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How to build a healthcare app?

Healthcare App : Steps to Build, Features and Examples

Taru M. Taru M.
Published: 13 Sep, 2022

Recent years have witnessed an inexplicable growth in the healthcare industry, and the advent of the pandemic only expedited this process. Even before the pandemic, we were witnessing the gradual availability of healthcare facilities in the digital sphere. According to Statista, the market volume of the healthcare industry is to grow by US$83 by 2025.

One important thing to note here is that the use of healthcare apps is not only limited to users with a certain type of health condition, rather, the use of healthcare apps has also become a medium for tracking health based on their lifestyle.

Also, there is no one category of health apps, healthcare mobile app development is done keeping in mind the users’ needs and wants—and the users of the healthcare app may range from medical professionals to common folks, who might have varied needs based on their requirements and health goals.

A step-by-step guide to building a healthcare app

A step-by-step guide to build a healthcare app

Building a healthcare app is a comprehensive task. Developing a healthcare app does not entail only writing a bunch of codes. The process of developing a healthcare app should be more empathic and user-centric.

It is extremely important to have a legible idea and a good motive before a product owner decides to develop a medical app. After you have identified that motive and realized that it could be resolved with the help

Step 1: Identify your target audience

For healthcare app product owners, it is extremely crucial for them to define and know their audience. Identifying the target audience will also enable the product owner to decide which type of healthcare app will best suit the needs and address the problem of their audience.

After identifying the audience, it is also essential to conduct thorough user research to recognize key demographics and validate your medical app idea.

Step 2: Conduct human-centered research

Once the product owner has identified their target user base and the type of healthcare app they wish to develop, the next step would be to conduct thorough research with respect to their target users and their needs, aka Human-Centered Research.

A human-centered research approach is an immensely important step to truly understanding the plight of the target users. It will enable the healthcare mobile app development team and the designers to have a more in-depth and empathetic outlook while designing the healthcare app.

There are varying methodologies that can be undertaken to conduct human-centered research to develop a medical app. The product managers can identify major stakeholders and conduct interviews or focus group discussions on getting a more discursive understanding of their problems and then come up with solutions.

The product manager should also test their mobile healthcare app hypothesis at this step and make changes based on the conducted research.

Step 3: Validate by prototyping and building MVP

After conducting thorough research, the developers and designers can start brainstorming and devising a mobile healthcare app prototype. This is not the final product but rather a sample depicting the major features of the healthcare app.

Designers can start by preparing wireframes and building the healthcare app prototype, and launching a Minimum Viable Product to test the waters.

Developers must collect feedback on the MVP and keep iterating the healthcare app using agile methodologies. This process will enable the design and development team to build an efficient final product (best suitable to the target users’ needs).

Step 4: Start developing

Once prototype testing is complete, the development team can start developing and writing codes for the medical app based on the feedback received during the prototyping phase.

Step 5: Roll-out phase

After the healthcare mobile app developement and designing of the medical app are completed, the healthcare app is ready to roll out to the target user base.

It is crucial for healthcare app product owners, developers, and designers to continue to analyze user feedback and keep iterating the healthcare app as per the changing dynamics of user needs, problems, and preferences.

Complement with: How to develop a mental health app?

Features of a good healthcare app

Features of a good Healthcare App

1. Integration

Technologies such as Google fit, and Healthkit keeps a record of the essential vitals of the users. Hence healthcare apps should be compatible enough to integrate with such fitness apps or other types of medical apps.

2. Profile Building

Healthcare apps should also give provision for building user profiles for both the doctors and the patients. These profiles should state all the necessary information. For doctors, it can include fields such as their specialty, qualifications, etc., and for the patients, it can state their weekly vitals, allergies, if any, etc. The medical app development team should keep in mind that these profiles should be editable.

3. Telemedicine

This may include services such as patients being able to connect with the doctors using digital mediums such as video conferencing or messaging. Telemedicine proves wondrous for remote regions and has proven to be a great boon when the pandemic was at its peak, enabling people to access healthcare on their mobile devices.

