What are mHealth Apps? Types, Examples, Costs, and More

by | January 25, 2024

Over the last few years, mHealth applications have been developed worldwide to address various aspects of healthcare. This not only includes appointments and diagnoses but also health tracking, mental health, fitness, and a range of other areas that fall under healthcare. 

With healthcare now only a click away, both providers and patients have adapted to this modern approach, making it the new standard in this industry. And now that thousands of mobile health apps can be accessed in seconds, healthcare providers must create their own apps to stay relevant and retain customers. 

With all eyes on the healthcare industry, healthcare providers and health gurus have a unique opportunity to grasp users with apps that offer short- and long-term care.  

But how do they get started, and what apps are people actually interested in? 

Explore this topic with us, where we’ll discuss the mobile health app market in more detail, key features of mHealth apps, and different types of apps that fall under this category. 

What are mHealth Apps? 

mHealth apps, or mobile health applications, are smartphone applications that are designed to support and improve various aspects of health and healthcare. These apps provide a range of health-related services and are intended to improve health outcomes, deliver health care services, or enable health research. 

The mHealth app industry involves various aspects of healthcare, from appointment scheduling to wellness and fitness apps. It can include features such as symptom tracking, physical activity tracking, sleep monitoring, heart rate monitoring, calorie intake tracking, and water consumption tracking, among others. 

Mobile Health App Market 

Though mHealth apps have been around for years, it wasn’t until the COVID-19 outbreak that the mobile health app market really took off. In 2020, there was a huge increase in healthcare apps, with many businesses commercializing COVID-19-related apps that make diagnoses and connect patients with healthcare providers online. And with a new spotlight on the overall healthcare sector, there was also significant growth in other health-related areas, such as wellness and fitness. 

In 2021, 44% of U.S. consumers used digital tools to track their health, and 33% owned a wearable health or wellness device. As we’ll see in the graph below, wellness management was the leading app type in 2022, with disease and treatment management coming in second. 

mobile health app

The global mHealth apps market size is expected to reach USD 105.9 billion by 2030, meaning there’s a huge opportunity for businesses to create mHealth apps that cater to the general public as well as their niche healthcare market. 

Types of Mobile Health Apps  

So, what are the main types of mHealth apps? 

Let’s break down the leading categories of mobile health apps to see what they look like in the real world. 

Wellness and Lifestyle Management

  • Fitness and Exercise Apps: Helps keep users committed to improving their physical health by offering workout routines tailored to their goals. They track physical activity, provide personalized routines, and monitor fitness goals.  
  • Diet and Nutrition Apps: Motivates users to create healthy eating habits through meal planning, calorie counting, and monitoring food intake.  
  • Sleep Tracking Apps: Monitors sleep patterns and provides insights for improving sleep quality. They detect interrupted sleep, letting you know when you’re tossing and turning or waking through the night. 
  • Meditation and Mindfulness Apps: Uses meditation to enable users to manage stress and improve their mindfulness skills. They offer guided meditation, stress reduction, and mindfulness exercises.  
  • Women’s Health Apps: Monitors and manages various aspects of a woman’s health. They typically include menstrual cycle trackers, fertility apps, and pregnancy apps.  
  • Smoking Cessation and Substance Abuse Apps: Provides support and resources for quitting smoking and managing substance dependencies.  

Chronic Disease Management

  • Diabetes Management Apps: Enables users to closely monitor blood glucose levels, track insulin dosage, and manage carbohydrate intake for effective diabetes control. 
  • Heart Disease and Hypertension Apps: Supports heart health by allowing users to monitor their blood pressure and heart rate. Offers lifestyle modification tips to improve overall health. 
  • Asthma and Respiratory Apps: Allows people with asthma to self-manage more effectively and lets clinicians remotely monitor, manage, and support patients. These apps track symptoms, medication use, and provide air quality alerts.  
  • Cancer Care Apps: Empowers, connects, and creates awareness for people affected by different types of cancer. Assists in managing treatment schedules, side effects, and patient education.  
  • Arthritis and Pain Management Apps: Helps individuals manage arthritis and chronic pain more effectively by providing resources for pain tracking, medication reminders, and physical therapy exercises.  

