In healthcare, apps have become crucial for patient treatment and management.
From medical education to fitness apps, over 350,000 healthcare-related apps are available for download worldwide at the time of this writing.
We are now seeing the rise of mobile apps geared towards providing reliable, real-time access to health data.
Despite the rapid growth in app development for users, healthcare is still a sensitive industry, especially regarding protecting data and maintaining medical confidentiality.
This is why developers need to build apps that are not only user-friendly but also trustworthy. Healthcare apps must keep users’ data secure while providing patients with the necessary information.
In this article, we’ll explore the key requirements of healthcare apps and briefly explain how you can ensure your app satisfies them.
Five things to consider when building a healthcare app
If you’re thinking about building a mobile app for your healthcare business or developing a startup idea from scratch, here are some key points to keep in mind.
Comply with security and privacy rules
One of the initial steps in developing a healthcare app is understanding the regulatory framework that governs it.
As a healthcare app developer, you must understand the health privacy and security rules that guide health information use.
In the US, for instance, your healthcare app must comply with HIPAA regulations if it handles protected health information (PHI), such as medical records or lab results.
HIPAA-compliant app development is designed to ensure that patients’ confidential personal health information is kept secure while allowing providers and insurers to use this data for treatment purposes.
Ensure your app is relevant to the needs of your target audience
The best apps are the ones that offer solutions to the problems or questions that users have. Conducting user research will help you discover what kinds of apps to create for the audience.
For example, does your audience need a healthcare app that helps them save time and money or provides peace of mind?
Are they interested in a healthcare app that serves as an educational tool or allows them to access healthcare information whenever needed?
If you’re trying to appeal more broadly than just to one demographic group, think about how previously released apps have been received by consumers and learn from their mistakes (or successes).
Provide a good user experience
User experience (UX) is how users feel when using an app, which can mean the difference between engagement and disengagement.
UX isn’t just about how an app looks. It’s also about how the app works.
A slick design is excellent, but if it doesn’t function properly or easily meet users’ needs, they will quickly become frustrated and abandon it altogether.
So when designing your healthcare app, ensure the user interface is intuitive, and the entire flow feels seamless.
A good way to ensure you provide an excellent user experience is by working closely with your clients and users throughout the design process.
Therefore, this allows you and them to communicate ideas effectively. This helps so there aren’t any misunderstandings about what needs to be built into each app page.
Choose secured APIs and integrations
To provide services to patients, doctors, caregivers, and other stakeholders in your healthcare app, you must examine how it will integrate with existing systems.
It would help if you also consider whether you want your app to integrate with other applications and external data sources like patient records or EMRs (electronic medical records).
For a secured API, choose a proprietary API that’s maintained by a team. Proprietary APIs are the best because they’re the most secure.
This means they have people dedicated to ensuring its security and longevity. If you use an open-source API provided by another company, ensure they are secured. If not, there might be security risks.
Provide device security
As the healthcare industry continues to evolve and digital health solutions continue to emerge, developers need to be aware of the security issues they may face while building healthcare apps.
For one thing, device security can be challenging if you build a healthcare app that stores sensitive information or works with sensitive data.
If your app stores or transmits sensitive data (like PHI), it needs to be able to protect that data from unauthorized access by hackers.
This means using encryption and other protection methods for your database.
Ultimately, creating a healthcare app is similar to building any other type of app.
There are different categories of healthcare apps (such as diagnostic tools, wellness-oriented apps, etc.), and serving all subcategories is beyond the scope of this post.
Instead, this article is intended to provide you with important considerations and questions to ask yourself before embarking on your app-making journey.
Regardless of the category of the app, the most important thing to remember is that you should always satisfy your user’s needs and protect their data.
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