How Is Patient-Centric Application Development Different?

The digital age has ushered in increased awareness, especially when it comes to one’s health. Today, people are highly motivated to not only monitor and maintain good health but also lead better lives through mindfulness.

Whether it’s patient medication adherence or counting the number of calories consumed, technology can potentially make us all live healthier lives and improve our experience at health institutions. 

In the consumer health and wellness space, wearables like Fitbit have become the norm. At the same time, we’re also starting to hear more stories about how wearables like the Apple Watch and third-party mobile apps like HeartWatch saved lives by alerting the wearer of a potential heart attack.

In the healthcare industry, this has created a unique situation where partitioners can provide better care by leveraging patient-centric healthcare apps, the internet of things and the data generated by them.

However, building these mobile apps can sometimes be a huge challenge as you have to find ways to serve the healthcare sector while adhering to strict industry regulations.

This means that there’s one significant difference between building consumer health and wellness apps and patient-centric apps that serve the industry.

So how should you approach patient-centric application development?  Let’s take a look.

Compliance Is Everything

Whether you’re developing an app for the commercial market or the healthcare industry, this whole process has to start with identifying a problem and solving it with your app. In fact, you have to have a thorough understanding of the problem and the key steps you need to take to resolve it efficiently.

Even if you’re developing a patient-centric app for smart devices like a smart blood pressure monitor, wireless smart scale, or even a wireless electrocardiogram monitor, you have to have a solid understanding of the use case and the target audience.

While you’re thinking about problems and solutions, it’s also important to keep privacy and security at the forefront of your mind. Doing this right from the beginning can help save you a lot of time and money.

This means that everyone on the team should have a deep understanding of the code of best practices from Xcertia (which is a collaboration between four major health associations):

In our experience of developing patient-centric apps for both Innlandet Hospital Trust and Video Medicine, Inc., thinking about maintaining compliance right from the beginning was key to the success of those development projects.

The Patient Journey Will Dictate the Success of the App

When you’re developing patient-centric health apps, you also have to focus on engaging the user at different touch points during their patient journey. As a result, it’s important to understand that different patient groups will have different needs during their patient journeys.

This means that you can’t just build one app to target different types of problems that they might have. Following this approach is highly likely to create a lot of confusion. For example, a patient-centric app focused on medication adherence shouldn’t also function as a fitness tracker or a heart rate monitor.

You should also make it clutter free and highly user-friendly as this will be key to the success of your app. For example, we developed an app for the University of Chicago Medical Center (UCMC) to enable any university personnel to easily submit service and help desk requests to their centralized service request team.

The challenge for us was to make it clutter free and easy to use while being able to handle all types of requests concerning hardware, software, medical equipment, or even maintenance requests. However, we were able to do it by building an app that was highly intuitive and visual to help UCMC achieve its goal of reducing the number of calls coming into their call center.

Whether it’s an app focused on healthcare facilities management (like the example above) or a patient-centric health app that helps provide improved care, a great project strategy will also strive to cut costs.

Are you looking for a patient-centric health app developer like Intersog for your next project? We can help! Reach out to one of our in-house experts now!

Andrew is our IT storyteller and copywriter. His current undertaking is big data analytics and CSS as well as digital design and branding. He is a contributor to various publications with a focus on new technology and marketing.

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