The healthcare industry has always been on the cutting edge of technology, as advancements have long helped provide better care p to patients. That said, the development of a healthcare mobile app is an excellent way to contribute to better medical standards, improve patient engagement, and streamline access to medical services.
Plus, this niche offers a high return on investment. Since people always need healthcare, digitizing the industry is a future-proof approach. It puts your company at the forefront of innovation, reaping the associated rewards. However, this field is quite complex and requires know-how to get into.
In this guide, JetBase will use its rich experience and insights to guide you through healthcare app development and its unique aspects. We will talk about the value it brings, the current state of the market, and the benefits of creating such apps. Our article will also include feature and monetization ideas and ways to make your project cost-effective. We will also tell you about the approximate cost and duration of developing different types of applications for the healthcare industry and what the duration and price depend on.
By sharing our knowledge of healthcare apps, we aim to encourage others to join a good cause and understand it on a deeper level. Health app development can be rewarding if the final product is solid and offers unique value. From custom features to a clean UI/UX design, the development process dictates the quality and, thus, your product’s overall success.
JetBase has extensive experience in creating successful healthcare apps. That, in turn, brings both profit and a well-earned reputation to companies putting their time and money into making such applications. So, without further ado, let’s discuss the specifics of healthcare apps and their development.
There isn’t one mold that contains all aspects of healthcare app development. Although you might think of a specific product type here, the market is pretty diverse. In particular, healthcare apps cover fitness tracking, digital prescriptions, online consultations with doctors, and more.
While digital health app development has some unique challenges, like legal compliance and data security, they are advantageous in many ways. The core value lies in streamlining healthcare processes and making particular aspects of the industry more accessible.
Healthcare apps reduce the time it takes for a patient to see a doctor. Besides, they eliminate bureaucracy thanks to digital prescriptions and record keeping. Plus, patients can communicate with doctors without leaving their homes. It helps people with disabilities and seniors, who often find in-person visits challenging or inconvenient.
Healthcare apps come in handy for both patients and healthcare professionals, depending on the feature set included. If done right, such an app can even change someone’s life for the better, allowing them to get timely medical care. But what makes an application part of the healthcare industry in the first place? Let’s address that in our next section.
So, what counts as a healthcare app? In a nutshell, that’s any application aimed at doctors or patients with features centered around health healthcare. It doesn’t have to be directly related to a healthcare-providing company or institution. What matters are the app’s core functions and the target audience.
If an app helps people improve their health or diagnose their symptoms, it’s definitely a health app. Things like diets and fitness are all part of our physical and mental well-being. Thus, apps covering those aspects are also healthcare-related.
As for healthcare mobile application development, the current state of things is quite promising. After a few years of uncertainty, the market is on an upward trend again. New technological trends, such as artificial intelligence use, are introducing new possibilities for more effective patient care and faster processing. So now, joining the market seems to be a smart move.
However, developing such an app requires a deeper understanding of the product. Next, we will discuss the general types of healthcare applications, as the market is quite saturated. From doctor-centric solutions to ones aimed at patients, here are the core options.
While there is no set classification, it’s easy to point out some of the most common healthcare mobile application development types. Note that different sources might name various types. However, we’re here not to overview a comprehensive catalog but to showcase the diversity and flexibility of the healthcare field.
The name is quite self-explanatory here. Doctors and clinics use this app to track patients’ vitals and activity. Medical professionals use smartwatches and FitBits to track sleep cycles, physical activity, and other metrics relevant to diagnosing. JetBase created an app of this type to help doctors regularly measure patients’ health data.
It’s an effective way to monitor patients long-term without using proprietary tech or keeping them on-site. It also cuts the cost of patient monitoring but doesn’t sacrifice the quality of medical services. However, this type of app requires explicit consent from the patient for data processing, which creates additional legal requirements to fulfill on the developers’ side.
These apps allow for tracking chronic or long-term disease symptoms and measuring changes in the patient’s state. Depending on the app's complexity and features, they can be helpful for medical professionals and patients. Regardless of the user type, the goal here is to collect and analyze data on the disease.