Mental Health and Behavioral Apps

  • Stress and Anxiety Relief Apps: Provides relief and support for managing stress and anxiety. Offers relaxation techniques, breathing exercises, and mood tracking.  
  • Depression Management Apps: Helps users manage the feelings and effects of depression. Provides self-help tools, mood tracking, and resources for professional help.  
  • Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) Apps: Aids users in identifying negative thought patterns and restructuring them into positive ones. Delivers therapy modules for various mental health conditions.  
  • Addiction Recovery Apps: Supports substance abuse recovery through resources and community support. Allows users to track their personal sobriety, keep a virtual journal, monitor triggers, and connect with peers. 
  • Teletherapy Apps: Connects users with mental health professionals for online counseling and therapy. Makes mental health care more accessible, convenient, and efficient. 

Telemedicine and Consultation

  • Virtual Doctor Visits: Enables video consultations with healthcare providers, offering users convenient access to medical advice and care from the comfort of their homes. 
  • Symptom Checkers and Diagnostic Tools: Aids in initial assessment by using AI to analyze symptoms and suggest potential diagnoses. Acts as a reliable source of health information, allowing patients to educate themselves. 
  • Prescription and Medication Delivery Services: Streamlines the process of obtaining prescriptions online and ensures the convenient delivery of medications to the user’s doorstep, enhancing accessibility and convenience in healthcare. 

Health Monitoring and Medical Devices Integration

  • Remote Patient Monitoring Apps: Collects and transmits patient data to healthcare providers, allowing for the continuous monitoring of health conditions, improved patient outcomes, reduced healthcare costs, and enhanced access to care. 
  • Wearable Device Integration Apps: Syncs with devices like smartwatches to provide health data monitoring, real-time feedback, personalized recommendations, sleep analysis, social integration, and continuous progress tracking. 
  • Home Monitoring and Elder Care Apps: Assists in monitoring the health and safety of elderly patients, providing caregivers and family members with valuable insights and alerts for timely assistance when needed. 

Personal Health Records and Management

  • Medical Records Management Apps: Stores and manages personal health records and medical history, encouraging patients to take a more active role in managing their health and allowing for seamless sharing of patient information across various healthcare settings. 
  • Appointment Scheduling and Reminders: Schedules doctor’s appointments and provides medication reminders to help individuals stay organized with their healthcare routine. 

Women’s Health and Maternity

  • Pregnancy Tracking Apps: Monitors pregnancy milestones and provides access to valuable resources between doctor’s appointments, such as information about pregnancy health and fetal development. 
  • Breastfeeding and Newborn Care Apps: Assists new parents in ensuring the health and well-being of their baby by providing guidance on breastfeeding techniques and newborn care.  

Emergency and First Aid Apps

  • First Aid and Emergency Guidance Apps: Offers immediate guidance for common emergency situations. Analyzes situations, suggests appropriate interventions, and even provides feedback on the user’s actions. 
  • Location-Based Emergency Services Apps: Uses the user’s location for quick access to local emergency services, ensuring immediate assistance during emergencies. 
examples of mhealth apps

Key Features of Effective mHealth Apps  

So, what features should a successful mobile health app have? 

After looking at a number of mHealth apps, we’ve compiled a list of some of the must-have features: 

 

