Tips To Design And Develop Successful Mhealth Apps
- By Urvi
- Mobile Apps
Healthcare providers are now looking at mHealth apps as an effective means of offering patient care and communicating with the app users. Such applications designed for mobile devices make it easy for users to access information anytime, from anywhere. This saves time for both parties as well as increases customer satisfaction.
It is important to follow certain tips to ensure mHealth apps work as expected. They are:
Identify a problem
The foremost thing to consider when developing a mobile health app is to know why users will want such an app and how they will use it. Begin by finding an issue and justifying how it will be resolved by your mHealth app. Those who don’t understand this sentiment end up coming with an app that just mimics the existing ones and offers no function to healthcare. No doubt the app needs to be useful, but it should also be adding some value.
Know your target audience
Many healthcare providers make the mistake of not understanding the wants and needs of their target audience. As per a report of Accenture from 2016, it has been seen that two-third of the hospitals across the globe offers mobile apps to their patients to stay connected. However, only 2 per cent of that actually uses the app. Generally, such health apps are designed by the healthcare providers thinking they are very well aware of the users’ needs.
This means just having an app is not enough, it is important to develop one that is engaging and offers an excellent user experience. Users expect easy access to the services offered by the healthcare provider and if they don’t get what they are looking for then they will look elsewhere for the same.
When it comes to developing games, the use of gaming technologies has caught the attention of a certain set of audience. They try to keep the users interested and engaged in the app by incorporating contests, quizzes, and links for social media. The same can be used in chronic care management to understand behaviour changes and to target app user behaviours. When it comes to educating the users through some resources and guides, gamification has always proved to be effective. It is important to know what your target audience likes and whatnot.
Focus on sustainable, scalable, and simple design
It is advisable to develop the mobile health app in the form of different modules aligned together. This way, when there is an app upgrade or something needs to be changed due to an error, the needed module can be picked up from the app and can be inserted back once it has been worked upon. Instead of developing something from scratch, use the already developed models and frameworks that are successful.
Creating multiple entry points should be avoided especially in the case of other data points like a scheduling platform or an EHR. It has to be ensured that the integration with external apps has to be seamless so that it does not affect other things in routine. This works great when it comes to promoting scalability and sustainability.
Test the app repeatedly
Look for all the ways in which the app can be used and test each one of them out. If there are different features or functions within the app then you need to separate them and test them all. Collecting regular feedback on the app is important as it will let the developers plan their next iteration.
Get experts to check the security and privacy of the app
If the app is not easy to use then users will not download the app. This means building such an app for the healthcare industry of no use. So make sure the app is used in the proper manner and has a higher adoption rate, it has to be developed keeping the above-mentioned tips in mind.