This analysis helps understand the disease better and find ways for the patients to manage it. As chronic diseases impact the day-to-day lives of those suffering, the app offers insight into managing the effects of the illnesses to alleviate the problem.
Most such apps cover a broad set of diseases instead of a specific one, though exceptions exist. For example, AsthmaMD, as you might guess from the name, serves asthma patients. It keeps track of their triggers, medicine intake, and attack patterns. A patient can even submit the recorded data directly to researchers working with asthma cases.
While some would hesitate to categorize lifestyle apps as healthcare-adjacent, we find them closely connected. With these apps, people track their water intake, regulate their sleep schedules, and cultivate healthy habits, contributing to better health overall.
Such applications usually focus on regular people. They don’t include data exchange between patients and medical institutions. Therefore, dealing with legal compliance issues will be easier, making the healthcare mobile app development smoother.
One downside of going for this type is market saturation, as such apps have a broader appeal than some other categories. However, there’s still a chance to capture your niche, offering a solid set of features and high-quality design.
Focused specifically on physical health and training, apps like Nike Training Club track calorie intake, burning, and the frequency and quality of workouts. The key here is plentiful data collection, which is easier if your app supports wearable devices. For example, users can track their pulse and heart rate during a workout if it gathers information from a smartwatch.
Fitness apps may also serve various smaller target audiences by narrowing their focus. There are specific applications for runners, yoga fans, and those looking for a better diet. If you cater to a smaller niche with a high-quality app, you will likely catch on and make a difference.
While we’ll talk about monetization a bit later, let’s point out that it’s one of the most accessible app types to monetize. Adding some premium features, like a digital AI-powered workout helper or in-depth analysis of workout data, assists in cultivating a paying audience.
Although we’re grouping all apps related to mental health here, it’s also possible to divide them into sections like remote patient and disease monitoring. Many monitor mental wellness through journaling or digital check-ins with a therapist (for example, that’s what Headspace offers). Others provide full online sessions, letting patients discuss their problems without going to a therapist’s office.
Just as with all apps that connect doctors to patients, mental health applications require special care for users’ data. Of course, that only applies to apps featuring that interaction. Opting for a regular journaling function makes things easier but also comes with stiffer competition.
Perhaps the most intricate of all types, these are apps for medical institutions and healthcare workers. With their help, doctors and nurses store patient data, edit it, and perform other related operations. Therefore, they must ensure robust security.
In addition, records should often be accessible to people from all over the country (or even abroad). That means you’ll have to work on reliable cloud storage with multiple access layers for privacy and, ideally, collaborative functions. Thus, multiple doctors can work with patients and their data, making your app more valuable.
Also known as telemedicine, these apps have seen a slight dip in popularity after the end of the COVID-19 pandemic, at least in the USA. Still, many patients and healthcare professionals keep using them, so this market niche remains relevant. These apps rely primarily on good call processing, as visuals and sound are critical to the consultations’ quality. JetBase had experience developing an app of this type, which we’ll discuss in the next section.
For now, though, we’d like to note that healthcare apps have many nuances. And, if you want to develop one, it doesn’t have to fit a preset category. Experimenting and discovering what people need is vital to success.
Now, let’s discuss some specific examples of apps as opposed to the types listed above. In this section, we will explore some notable applications from the healthcare industry. We’ll also provide examples from the JetBase portfolio, highlighting insights from our experience. Thus, you’ll gain a better understanding of the market and its specifics.
Promoted by Apple itself, Amwell connects patients with doctors through online calls. The app services both patients and healthcare professionals, going as far as providing the necessary hardware for the calls. One major advantage of Amwell is simplified payment processes, allowing employers to cover any services their staff uses.
From our own experience, JetBase handled mobile health app development for a similar project. Created during the COVID pandemic, this app provided people with medical consultations without booking in-person meetings. Our team designed a clean, straightforward UI, ensuring intuitiveness for non-tech-savvy users.
