How to Create a Medical App: MVP Feature and Development Cost

February 17, 2022

By Emily Morgan

Technical Writer

The field of medicine has always been one of the very few fields that adapt to the newest technologies faster than others. With every new technology emerging, developers jump to create a medical app that fits the expectations of the users. It would not be surprising for you to know that in the recent few years the merger of technology and medicine has helped the field of medicine grow immensely, benefit a lot of patients and save lives of millions. While there are multiple ways technology is used within hospitals, thanks to medical apps, consumers can have a whole hospital shrink and fit into their phones.

Create a Medical App

A statistics report conducted for the number of medical apps from the year 2015 to 2021 discovered some interesting facts. It revealed that the market of medical apps has grown to a huge extent giving way to 20,000 more apps worldwide. The study focused only on the iPhone apps. You can make a rough guess about the number of Android medical apps used all over the world. Whether you admit it or not, it is the perfect time for you to develop a medical app and become a part of this huge change.

Start the process

As you have made till here, we believe that you are interested in creating a medical app. Like every other app, a medical app must follow a process to ensure that it meets the standards of the market and fulfills the needs of the users as well. Let’s get started with the process without wasting more time.

Know clear goals

Just developing a medical app with whatever you know about the industry is not enough. Your medical app must have a set of clear goals from the first day. Before you start laying down a plan for the app development, sit down and ask yourself the following questions?

  • What sort of medical app do I want to develop?
  • What is the purpose behind developing this aim?
  • Is there a specific aim I want to achieve? If yes, what is it?
  • Is this aim achievable?
  • Has anyone done this in the past?

Progress tracker in a medical app

Make sure when you are answering these questions, you don’t spend too much time on every question. Let the answers come naturally to you. This way you will get the raw purpose you have behind launching this app. You will find your ambition and trust us, you would need that to get going on this bumpy road.

Choose the Market to Enter

Once you have your goal or list of goals ready to aim at, it is time for you to pinpoint the market you want to tap in. Remember that the medical market is a root that shoots into multiple branches. You must decide if you want to create a medical app that is going to cater only to the needs of patients or just the doctors. There is another category of medical apps that are designed to fulfill the needs of doctors as well as patients.

Let’s look at some examples of all these markets. A medical appointment booking app caters only to the needs of patients. Such an app shows the details of nearby doctors, their timings, location of clinic or hospital, and available slots to book an appointment. In the case of apps designed for doctors only, we can take an example of Medscape, which is a medical reference app. It keeps physicians up-to-date with the developments in the medical world. They can read about drug information, access medical calculators, and see new medical education opportunities.

As for a medical app made for both doctors and patients, we want you to look at Kareo. It is a cloud-based app connected with a consolidated database. The patients can use it to book appointments with the doctors of their choice whereas doctors can use it to access the booked appointments, add notes about diagnosis, add prescription, see history and get in touch with medical staff.

Highlight major features of a medical app

After successfully deciding the market you want to enter, you can sit down with a mug of coffee and think about the features your app will have. To begin with, it is suggested that you look into the similar apps present in the market. Look at what your competitors have to offer. Read the reviews of the users to have an idea about the features that are missing in these apps. This research might take a few hours but we promise, these hours would be worth it. Here are some features you can add to your app.

Features to add in a medical app

Profile Building

It is the first step your app’s users need to start building a relationship with the app. For an app made for patients only, allow the users to make their profile by giving important information like name, age, gender, email address, phone number. For an advanced-level profile, ask your users to enter their blog group, any medical conditions, and medical limitations. This will help you to get started with suggesting options according to their profiles. Give the same options for the doctors-only app as well.

However, for an app that is going to be used by the doctors and the patients, it is necessary for you to allow them to tag their profiles as doctors or patients. This will help you provide a personalized experience to the user and cater to their needs in a better way.

Real-Time Updates

The field of medicine is always changing and to help your users need stay updated with the changes, your app must provide real-time updates. Whether it is a new medicine discovered, new precautions to save yourself from a deadly virus, or just a report on a treatment, your app must provide updates to the doctors using your app. As for the patients, you can provide updates like new slots available for the appointment, cancellation of appointment if the doctor is out of the office and changed time of appointment, etc.

Chat Options

Your app can have an option of chatting for the users. The medical staff can get connected to other staff members to stay updated with the tasks, procedures of processes. They can discuss cases in real-time without any delays. Moreover, your medical app can even introduce chat rooms or groups where different medical staff can get connected to talk about a medical purpose. It is also a good idea to provide this option to patients as well so, they can stay in touch with their doctors or hospital’s medical staff if needed.