4. Notifications

Healthcare medicines should also make complete use of sending notifications to its user. Push notifications could be as personalized as possible, they can be used as a reminder to take medicines or for an upcoming doctor’s appointment for patients. For doctors, a medical app could remind them to keep in check with their patients or for any upcoming appointments.

5. Data Security and Privacy

Ensuring data security and privacy of the patients should be the topmost priority of the healthcare mobile app development team. Product owners must follow country or region-specific data security and privacy rules. For Example, the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) in the EU, the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPPA) in the USA, and The Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act (PIPEDA) in Canada.

6. Machine Learning (ML)

Machine Learning in healthcare has been one of the greatest benevolence. In healthcare, Machine Learning analyses different health data points and helps identify tough-to-catch diseases such as cancer, genetic diseases, etc.

ML is also helping devise new treatments, the drug discovery process, providing personalized treatments, and maintaining Smart Health Records.

7. Wearable Technology

Wearable technology or popularly known as the internet of things has been around in healthcare for quite some time now. These can aid healthcare apps (via interactions or otherwise) in numerous ways.

They can help track patients’ vitals, aid in remote patient monitoring, and assist during surgery or pharmacy management.

8. AR/VR

AR and VR are no longer limited to enhancing the gaming experience, rather are being very well put to use in healthcare mobile app development. These technologies can be used to create a simulated therapeutic environment remotely, aid in the practical training of medical practitioners, etc.

Complement with: Augmented Reality: Healthcare Trade in 2022

healthcare features for professionals and patients

Must have features: When building a healthcare app for professionals.

1. Effective Data Management

When building a healthcare app for healthcare professionals, the product managers and developers should keep that the app must help doctors and other healthcare professionals to be more organized. The interface and the services of the app should render more organized functioning and organizing of patients’ health data and other records.

2. Remote Assistance

Healthcare apps must allow doctors to conduct online appointments with their patients. Thus, enabling them to provide remote assistance to their patients. This will prove to be of great benefit when the patients are unable to travel to the healthcare facility.

3. Accurate Diagnosing

Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning have enabled doctors to quickly, and accurately diagnose patients’ diseases. Though, it is imperative to ensure data used for training neural networks is ethical and unbiased as far as possible.

Must have features: When building a healthcare app for patients

1. Hassle-Free Payments

The healthcare apps should allow users to make payments with highly secured payment gateways within a few clicks. This will not force the patients (or their family and friends) to stand in long queues.

2. Accessible Healthcare

The provision is extremely vital, it will allow patients to make appointment bookings, and the facility for connecting with healthcare experts 24/7 will make healthcare convenient for them. Thus enabling them to access good healthcare in the palm of their hands

3. Personalized Alerts

With the help of healthcare apps, patients should be able to set up electronic reminders that will alert them regarding their medication time, upcoming appointments, prescription renewal, etc.

Types of Healthcare Apps

Types of Healthcare Apps

Healthcare apps can be of various types, depending on the range of users they serve and the dynamics of their respective needs and requirements.

1. Healthcare Apps for professionals

These types of professional healthcare apps primarily cater to the needs of healthcare providers—doctors, psychologists, therapists, nutritionists, etc.
Based on this, the health apps can assist the healthcare provider in the following realms:

  • Diagnosing the patients’ diseases and medical conditions
  • Remote monitoring of the patients
  • Telemedicine
  • Maintenance of Electronic Health Record (EHR)
  • Managing critical aspects of their medical practices or Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) which includes tasks such as accounting, inventory management, human resource management, support services, back-office operations, etc.
  • Clinical Communication among physicians, nurses, support staff, administrations, etc.