Next, we created a multi-tenant system. With its help, doctors can store and process their patients’ data. JetBase emphasized security and scalability, using AWS to guarantee the app wouldn’t experience unscheduled downtime.
As for the patient side, a user can pick an appropriate time slot and book a consultation. Also, it’s possible to message the doctor beforehand. We also established communication through an open chat during the meeting and afterward. Plus, all records are stored in the app, making it easy for doctors to learn everything about their patients’ medical history.
One of the most unusual offerings on the healthcare market, PatientPoint, seeks to inform patients about diseases, including their treatment and prevention. It comes as a mobile app and a multi-device educational network.
In practice, patients can check their phones for extensive information on any diagnosis. However, to ensure that even idle waiting in the doctor’s office is useful, the same quality tips appear on TVs and computer screens at the reception. PatientPoint takes one of the main pain points of modern healthcare — long wait times — and adds a positive element.
Another JetBase creation, this health monitoring app was made to help doctors keep a closer eye on their patients’ health. While a strict NDA covers many intriguing details, we can discuss using real-time data streaming to sync up information from patients’ devices. This helps doctors understand the behavior and habits of their patients and give them more precise health advice.
Another important aspect lay in refining the UI/UX design, as the solution focused on non-tech people. We focused on making the app easy to understand so that patients of all ages could use it with ease. Accessibility was the key guideline, and we delivered on that task.
This prominent health app has garnered millions of fans on iOS and Android. Though the name might imply it’s a workout helper, MyFitnessPal is a handy dieting tool. The app counts calories and assists in sticking to diets like intermittent fasting. Plus, this solution tracks macro and micronutrients and water intake.
While this description may sound simple, the app’s clean design and plentiful dieting information have made it a hit. The MyFitnessPal example proves that when it comes to app development, healthcare has a huge emphasis on quality.
This rounds off our list of popular apps, though many other examples exist. If you want to hear more about a specific subtype of healthcare apps, consider booking a consultation with JetBase. Our team will gladly share more insight into what drives apps to succeed in this market.
As you can see, healthcare apps vary in their types, purposes, and specifics. And, of course, healthcare mobile application development reflects this diversity. Ensuring your app’s purpose is key to a smooth development process, leading to a high-quality product.
So now, let’s discuss the essential use cases for a healthcare app and highlight why they’re popular. After all, creating a product that the market wants is crucial, as it’s the most surefire way to gain an audience. The following list slightly overlaps with app types, of course, but offers a broader look at the uses of these apps and the current market trends.
One of the most common reasons for mobile health application development is data processing for medical institutions. Whether storing, transferring, or processing that data, healthcare apps can deliver the required functionality. The aforementioned mobile app project asked JetBase to develop an app for this particular use case, focusing on scalability and data transfer.
Here, how an app delivers those features is critical, as most companies have the same concerns and priorities. Chief among them is security, as patient data is one of the most sensitive kinds of information, leading to strict regulations and compliance requirements. In particular, you should comply with numerous limitations and conditions. But for this sector, these aspects of work are natural.
There is always more demand for these systems since new capabilities arise as technology evolves. It allows medical institutions to transfer data faster, automate manual tasks, and protect patients’ information more effectively. As a result, this use case is pretty much evergreen and will always be relevant in mobile healthcare application development.
Another widespread use case is relying on apps to supplement medical staff’s training or educate patients. Indeed, medical professionals do the bulk of their learning in practice. But with the help of some lessons in a digital format, they can remember and internalize information better.
This direction is easier for the developers to work with as it doesn’t require particular security or data processing practices. What matters most here is the content and how an app delivers it. Besides, educational apps should encourage repetitive use. So, offering lots of value is critical.
While hospitals exist to cure people, they are still businesses requiring careful planning, resource management, and client communication. It makes healthcare apps development for EMR and CRM purposes an essential use case.