  • User-friendly Interface: A successful user-friendly interface is easy to navigate, promotes engagement, and is accessible to different types of users. This encourages users to use the app successfully, leading to better health outcomes. 
  • Data Security and Privacy: Software developers should apply security best practices to protect sensitive health information and inspire confidence in their users. This can be accomplished by employing various tactics to ensure privacy, such as encryption, user authentication, and compliance with regulations. 
  • Integration with Wearable Devices: Wearable medical technology accurately monitors fitness, heart rate, general wellness, and disease management. 
  • Customization and Personalization: Offering users a personalized user experience helps improve user engagement and outcomes. This can be done by allowing users to customize their profile, privacy settings, goals, plans and preferences, notifications, and more. 
  • Clinical Accuracy and Reliability: Reliable and accurate information is crucial for informed decision-making regarding healthcare, lifestyle choices, and treatment options, making it an important aspect of mHealth apps. 
  • Real-time Monitoring and Alerts: This feature helps users and healthcare providers track and manage conditions in real-time, eliminating the need for frequent in-person visits and allowing healthcare providers to monitor the progress of the treatment or condition. 
  • Interoperability with Other Health Systems: This ensures the smooth flow of data across different platforms and systems, allowing users to access updated information at any time.  

Top 10 Revolutionary mHealth Apps  

Let’s take a look at 10 trending examples of mHealth apps, exploring what they are, their key features, advantages, and disadvantages. 

MyFitnessPal

MyFitnessPal is an all-in-one food, exercise, and calorie tracker. It has personalized nutrition insights, a barcode scanner that makes tracking calories and macros easier than ever, and tools to help you build healthy habits. 

Key Features:

Food diary

Nutritional information

Exercise tracking

Goal setting

Barcode scanner

Water and macros tracking

Recipes and meal plans

Google Play

4 out of 5

(2.69M reviews)

Apple Store

4.7 out of 5

(1.8M reviews)

Headspace

Headspace is a mobile health app that prioritizes mindfulness, providing access to lifelong mental health support.  

This software uses evidence-based meditation and mindfulness tools, mental health coaching, therapy, and psychiatry to help users create life-changing habits, with a library of 500+ meditations, guided courses, and more. 

Key Features:

Guided meditation

Meditation courses

Mindful breathing exercises

Mindfulness tools

Progress tracking

Google Play

4.5 out of 5

(310,000 reviews)

Apple Store

4.8 out of 5

(946,400 reviews)

Fitbit

Fitbit is a wearable fitness tracker that helps users keep track of vital bodily functions, such as sleeping patterns, heart rate, active zone minutes, and more. 

The premium app comes with a full library of workouts led by Fitbit’s trainers, as well as advanced features to help elevate your health and fitness routine. 

Key Features:

Activity tracking

Heart rate monitoring

Sleep tracking

Calorie burn calculation

Exercise modes

Health metrics

Smartphone notifications

Google Play

3.8 out of 5

(1.05M reviews)

Apple Store

4.2 out of 5

(4,200 reviews)

MEDITECH MHealth App

MEDITECH MHealth is the mobile version of MEDITECH’s Patient and Consumer Health Portal. It was designed to provide healthcare professionals and patients with access to essential healthcare information and tools through mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets. 

Key Features:

Patient data access

Order management

Secure messaging

Appointment scheduling

Condition tracking

Google Play

3.2 out of 5

(1,520 reviews)

Apple Store

2.5 out of 5

(512 reviews)

Flow

Flow depression treatment is a personal guide that helps you understand, treat, and prevent depression.  

This app uses the latest psychology and neuroscience research to improve your mental health, providing a virtual therapist, brain stimulation, relevant content, and weekly monitoring. 

Key Features:

Therapeutic content

Community support

Reminders and notifications

Weekly monitoring

Virtual therapist

Privacy and security

Google Play

3.5 out of 5

(629 reviews)

Apple Store

4.5 out of 5

(57 reviews)

mySugr

mySugr is a diabetes management application that lets users track their data in a concise, intuitive, and paperless format.  

It stores all your important diabetes data from connected devices, integrations, and manual entries in one convenient place. One of its top features is the mySugr Bolus Calculator, a feature that helps you calculate the right amount of insulin for corrections and mealtimes. 

