Social distancing employed almost overnight in the majority of the world, only reinforced the urgent need for healthcare app development.
The healthcare app market was predicted to grow even before the COVID-19 crisis and was forecasted to reach USD 213.6 billion by 2025.
Digital has a real potential to improve healthcare systems and patient care on various levels: from patient-doctor communication & doctor-doctor knowledge sharing and networking, through eliminating hospital and medical centers paperwork, up to taking care of such mundanes as health reminders.
The possibilities are endless and, because of the current crisis, governments are looking kindly on innovation, and investors are actively searching for new health initiatives.
Doctor-on-demand & telemedicine services
The necessity for wide adoption of telemedicine is a fact. Before COVID-19, research suggested that patients prefer face-to-face contact to remote consultations. But when the pandemic was at its peak, telemedicine-based services noticed a demand increase around 30%.
Coronavirus acted as a very much needed catalyst for healthcare stakeholders: from patients and doctors, getting familiar and fond of the new options, to big healthcare organizations seeing it as a great opportunity to optimize and boost their efficiency.
Telemedicine is not only a comfort for patients and doctors, as it saves time and commute costs. It is also a step towards better safety precautions for all.
There are a couple of successful tools on the market: Doctor on Demand, Amwell or Docplanner. But there's still room for improvement, and space on the market for new comprehensive solutions. We're talking tools for scheduling regular online doctor appointments, doctor-on-demand emergency consultations. These have to be apps that enable in-app video conferencing, swift file transfer, and payments all in one place. COVID-19 triggered medical centers to implement some guerrilla and ASAP-ready solutions (mobile calls, Skype or Zoom calls), but they will soon search for more stable options to integrate with their systems.
AI-based self-diagnosis apps
BUPA research showed that almost 50% of patients using search engines to self-diagnose see the result “cancer” at least once on the first page of their results.
AI possibilities are growing and are a glimmer of hope for healthcare in the unfair fight against unreliable self-diagnosing by “Dr. Google” and medical fake news circulating online.
AI-powered healthcare apps like symptom checkers or chatbots have the chance to empower patients with relevant knowledge based on the reliably aggregated information.
Only in the U.S., 12 million adults seeking medical care are being misdiagnosed every year. AI can also support doctors and medical practitioners with gathering valuable data on non-specific symptoms and hence contribute to research and even better medical assessment. No doctor can have substantial knowledge of all diseases circulating around, and this is where AI can come in handy, and contribute to giving the right diagnosis.
When partnered up with relevant healthcare organizations and clinics, symptom checkers can transform into pocket smart health assistants enhancing and altering the whole patient experience. Since partnerships with local healthcare institutions here appear crucial, it is unlikely that one solution will monopolize the market, there’s room to grow and market penetration.
Medical record apps
Patients seek solutions to collect all of their medical data, tests, and doctor visits in one place. A medical record mobile app is able to meet that need and replace paper records, or various systems that hold only bits and pieces of one's medical history.
The goal is to provide a solution that is able to aggregate all tests, visits and checkups in one place, and possibly at a later stage of development, to be able to compare the results over time (learn more about dividing the app's development scope here).
Healthcare organizations, medical centers, and hospitals need tools to help and guide them throughout the digital transformation, and they might be interested in implementing the solution and integrating it with their system, as it would lower the costs of developing their own solution from scratch.
A concept of a fitness companion app. See more on EL Passion Dribbble.
Health reminders & management apps
There are already many management and reminders apps out there, so this one may not appear as a win at first sight. However, there are many people with chronic diseases or conditions that require constant monitoring of certain stats and regular checkups. This is a niche worth taking care of, and worth taking care of on both ends.
It can be an app for self-management that would be helpful during a doctor consultation. But there’s potential demand for extending the adoption of the app to full doctor-patient communication. Such app could enable seamless scheduling and managing patient’s prescriptions, and monitoring medication dosages. It could offer an integration with a pharmacy, and as most of the chains already have their eCommerce infrastructure, it can allow for quicker order handling and prompt delivery of the meds to the patient.
There is room to grow and markets to penetrate
No matter which direction you want to pursue, remember that the idea is just the beginning, and you need a solid strategy for your digital product.
The strategy phase and thorough planning of your app are crucial to establish your market presence. You can learn more about what steps to take here!