2. Healthcare Apps for Medical Administration Staff

The professional healthcare apps which specifically address the needs of the medical healthcare administration staff have certain overlapping needs with the healthcare providers. Nevertheless, there can be the following types of medical apps for the medical administration staff:

  • Maintenance of Electronic Health Record
  • Managing Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP)
  • Doctor/Nurse marketplace

3. Healthcare Apps for patients

Healthcare apps for patients or common people can have endless categories, for their needs and requirements can be as dynamic as possible. Based on which the healthcare apps can have the below-mentioned broad categories (note: the scope of these apps is not limited to these categories):

  • Lifestyle Tracking apps

Lifestyle tracking apps can facilitate general lifestyle tracking or specific lifestyle tracking, keeping in mind specific medical conditions (such as pregnancy, diabetes, etc.) of the users. In essence, this type of healthcare app gives health analytics based on heart rate, sleep cycle, physical exercises, etc.

  • Fitness Apps

This type of app especially caters to people who want to achieve a certain health and fitness-related goal. Fitness apps also offer general and personalized coaching to their users.
Some of these apps help user to engage users in fitness-related activities such as running, swimming, etc. These apps can also offer workout sessions with the provision of customizing the sessions.

  • Health Counselling Apps

Health Counselling apps can be used in collaboration with the consultation of the medical healthcare provider, and by no means can these apps replace the healthcare provider.

It is advisable to use these apps for non-emergency issues and generic consultation.

Well, there are numerous kinds of healthcare apps, and the product owners may decide what type of healthcare app they want to build depending on their goals. However, every product owner must follow a defined pathway to enable smooth healthcare mobile app development.

Examples of Healthcare Apps

Let’s discuss some of the best healthcare apps in the market. The apps discussed below are the exception in terms of all the features good healthcare should have.


For Healthcare Professionals

1. Medscape

Medscape is an out-of-the-box healthcare app that allows physicians to stay up to date with the latest advancements in the healthcare industry. This healthcare app offers medical professionals access to medical databases, medical news, information about new drug discoveries, and a lot more.

2. Doximity

This healthcare app offers medical professionals to practice telemedicine and also acts as a professional medical network for physicians. With this medical app, medical professionals can stay connected with their fellow doctors, browse career opportunities, and access medical news—all this with excellent data security and privacy provisions.

For Patients

1. Generis

Generis is known for its unique functionality. It renders the users with personalized healthcare solutions based on their DNA. This personalization enables the medical app user to customize their food and nutritional preferences and help them in training sessions by suggesting them the best form of workout regime for their bodily needs, and it also has required supplement plans for their users—all based on their DNA analysis.

This healthcare app has an easy-to-use user interface, effectively uses technology to conduct thorough DNA analysis, and renders scientifically backed healthcare suggestions to the users.

2. MDacne

MDacne, as a healthcare app, gives users acne treatment based on the uniqueness of the patient’s skin. Its advanced tech monitors the users’ skin based on which it contacts dermatologists and provides (natural) treatments to their medical app users.

It has a highly user-friendly interface, and as a beginning step, it asks the users skin-related questions and uses this data to recommend treatments.

Our Experience in building Healthcare App

At Netmaxims, we were assigned the task of developing a fully immersive healthcare VR app for radiologists and patients—Oncology VR.

oncology VR app screen

Our healthcare mobile app development team was mindful to render a calm and intuitive experience to both the doctors and the patients. Our UX designers, project managers, communication designers, and development team identified carefully identified and curated the healthcare app with 3D scans, Visualize Dicom RT (Radiation Therapy) objects, Create Dose Value Histogram (DVH), Cloud integration, and Remedy Metaverse—as some of its defining features.

Get in touch with our mobile app development company to develop valuable and personalized healthcare apps

All in all, healthcare apps have been a blessing to the healthcare industry. One key aspect of developing a healthcare app is that every product owner must be empathetic towards their target user base because the healthcare app would be used by a variety of medical professionals or patients. The developers need to address their problems and needs to enhance their overall user experience.

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Taru M. Author :
Taru M.

For over 18 years, Taru M. is a successful technology entrepreneur by profession and a tech enthusiast by spirit. She takes pride in offering expertise in her domain to business people's success across the globe. As a business woman and technology expert, she manages to keep her balance along with her family responsibilities. She did her masters in computers, and her work delivery shows the expertise of her education. Connect with her via Linkedin profile to know more about her exciting personality

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