Chat options in a medical app

The Calling Options

The world is all about connection and the Covid-19 pandemic taught us that we don’t need to be face to face always to stay connected. A recent report showed that visits to the doctor have decreased 60% since the start of the pandemic. It is all because of the option of calling a lot of medical apps come with. It is a great idea to embed the options of voice calls and video calls in your medical app. This will benefit both the doctor and the patient as they can stay connected without getting out of their comfort zones and seek necessary medical help as well

Progress Tracker

To see if a medicine is working or not is important for a doctor. It would be great to have a medical app enabling the doctors to see the data of their patients to see the curve of progress. For example, the patient can enter medical details like blood pressure, blood sugar, temperature, and similar details in the app every day for the doctor to view and see if the medicines are working well. If you are building an app for doctors and patients to stay connected, it would be a great feature to add.

create a medical app that can track progress

Modern Payment Integration

Making a medical app is a new step taking the industry of medicine towards digitalization so, why not take another step by adding FinTech to the solution? It is recommended that you integrate modern payment integrations in your app allowing the users to send and accept payments. You can decide either to use Visa and Mastercard or have a third-party payment terminal like Stripe or Payoneer involved. Either way, you will be adding great value to your app and in the lives of the users.

payment options in medical apps

Breakdown features into multiple phases

Nobody likes to spend all of their money, time, and effort on a project just to realize later that it failed. Similar is the case with the process used to create a medical app. Imagine you develop a medical app with some groundbreaking features but upon launching it, you realize that customers never wanted these many features or they want these features to be another way. It sounds heartwrenching, right?

It is always suggested that you finalize a list of features you want to provide to your users and start building them slowly. Divide the final features into multiple phases. Keep only the important and key features for the first phase. Develop those features and launch the app in the market. Let the users access the app and give their feedback. Meanwhile, you can jump on to adding 2 or 3 new features for the second phase. Gather the customer feedback and incorporate it in the second phase for the launch.

Keep repeating the same process until you are done with all the features you decided to provide in the app. In case a feature fails to perform well in two phases, you can easily eliminate it from the app without it costing you much. Having users involved at every phase will help you get real-time feedback, make your app better with every phase, beat your competitors, and achieve new heights.

Hire mobile medical app developers

It is time for you to get started on making your dream a reality. With all the research done, data gathered, features decided and target market outlined, you can begin with hiring a team of mobile app developers for your project. You can develop this app yourself if you have knowledge about developing an app. However, we would suggest you hire a team to make sure the app is launched on time with the smoothest features.

You can either visit freelance platforms like Fiverr, Upwork, and Guru to hire different members of the team. These members would include back-end developers, front-end developers, graphic designers, content writers, and a QA engineer. In case you don’t want to put in a lot of effort, you can simply sign a contract with a mobile app developing company. Make sure you share your expectations from the project clearly, stay in touch with the team and finalize a budget before getting started.

Ensure HIPAA compliance, medical data security, and regulations

The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act or HIPAA ensures that the data of the patients stored is kept safe and is not used for illegal purposes. It is extremely necessary for your medical app to abide by the rules and regulations made by HIPAA. There are basically two rules HIPAA expects your app to follow. One is focused on ensuring the confidentiality of the data gathered and the other focuses on maintenance of the data. It is necessary for you to use tools and technologies that are 100% secure to use and no data tampering or sharing is done. If you believe you need a medical expert on board, don’t have a second thought and get that second opinion on your app to skip any risks.

Testing and Consistent Maintenance

Creating a medical app is one thing but making sure it operates fine is another. Before you launch your app in the market, write multiple use cases to test it. See the way your app operates and judge it based on the expected and the actual outcome. This will take you some time but will ensure that there are no surprises left for a later time. In case you find some loopholes, have them fixed before the launch.

It is also crucial for you to maintain your app to ensure a smooth operation. Keep your app updated with any new regulations introduced in the industry, new features added by your competitors, or fix the identified or reported bugs. It will keep your customers using your medical app as they see you are trying to do better every day.

How much does it cost to create a medical app?

It is always good to have some knowledge about the cost of having a medical app developed for you. A small medical app with a few basic features like sign-in, appointment calendar, and some details about medical history, etc will cost you around $50,000 to $65,000 and will be delivered in 3 months at max. A mid-level medical app with features of a basic app and new features like in-app messaging and calls can be developed in 6 months maximum. Such an app can cost you $100,000 to $1,50,000. As for a complex medical app, you can have all the features of the mid-level app along with technically advanced features like progress tracker, modern payment integrations, group video conferencing, etc. This app will take a year to develop and will take at least $250,000.

Create a medical app

It is always good to do some homework before signing up a contract with a company for your app development project. Don’t forget to check their projects to have an idea about their working style and commitment towards their clients. We would suggest you have a look at Origami Studios which is one of the leading mobile app development firms in the USA. They have a great portfolio full of happy clients with successful apps. All of their apps have received a 5-star rating on the app stores and are used by a huge number of people across the continents. They can deliver a HIPAA-compliant medical app for users in Canada, USA, and Australia so you can get in touch with them without any hesitation.

Closing Notes

Having a medical mobile app launched in the market is by far the best form of investment. The market has a huge potential to grow, but is developing a medical app the same as other apps? It for sure is not the same! A medical app has a lot of features that make it different from the market and above all, it has to be compliant with the rules and regulations of the industry. It would not be wrong to say that it takes a different approach and highly skilled developers to launch a flawless medical app.

You can either create a medical app yourself or seek services from an app development company. The app development companies existing in the market can provide you apps just like you want on a suitable budget on a promised delivery date. This can provide you with a lot of benefits including saving your time, cost, and manpower. However, some steps remain the same for you no matter which path you choose. It is crucial for you to do some research about your competitors, users, and features of similar apps available in the market. Decide the goals you want to achieve and the process you are going to follow. Also, don’t lose touch with the users or the developers who signed up to create a medical app for you. Ensure that you enjoy the whole process and take every step wisely so you end up with a mobile app that has a way to go in the market.

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