Key Features:

Personalized logging screen

Easy connection with blood glucose meters

Blood glucose graphs

Clear reports

Motivating challenges

Estimated HbA1c

Google Play

4.6 out of 5

(91,100 reviews)

Apple Store

4.7 out of 5

(18,800 reviews)

PEPID

PEPID is a clinical decision support tool for healthcare providers, hospitals, and schools. It provides clinicians with all the information they need when making treatment decisions, using tools such as pill identification, an IV compatibility checker, dosing and medical calculators, and much more. 

Key Features:

Drug database

Clinical content

Diagnosis support

Drug interactions

Medical calculators

Drug allergy checker

Google Play

4.4 out of 5

(351 reviews)

Apple Store

4.7 out of 5

(2,900 reviews)

UpToDate

UpToDate is a clinical decision support application that provides evidence-based resources for hospitals, labs, healthcare businesses, or anyone undergoing training. 

When users face a challenging clinical question or need to confirm an approach, they use this app to receive guidance and trusted answers based on the latest evidence and best practices. 

Key Features:

Evidence-based content

Disease information

Drug reference

Clinical pathways

Patient education materials

Google Play

4.4 out of 5

(10,600 reviews)

Apple Store

3.9 out of 5

(412 reviews)

Talkspace

Talkspace is a platform that provides mental health services, including therapy and counseling, to individuals, teens, and couples. 

Through this platform, users can access psychiatric evaluations, diagnoses, and medication. 

Key Features:

Virtual therapy

Multiple communication channels

Licensed therapists

Privacy and security

Diverse specialties

Google Play

4.5 out of 5

(7,280 reviews)

Apple Store

4.8 out of 5

(27,400 reviews)

Ada Health

Ada Health is a health assessment and symptom-checking app designed to help individuals assess their health, understand their symptoms, and make informed decisions about their healthcare. 

Key Features:

Symptom assessment

Personalized recommendations

Medical and medication information

Health records

Google Play

4.6 out of 5

(333,000 reviews)

Apple Store

4.8 out of 5

(10,900 reviews)

types of mhealth apps

Investing in a Mobile Health App 

In today’s tech-savvy world, mHealth apps bring a lot of advantages to those in the healthcare industry. But what are the must-knows for anyone interested in developing their own app?  

Before taking the leap, consider the following things: 

Challenges and Considerations  

  • Data Security and Privacy Concerns: One of the biggest concerns of users is the security and privacy of sensitive health-related data. When developing an mHealth app, developers must consider authentication, privilege management, secure data storage and communication, compliance, and testing and installation. 
  • Regulatory Compliance: Mobile health software must comply with regulations such as HIPAA, HITECH, FDA regulations for medical devices, and GDPR, if applicable. This ensures the safety and security of your app. 
  • Ensuring Clinical Accuracy and Credibility: To build credibility, reliable applications should only provide evidence-based information, update information regularly, conduct peer review, and consult healthcare professionals. 
  • Addressing the Digital Divide and Accessibility: Making healthcare services and resources available to everybody is a large concern in the world of mHealth applications. This issue can be addressed by providing services in multiple languages, offering low-cost versions, collaborating with local healthcare providers, and implementing an offline mode so that users can access content without an internet connection.  
  • Overcoming User Adoption Barriers: There are several barriers that healthcare providers and patients face when using online applications, such as lack of technical skills, flawed integration processes, and security and privacy issues. Experienced application developers will know exactly how to address such issues to guarantee that all users have a positive experience with the app. 

Design and Development of mHealth Apps  

  • Understanding User Needs and Expectations: Understanding what your target audience needs is a crucial part of creating a successful user interface design. Designers should conduct user research, identify user goals, and create personas to create an app that meets their users’ expectations. 
  • Essential Technical Components: There are many technical components that create a more enjoyable user experience, including user authentication and authorization, user profile management, data storage and management, health tracking and monitoring, push notifications, payment and billing, appointment scheduling, and much more, depending on the type of mHealth app you develop. 
  • Developing an mHealth app and the costs associated with it: Developing a mobile health application is a complex process that consists of multiple phases to guarantee a successful end product. The overall cost depends on many factors, such as the complexity of the project, features and functionality, platform compatibility, 3rd party service integration, and hardware uses. The price can range anywhere from $50,000 to $300,000+. Read our mHealth app development guide for more information. 
  • Regulatory Approval Process and Considerations: This process can vary depending on the country, the app’s intended use, and the type of data it handles. However, some of the common principles that developers must consider are compliance, risk classification, clinical validation, and user-informed consent, to name a few. 

