scales, blood pressure monitors, pulse oximeters, and blood glucose meters, but may vary depending on the patient and chronic condition.
Prescription apps help medical specialists prescribe the right medication and set proper dosages. This platform offers automation, access to databases, and help with government regulation compliance, improving workflow and increasing accuracy.
The founder of this company worked hand-in-hand with Scopic to create a network that allowed fitness leaders to support their team and build a community of like-minded people. Scopic’s fitness app development services built, designed, and marketed this app, developing a fitness social network to engage its users.
Scopic built in the following features: workout sending and tracking, goal setting, client feedback, event scheduling, unlimited group creation, and more.
The mission of this app was to allow users to securely store and organize health records, medication schedules, and medical appointments. Scopic’s mobile app development services revamped the app by refactoring the code, fixing bugs, improving the UI, and updating key functionalities.
Scopic’s marketing experts then optimized downloads and user engagement by creating a high-quality landing page and app description to solidify the company’s success.
The founder of this app wanted to create a workout app that could improve even the busiest of people’s lifestyles, no matter the time constraints. Staying true to the 7 minute workout template, Scopic collaborated with the 7 Minute Workout team to create a number of iOS applications.
Scopic’s team built a user-friendly interface with built-in timers and alarms to better assist users.
mHealth App Development Process
Custom mHealth app development takes time, but each and every step of the development process is crucial to the product’s success. If you’re considering starting your journey, here’s what you can expect.
- Initial requirement clarification period. Through discussion, questioning, and the use of prototypes, developers and clients reach an understanding of what the project’s specific requirements are and what type of software solution might meet those needs.
- Rough project estimation and proposal. Based on the findings in the requirements period, developers create a rough estimate of the cost of the project. This includes creating a formal proposal for the client to review and accept.
- Discovery phase (aka Project Planning Phase). Once an agreement has been reached, developers create a more detailed plan for the project. This includes estimates, timelines, deliverables, goals, processes, and resources. Oftentimes, this step also includes the initial UI/UX designs.
- Design User Interface (UI) and User Experience (UX). UI and UX enhance the overall user experience and make the app more enjoyable to interact with. mHealth app developers collect quantitative and qualitative data to create an app that can compete in the market and fulfill the goals of the client.
- Security and Compliance. Application security testing is an important part of the mHealth app development process. Mobile health app developers follow security best practices throughout the entire development process, ensuring the application is in compliance with a specific set of criteria. HIPAA compliance is especially important in protecting the privacy, security, and integrity of protected health information. Scopic’s team of mHealth app developers follows national standards to comply with federal laws and protect sensitive patient information.
Testing and Quality Assurance
After the app is developed, it’s time to polish it with in-depth testing. This step involves testing and evaluating the app to ensure it meets the required standards and specifications. Actually, mHealth apps should be tested throughout the entire development process to guarantee they meet both technical and business requirements.
There are many tests that can help accomplish this, such as functional testing, regression testing, cross-platform testing, usability testing, security testing, and many more. All of these tests identify room for improvement and, ultimately, help developers release a product that users love.
Deployment and Launch
And of course, the custom mHealth app development process ends in a functional, user-friendly app that’s ready to be downloaded by users. Aside from having a great app, one of the ways to improve an app’s visibility and success is with a comprehensive marketing plan.
Scopic’s marketing team created an app store optimization guide to help boost rankings and make your app discoverable by clients.
How Much Does It Cost to Develop a Mobile Health App?
There’s a huge range in prices out there, depending both on the development company and the complexity of the project. Simple applications can cost anywhere from $50,000 to $100,000, while complex projects can reach $300,000+.
Some of the factors that impact the cost of healthcare app development include:
- App design
- App features
- Supported platforms
- Development time
- Compliance and regulations
- Target Audience
Remember all the different types of mHealth apps that we mentioned earlier? Well, each app will have different specifications and features, so there can be a huge range in costs. The best way to get an accurate quote is to contact a professional mobile app development company.
Challenges in mHealth App Development
Some of the common challenges in mHealth development are compliance and regulation issues, high costs, and creating an app that’s secure and functional with the growing number of active devices.
In fact, PubMed published a comprehensive review of this very topic. Based on the review of 32 primary studies, they found that some of the biggest challenges to mHealth development are:
- Lack of security guidelines and regulations for developing secure mHealth apps
- Developers’ lack of knowledge and expertise for secure mHealth app development
- Lack of stakeholders’ involvement during mHealth app development
- No/little developer attention towards the security of mHealth apps
- Lack of resources for developing a secure mHealth app
- Project constraints during the mHealth app development process
- Lack of security testing during mHealth app development
- Developers’ lack of motivation and ethical considerations
- Lack of security experts’ engagement during mHealth app development
The purpose of this study was to help developers identify these weaknesses and improve their security measures. These challenges highlight the importance of working with a qualified mHealth app development company.
Future Trends and Technologies
The last few years have seen a huge spike in mHealth apps, and it’s expected that this trend will continue to grow exponentially. With time, we’ll see even more features and types of mHealth apps to keep up with the constantly changing industry. While it’s becoming increasingly popular, the future may bring more regulations from the FDA, which could encourage even more healthcare professionals to adopt mHealth apps.
Scopic looks forward to the global application of mobile health technology, and we’re doing our part by providing reliable mHealth development services that benefit patients and companies alike.
mHealth apps are transforming the healthcare industry by making healthcare more accessible to a wider audience. They also encourage users to take control of their health, creating a generation of health-conscious individuals.
On the other end, they help professionals streamline their process, improve diagnosis, more accurately monitor their patients, and improve patient-doctor relationships.
As the mHealth app industry continues to grow, we’ll see more available apps on the market. To keep up with this trend, healthcare companies should be concerned with mobile health app development and how it applies to them.
Scopic is a trusted healthcare app development company that strives to bridge the gap between medical needs and technological possibilities. Contact us to discuss how we can help you create the next successful healthcare app.
About mHealth App Development Guide
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Note: This blog’s images are sourced from Freepik.