Future challenges for the development of healthcare applications
Don’t you appreciate the convenience of accessing everything from your phone? These days you don’t have to go to the hospital to check your blood pressure. All you need is a cell phone. Applications are essential to ensure such services. Thanks to an app, you can improve your training routine, monitor your medication consumption, access a medical center or store your health measurements. Doctors can also diagnose patients remotely, seek a second opinion, take on management roles, and access education. For more cases, you can follow this link.
Healthcare apps improve the flexibility and accessibility of healthcare. Although most solutions have not yet established themselves in the market, they remain a valuable tool for any startup operating in the healthcare sector. But these apps have unique challenges, primarily due to the sensitive and complex nature of the data they collect.
Security and confidentiality
Data security is a burning issue in the high tech world, where everyone has access to the Internet. Cyber attacks are common in various fields, where hackers access sensitive data for malicious purposes. The level of security that a medical app should offer is almost similar to that of financial apps. Users need to be confident that their prescriptions, diagnostics, insurance information, contacts, or other sensitive information is safe. There are laws that protect user privacy and every developer must fully comply with them. Developers also need to dig deeper and create strong security measures like multi-factor authentication. This is where a user applies a combination of access methods, like password, voice verification, fingerprint, face scan, and retina scan.
Different laws for different places
To further complicate matters, different locations have different data security regulations. For example, in the United States, the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act is in effect. There are also privacy laws in every state that affect the development of healthcare apps. Applications that must comply with HIPAA are those that share private information with parties like doctors or insurance companies. Health applications that facilitate the storage of user information do not need to comply.
Each application receives a unique analysis before its implementation. Due to the requirement of privacy law compliance in different areas, most healthcare apps have a location limit. It is not easy to develop an application for international use, especially if it is about sharing information. So, it may be easier for a startup to map out an area, conform to their needs, and then grow while making changes.
The size of health data
Some healthcare applications process huge volumes of data, such as those that perform precise analysis of patterns. With this, healthcare professionals can predict epidemics and start vaccine development and administration at an early stage. Google’s Deepmind Health and IBM’s Watson are good examples of applications that manage big data. They both use artificial intelligence in sorting data and providing processing. AI comes with high operational costs, which can be a huge downside for a startup. The technology is also unable to reach the level of precision of human intelligence.
The management of big data poses a problem as soon as it is collected. Thus, developers must prioritize the information they deem important. The costs of storing large volumes of data are also too high for most startups. The amount of health data is continuously increasing, which requires a flexible storage system. Some developers have on-premise storage, where they control data access and security. However, this can be difficult to maintain and scale, which can lead to data silos.
Each year, new trends appear in the field of health. People are constantly adapting to new lifestyles and learning new habits. The changes turn into market trends, which the healthcare app must take into account. Thus, any developer of the healthcare market must be vigilant and follow trends. While this is a huge chance to bring about disruptive change in the industry, it can be a headache for other market participants. Nonetheless, it is a chance to provide better services to people and to make huge returns on investment.
Thorough market research is an important process before developing an app. But research may require funding depending on its nature. The health sector is constantly expanding with the increase in the world’s population. Thus, developers need more funds to meet basic needs like storing or sorting data. Additionally, update costs need to be considered due to the volatile nature of the healthcare market. For startups, it may be easier to outsource development services in order to get the best result within a certain budget. However, a small budget does not dictate a bad application. It is possible to build around certain key areas first.
Rapid technological development has paved the way for new electronic devices. How users react to your app depends on how they can interact with it. This translates into the app’s compatibility with new gadgets. People are now increasingly using smartwatches for health activities like monitoring their heart rate or tracking their workout routine. For your app to be successful in the market, it needs constant optimization for future devices. Proper research is also required to understand the UI / UX elements and frameworks required by Google or Apple operating systems.
Healthcare apps are one of the best ways to keep the interaction between patients and doctors going. In addition to saving everyone’s time, patients become more aware of their health and the treatment procedure is more efficient. Such advantages make the development of healthcare applications a lucrative investment. A good app developer should anticipate changes in the market through constant research. This will ensure that the application meets the intended needs and remains relevant. But a budget for such changes is also necessary.