With such systems, any patient’s medical history is instantly available from any device. This helps medical staff understand the case better and provide optimal treatment. This can be followed up with CRM solutions that track patient satisfaction with the care they receive. By analyzing data through a quality CRM system, a clinic understands what it lacks and how to improve its services.
This use case applies to dieting, fitness, mental health apps, and women’s health apps. Each of these types is familiar even to the layperson. Period tracking, calorie counting, and journaling are all standard practices in the digital space. Thus, many companies are trying to enter the market with new apps that offer such functions.
The problem here is a lack of innovation, which makes many offerings on the market blend. Fresh direction and ideas could rejuvenate this sector and capture a new audience. Your future app can make a splash if you’re striving to use new technologies, including AI-powered chatbots, predictive analysis systems, or Internet of Things (IoT) devices.
Thanks to the variety of app development, healthcare has seen multiple improvements. We’ll list just a few here to highlight the possibilities created by applications.
The ability to send a message to a patient where a doctor reminds them of a scheduled meeting or gives health advice benefits both parties. For doctors, it’s a more effective way to communicate with their patients and receive feedback. For patients, it leads to better care and streamlined connection with a healthcare professional.
Higher engagement through apps also helps educate patients on proper health precautions and warn them of potential health risks. It raises awareness of the general public, leading to healthier lifestyles.
Thanks to features like telemedicine and in-app live chats, patients from remote areas can receive medical consultations trouble-free. It extends the coverage of professional healthcare and enhances its accessibility. It’s particularly vital for low-mobility, older adults, and immunocompromised patients, eliminating the risk of visiting the hospital.
Apps can automate (or at least speed up) the bureaucratic parts of healthcare. Thanks to that, patient processing from the reception to the doctor's visit will go faster, saving time. Telemedicine is also helpful here, increasing the throughput of a single doctor with quicker consultations.
The key is to keep the quality of medical care on the same level while cutting down on time per patient. That’s possible with automation or more efficient manual processing, as the data remains secure.
During health app development, you can implement push notifications that prompt users to take their prescribed medication at set times. This way, doctors set reminders for patients and track their pill intake, guaranteeing that people follow their prescriptions accurately.
Besides, apps can securely store digital prescriptions. Partnering with pharmacy chains allows patients to receive their medication with only their smartphones. As a result, an app covers the payment and the proof of prescription with a few taps.
All the benefits and positive changes from mobile health app development can only happen if the resulting app is a high-quality product. In this case, quality means essential features and relevant technology. In this section, we’ll discuss what your app should have to remain competitive and bring real value to users, whether patients or doctors.
It’s a straightforward value add - you provide users with all the knowledge they need to detect their illnesses early and understand what their doctor visit should address. This way, patients will be aware of medical issues. Moreover, doctors can direct them to learn more about their diagnosis.
This feature also reduces wait times. With patients understanding their health better, they will spend less time between the start of the visit and the correct diagnosis.
Storage and processing of patients’ EHRs are the core of any healthcare app. They provide the foundation for all other functionality. From diagnosing to telemedicine to prescription tracking, it all requires access to the patient’s medical history.
Certain apps in the industry have turned to blockchain to store and edit EHRs securely. It’s not the standard solution yet, though. Another aspect of EHR management involves cloud storage, which makes the data accessible from any device or location with instant sync. Investing in secure and modern EHR storage establishes a value baseline for your app.
In 2023, data showed that 40% of adults in the US use health apps paired with wearables. The integration between the two is becoming common nowadays. Smartwatches and bracelets collect data on the user’s pulse, heart rate, physical activity, and more. Once the data is acquired, the app processes it, letting users know if they need to work out, rest, or diet.
As a result, wearables provide extra value in digital health app development. They deliver robust sets of data, which is more precise than the information users would self-report. Removing bias and human error from data collection means the app can offer better recommendations and analyze one’s health precisely.
While not every healthcare app features in-app payments, it’s often essential. Of course, integration with third-party payment processors is a must. But also, it’s worth paying extra attention to financial information. Some applications opt not to store it at all. It could be inconvenient for users as repeat payments would take more time.