Our Success Stories 

Our experienced team at Scopic has years of experience developing healthcare applications that are both impactful and reliable. Our services include a wide range of medical software development; EHR software development, telemedicine and telehealth app development, fitness and wellness app development, nutrition apps, and more.  

Check out our large portfolio of healthcare applications, where we’ve worked with a variety of clients to develop mHealth apps that prioritize exercise, diet, medical records, wellness, and more. 

At Scopic, we believe that telehealth app development helps improve global health outcomes, and our diverse team has the tools, experience, and knowledge to develop technology-forward apps that appeal to both healthcare providers and patients. 

The Future of mHealth Apps  

With more and more people turning to online applications for quick and efficient health-related information and services, the future of mHealth apps is very promising. We expect to see an increase in emerging technologies that enhance and bring new features, such as the adoption of AI and IoT. 

It’s expected that mobile health apps will be further integrated into healthcare services. This will improve healthcare by offering continuous monitoring, improved diagnosis and treatment plans, and creating more healthy habits in individuals who want to take control of their health. 

One of the huge advantages that this brings is more widespread access to healthcare, providing services to remote and low-income communities for a fraction of the cost, therefore contributing to better global health outcomes. 

Conclusion 

The mobile health app market is booming due to the new generation of technology-driven, health-conscious individuals. With health at the top of everyone’s minds, there’s a new opportunity for innovative healthcare applications that focus on a range of topics, including doctor’s appointments, fitness, diet, and mental health. 

If you have an idea for a new mHealth app, share your idea with our team, and we’ll provide you with an estimate for your project. 

Can I integrate mHealth apps with wearable devices?

Yes, many mHealth apps are integrated into wearable devices. This is a key feature of many online applications, as they provide continuous monitoring. 

Do mHealth apps work on all smartphones and tablets?

mHealth apps are designed to work on smartphones and tablets, but their compatibility varies based on the application’s platform, operating system, and device specifications. If you want to develop a mobile health app that’s compatible with all devices, consult an experienced developer. 

How are mHealth apps regulated?

The specific regulations of an app vary by country but may include medical device regulations, privacy regulations, security standards, and continual monitoring and updates. 

What are the challenges in mHealth app development and how can they be overcome?

Common challenges in mHealth app development include security, interoperability, user experience, scalability, and integration with wearable devices. To overcome these obstacles, you should work with an experienced healthcare app development company. 

How long does it typically take to develop an mHealth app?

Depending on the complexity of the project, mHealth app development can take anywhere from 6 to 9 months on average. 

What technologies are shaping the future of mHealth apps?

AI and IoT are all bringing new and advanced features to the world of mHealth applications. These advances may improve patient outcomes, lower costs, and increase access to care. 

Can mHealth apps be globally scalable?

Yes, mHealth apps can be globally scalable, but they must adapt to regulations in each region, be available in different languages, and consider infrastructure and connectivity. 

What are the best practices for maintaining and updating an mHealth app?

Best practices include regular bug fixes and improvements, security updates, compliance with regulations, interoperability maintenance, and data quality and accuracy, among others. 

About mHealth Apps Guide

This guide was authored by Baily Ramsey, and reviewed by Sergij Rylskyj, a Technical Lead with experience in leading and delivering complex software and application development projects.

Scopic provides quality and informative content, powered by our deep-rooted expertise in software development. Our team of content writers and experts have great knowledge in the latest software technologies, allowing them to break down even the most complex topics in the field. They also know how to tackle topics from a wide range of industries, capture their essence, and deliver valuable content across all digital platforms.

Note: This blog’s images are sourced from Freepik.

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