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Creating a medical app is no easy task. There are many stages of development that can influence the final result of your product. As a medical entrepreneur, investing your money wisely is crucial. Choosing the right software developers can also impact the success of your product. In this article, I have selected 7 valuable tips for the development of your medical app. I hope some of my advice can guide you, let me know in the comments what you think!
We are now in the Age of the Hybrid Mobile App
Up to this point, most medical entrepreneurs have to decide which platform to invest their money (IOS, Windows, Android or MacOS). Today, hybrid apps allow developers to write code on one platform with minimal effort and port it into another. I believe this is a key factor for any medical entrepreneur. No matter what device users use, the app will look and feel the same with great functionality. Many aspects of hybrid app development are similar to Native apps. But what I like most about hybrid apps are how they are better at preserving time and capital for the stakeholders. By leveraging hybrid apps, developers can share a backend. This will bring the app to market faster and reduce overhead costs.
EMR integration – New options
Electronic Medical Record (EMR) integration is a required for many medical apps. Integrating the EMR with the data in apps have been problematic for developers. Some EMR’s charge developers to connect to their system. Others will not cooperate without requesting permission from specific medical organizations. Startups like Redox may be instigating change. Currently, Redox is offering a Health IT Interoperability API to over 120 apps. This will help coordinate data with other EMR providers.
Mobile-minded from the Start
Funding challenges and the desire to get an excellent beta version in the hand of testers means many startups begin with web-only solutions. Web-only solutions are certainly acceptable in the beginning as you develop your platform. But be aware that most users expect access to the site through their mobile device. As I mentioned before, hybrid apps allow developers the flexibility to focus on a website first and then go back later and make a mobile solution. Mobile accessibility is now an essential part of your app development. According to comScore, “71% of American’s mobile minutes are spent online.”
Minimum Viable Product (MVP) and your Future Releases
The MVP is the most basic product that functions in a production setting. It is the core purpose of the app. But it is important not to place all of your funds into the MVP because more work remains. A crucial aspect of the MVP technique is receiving customer feedback. All software should be considered as a work in progress. You should gear the product to what the customer truly desires. Do not assume what they want with a single wish list of expensive, potential features. To find out more about how to adapt to your customer’s need read this article about customer personas.
User Interface/ User Experience are two software design specialties that make your customers enjoy using your application and return for more. Your application needs to have a comparable experience to the best the web offers. Branding, clarity, and ease of use will impact your customer and profitability.
The world delivers the best software via iterations. By iterations, I mean to build a product, get people to use it, then slowly add features. The best way to manage this process is through Agile Software development practices. The Agile program is a simple management system that helps your developers deliver working code in a repeatable fashion. Before the development effort starts, I recommend that you take the time to learn more about agile development. If you are interested in reading more, I recommend this book: The Art of Agile Development.
Security and HIPAA Compliance- PHI= HIPAA
For your medical app, security is a priority, not only due to medical regulations but threats of malware and ransomware. Hence, there are many security requirements which creators must fulfill in order to publish their content. For example, Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA) compliance and FDA registration for a medical device.
If you gather, store or send protected medical information, you need to be HIPAA compliant. You need to plan for encryption, protected data centers, high levels of security, etc. While there are platforms to support you, including Amazon’s cloud infrastructure via Aptible, it is your responsibility to ensure that your team is implementing the proper protocols.
The FDA has rules on their site on what makes up a medical device and what does not. It is important to become familiar with both sets of rules and build the appropriate capabilities from the very beginning. You can find out more by reading through FDA’s regulations here.
Constructing a medical app goes far beyond budgeting wisely, and balancing grant funds. If you take your time, make smart decisions, and consistently get advice from those who have been successful, you will be well on your way. I wish you the best of luck, as you start developing your application! If you have any more questions email us at firstname.lastname@example.org