Meanwhile, storing financial data means processing it securely, with a different set of rules and compliance requirements. Moreover, medical apps have a specific caveat of certain payments that should go through the patient’s insurance provider. It further complicates things, making professional developers’ involvement paramount.
Beyond telemedicine and the required video call feature that comes with it, healthcare apps often need other communication methods. These may include a live chat, where a patient texts with a doctor. It’s helpful for quick check-ins and follow-up questions after an in-person consultation.
Similarly, an AI-powered chatbot can answer basic questions about health and diagnosis. Patients can use it without taking time from a doctor’s busy workday. But note that chatbots also increase the cost of healthcare mobile application development. Licensing a large language model (LLM) isn’t cheap if you prioritize quality. But it provides an extra layer of care for the target audience.
Now, when you add in all these features during mobile healthcare application development, you may incur substantial expenses. We’ll discuss the development cost and what goes into it in a bit. For now, let’s talk about recouping those expenses. To make your application profitable, consider several monetization models:
This model only works for apps that offer recurring services or new premium content every month. By providing subscription plans with annual discounts, you entice users to stay loyal to your app and pay for its quality. This model is already time-tested, so you can build a good customer base when turning to it.
You can gate off certain content behind paywalls or provide unique paid features with one-time payments. It may include more extensive health data analysis, access to more treatment options, or processing payments related to doctors’ consultations.
The problem is that many of these one-time payments won’t become long-term money-makers. This option is best in tandem with some other monetization model. For example, you can combine it with our next choice — partnered content.
Partnering with medical institutions or pharmaceutical companies to promote their services and products is a simple way to make your app profitable. However, this aspect is heavily regulated in the healthcare industry, so you should pick partners carefully.
This model works best with a broad audience and a good reputation. That will make partners seek you out instead of your company having to “sell” your app as a good advertisement platform.
This is a common choice for monetization that works with telemedicine and other digital consultation forms. Every time a patient or doctor uses your app to connect with the other party, you take a small percentage of the payment. It works particularly well if your app directly processes the payments.
If it’s an in-app process, your customers won’t notice the small fee while receiving excellent care. In turn, you get a sustainable long-term monetization strategy that doesn’t require special conditions.
While the healthcare industry poses specific challenges, the core steps of health app development are similar to any other application niche. We’ll quickly list them below to give you a general idea of how to structure your work on your healthcare app.
At this point, you outline your goals, target audience, and desired features. You settle on a type of app, your budget for this project, and the features that you want to see. Careful planning is an excellent way to save money and ensure the app’s success. Without a clear understanding of your final product, you can’t expect it to be a hit.
Doing comprehensive research on your target market and the niche is also crucial. Thus, you will understand what’s missing and bring it to the table. Alternatively, you might decide that the initially wanted segment is oversaturated and pivot your development. Plus, it’s a good idea to settle on a monetization strategy at this stage.
At this stage, your team creates your app’s identity and look, which is crucial to standing out in a competitive market. Also, your designers can focus on the app’s UI and UX with extensive A/B testing.
We suggest emphasizing simple and clean UX. As healthcare apps are often vital for older people, making their use of your application simple and intuitive is essential. Avoid any confusion for that audience group and minimize the actions required for the desired result.
Creating an MVP is vital as it may serve as a proof of concept and a pit-stop for your team. At this stage, you can see how the final product will work and determine if anything needs modification. You can also use MVP in user acceptance testing to verify that your UI/UX is good enough and doesn’t need tweaking.
In JetBase’s experience of MVP development, it’s essential to follow up with a market-ready iteration. With custom features taking much time, the transition from MVP creation to developing a full-fledged version must go as smoothly and quickly as possible.
Once your development is nearing the end and you’re gearing up for the release, devote some time to testing and QA. Eliminating any rough edges and bugs lets your app make a splash when it launches. Also, it streamlines user base retention. Plus, it’s time to start drumming up the audience’s interest. Consider reaching out to medical institutions or preparing ad campaigns for the launch.
