Technology revolutions come and go. But some go beyond the hype and transform industries and the way we live our lives. The Internet of Things (IoT) within the healthcare sector is one such disruption that will have a direct impact on just about everyone.
By now, most of us have had some experiences with IoT devices. Whether it’s the Amazon Alexa-powered Echo, FitBit, or Google Home, IoT has already worked its way into our daily routines.
However, it’s interesting to note that this year, as much as 40% of IoT devices around the planet will be used within the healthcare industry.
So if you’re building an app leveraging the Internet of Medical Things (IoMT), what do you have to do to bring your healthcare app to market?
At Intersog, we have worked within eHealth for years. To provide some valuable insights, we audited our extensive experience and came up with the following tips that’ll help bring your IoT healthcare app to market, rapidly, and cost-effectively.
Tip One: Focus on Your Key Objectives
The best way to save time, money, and build a successful IoMT app depends on formulating clear objectives. What are your end goals? How do you plan to achieve them?
Whether you’re trying to optimize remote monitoring protocols or finding a better way to collect and manage sensitive patient data, extensive planning will help identify potential bottlenecks and opportunities for growth.
It’s also the best approach to better understand what skills and technologies will be needed to build a robust IoT healthcare app and achieve your targets.
Tip Two: Focus on Outcome-Based Solutions
To accelerate time to market, the outcome should be decided before a single line of code is written. This approach ensures that everyone is on the same page before spending a single penny.
The Salus Telehealth App, for example, was developed to empower patients by enabling affordable, transparent, seamless access to quality healthcare. In this scenario, Dr. Charles Butler, MD, Chairman of the Board at Salus Telehealth, and Chief Executive Officer at Butler Enterprises, reached out to Intersog to help build native Android and iOS video chat applications.
As the goals were clearly laid out, we were able to start working on the project quickly. Once the healthcare IoT app hit the market, patients were able to identify world-renowned specialists, find a second opinion, or a new physician within seconds.
They were also able to choose their doctor, schedule appointments, and even engage in consultations via the mobile app.
Tip Three: Be Wise When Selecting a Platform
The success of any IoMT app will depend heavily on how well it integrates with different solutions. This makes it vital for anyone developing an eHealth app to select a platform that seamlessly integrates with present and future solutions.
However, this is easier said than done!
Various smart solutions focus on different functional areas. For example, one can be focused on collecting general patient data while another can concentrate on monitoring blood sugar levels in real-time.
Regardless of the end goal, it’ll be crucial to choose a solution that enables agility. You also have to build a solution that can scale seamlessly to meet market demands and easily integrate with future technologies.
So it’ll be critical to make an informed decision about the programming languages and key APIs used to build the app.
Tip Four: Hire Senior-Level Developers
These days, timing is everything. If your time to market keeps getting pushed back, you risk losing out to a competitor.
Whenever this is the case, it’s best to work with highly experienced software engineers who can help you build a robust product quickly. When you hire senior developers, you can minimize the learning curve and get to work almost immediately.
This was precisely the case when a client (under NDA) reached out to us to develop a native iOS application to compliment three revolutionary IoT devices.
Even with the ongoing tech talent shortage, it was important to release the app as soon as possible. That’s where our extensive pool of senior software engineers in North America and Ukraine came to the rescue.
With our help, the company also accessed top tech talent while saving as much as 50% of its development budget. After development and testing were complete, the app was featured on Apple’s App Store as one of the Best Health Apps and one of the Best Apps for Apple Pay.
Tip Five: Don’t Forget about Efficiently Managing Big Data
Your IoT healthcare app will only be as good as the data it works with. For example, you’ll have to work with oceans of data in real-time, and that’s not always easy.
To manage it successfully, start thinking about how you’re going to effectively work with all this data right from the ideation phase. Think of efficient ways to analyze it to derive valuable insights.
Tip Six: Embrace Edge Computing
Whenever time is critical to patient outcomes, it’s best to process the data on “the edge.” Edge computing helps accelerate data processing as the data will be analyzed close to where it’s created rather than at a data center (far away).
This approach helps minimize the risk of data loss while maintaining its integrity. In this scenario, the data will be processed by smart endpoints at the edge. Alternatively, all or a partial volume of data can be sent to a central repository for processing and storage.
Tip Seven: Make Cybersecurity a Priority
Bad actors are targeting healthcare institutions relentlessly. So you have to keep finding innovative ways to store and retrieve sensitive patient information without increasing your exposure to risk.
A data breach can quickly lead to compliance violations, hefty fines, lawsuits, and more. One of the best ways to approach this problem is to build security protocols right into the software and hardware.
But it shouldn’t stop there. As cybercriminals won’t stop trying to breach healthcare systems, one must always be proactive to stay one step ahead.
Tip Eight: Test, Test, Test!
Although you might be in a rush to get your product out, it’s crucial not to forget about testing. Whether it’s user experience, data security, or functionality, testing will ensure that your app works as intended while maintaining strict compliance.
Whether it’s a native Android, iOS, or hybrid app, it’ll be essential to have a QA team to engage in the following:
- Functional testing
- Integration testing
- Performance testing
- Regression testing
- Security testing
- Unit testing
The above is necessary for all mobile apps, but even more because we’re talking about IoMT. As patient lives will be on the line, testing is a process that shouldn’t be rushed or taken lightly.
Tip Nine: Get 5G Ready
5G is about to be just about everywhere, so if you’re building an IoMT app in 2020, make sure that it’s 5G ready. This technology will optimize healthcare IoT initiatives and take it to the next level.
As North America and Europe rapidly adopt 5G cellular technology, experts liken this scenario to stepping up from a typewriter to a computer. In eHealth, Ericsson forecasts a $76 billion revenue opportunity by 2026 created by 5G-focused digital transformation.
Tip Ten: Partner with an Established IoMT Application Developer
For startups and established businesses alike, the tech talent shortage continues to maintain its place as a significant barrier to innovation. The healthcare sector is no different.
When you partner with an established healthcare IoT application developer, you can also benefit from their wealth of experience within the field. What’s more, this approach will come without all the extra HR-related headaches and indirect overheads.
At Intersog, we have helped companies drive innovation within the healthcare industry to deliver enhanced patient experiences. We have also helped the sector provide better service by optimizing other functions within a healthcare institution. Talk to us before you embark on your next healthcare IoT application development project. Our experts will be happy to share their experiences in a commitment-free consultation.