Once the app is live, cover the following core aspects: assess its performance and provide post-release maintenance and updates as needed. The first few months after your product launches determine its future. Analyzing the data you receive is vital for adjusting your course. Plus, timely updates and bug fixes show your target audience that you care about providing a high-quality service.
Now, let’s break down the costs associated with healthcare mobile app development. They vary depending on the features and technologies you choose. However, there is a certain baseline you can expect, affected by the following factors.
Depending on what you decide to put in your application and how complex its architecture is, the price can rise substantially. It’s crucial to balance adding essential features with a reliable, scalable foundation and the cost of this quality.
Similarly, investing in your app’s UI and UX is a must, but there are ways to mitigate associated costs. For one, come to your design team with a clear branding vision. It will shorten the development time and reduce the number of required iterations.
It also helps to keep the app light. Remember that extra functionality means extra work and development time, both pushing the price upward.
Optimizing your app for various devices and operating systems also incurs serious expenses. Decide whether to support older devices, tablets, or lesser-used models. Not every platform needs a native app, making this a possible cost-cutting measure where you focus on the essentials.
If you intend to partner with hospitals and other medical institutions, integrating your app with their systems is necessary. It’s further complicated since many of them have their own proprietary architecture. Thus, the more your app’s network grows, the more you need to adapt.
However, it has a significant impact on the app’s quality. Sure, it costs more, but with every new system you integrate, you extend functionality and accessibility. It makes the app more competitive, becoming more beneficial to users.
At the same time, remember to keep security at the forefront of your development. Any third-party integration is inherently a risk. So, you must protect your app’s ecosystem and the points of access to outside systems.
Speaking of security, we’ve already mentioned HIPAA and GDPR can join the list. But note that your compliance procedures will vary based on the region you’re servicing. The US has specific rules, while Europe and Asia request entirely different practices.
One universally valid investment is encryption and layered access to data within the app, guaranteeing confidentiality. Your architecture should withstand attacks, and a potentially failing element shouldn’t affect others. Therefore, adding failsafes and backups is paramount.
As with any application type, extensive testing is a must. It guarantees you’re launching a high-quality product that will please users from the get-go. Otherwise, you risk missing bugs that may ruin the initial impression and hobble your launch campaign. Thus, it’s not the area to cut costs on.
|Research the market and lay out a clear development and launch strategy for your unique app.
|20 – 40
|$1000 – $2000
|Create and implement clean and modern UI and UX for a mobile app.
|70 – 140
|$3500 – $7000
|Deliver a first version of the final product to show its functionality
|150 – 300
|$7500 – $15000
|Market-ready version and QA
|Bring development to its final stage with a full-fledged product, polished through extensive testing.
|150 – 300
|$7500 – $15000
|Analyze market data, implement product updates, and offer customer support.
|70 – 140 monthly
|$3500 – $7000 monthly
Let’s sum up what we’ve talked about in this step-by-step guide to mobile health application development. First, we discussed the nature of healthcare apps and the most popular application types. Then, we looked at real-life success stories for inspiration, following up with some essential use cases.
Next, we discussed your health app's core benefits and must-have features. Finally, we rounded things off by discussing monetization models and the core development process stages. All in all, consider this guide your comprehensive intro to the world of healthcare apps development. However, the complexity of such apps demands much more than just an intro.
In particular, you need a professional and trustworthy tech partner to guide you in healthcare app creation. Whether you want a consultation or feel ready to lay out the plan for your mobile health app, JetBase is here to help. Our team has been on the market for over nine years, providing businesses with unique insights and lending our development services for ambitious projects. In addition to complex software development, we offer a free technical audit within 5 working days with the participation of our CTO.
We’ve already mentioned some of the healthcare app projects we’re proud of. JetBase makes high-quality apps from the MVP stage to their launch, followed by post-release support. Whether you want deep customization or a simple app to take the market by storm, we’re ready to join. So, to get started with mobile health application development — get in touch now!