How To Build A Healthcare App

According to the latest data, approximately 20 percent of Americans use an app to track health statistics.

The demand for health and healthcare-related apps is strong, especially for ones that can serve as extensions of medical clinics and healthcare practices. Have you ever thought about developing one for your patients?

If you’re interested in delving into the world of healthcare apps but aren’t sure how to get started, keep reading. Outlined below is everything you need to know about building an effective and profitable healthcare app.

Benefits of Building a Healthcare App

Why would you want to build a healthcare app? How would it make your patients’ lives better?

Here are some benefits of these kinds of apps that you might not have considered previously:

Provide Better Care to People in Rural Areas

One of the main advantages of healthcare apps is the fact that they provide more accessible healthcare to people who live in rural areas.

Over 46 million Americans (that’s 15 percent of the population) live in rural areas, and they face many health disparities as a result. For example, rates of unintentional injury deaths are approximately 50 percent higher in these areas compared to urban ones.

If more of these people had access to a high-performing, well-designed healthcare app, they may have an easier time receiving the care that they need, even when they can’t travel to a doctor’s office and seek treatment in person. 

Provide More Data to Doctors and Nurses

Lots of healthcare apps sync with wearable fitness tracking devices. When doctors have access to their patients’ data, they gain a lot of valuable insight into these people’s lives.

If doctors and nurses can review data collected from their patients (such as a person’s heart rate throughout the day or the amount of exercise they’re getting on average), it’s easier for them to understand their patients’ lifestyles. Then, they can provide advice that is better tailored to each individual and can yield better results in the long term. 

Reduce Incorrect Diagnosis Risk

Healthcare apps make it easier for healthcare workers to provide accurate diagnoses, especially when they’re providing remote care. For example, some healthcare apps allow patients to take pictures or record videos to send to their doctor.

This allows doctors to see exactly what they’re working with when it comes to injuries, coughs, sore throats, etc. The more information they have, the easier it is to deliver a correct diagnosis and make the right treatment recommendations.

Reduce Healthcare Expenses

Healthcare apps can help patients to reduce their healthcare expenses.

Often, remote doctor appointments are less expensive than in-person ones, and patients who choose this option also don’t have to worry about paying for gas or paying for another form of transportation (such as a bus ticket). They can save money and receive care from the comfort of their own homes.

Healthcare apps can also provide valuable information to patients who might have questions but don’t necessarily need a full consultation with a doctor or nurse. Many healthcare apps offer information hubs to answer frequently asked questions or provide general guidance to point people in the right direction. 

Provide Better Preventive Care

Healthcare apps can also help physicians and other healthcare workers to provide better preventive care to their patients.

By assessing patients’ data and getting a sense of their daily habits, it’s easier for healthcare workers to identify potentially problematic habits or aspects of a person’s life. Then, they can make recommendations that the patient will likely have an easier time implementing into their routines.  

How to Build a Healthcare App

Now, let’s get specific. What kind of steps will you need to take to build a high-performing healthcare app that provides the benefits listed above?

There’s not a one-size-fits-all approach to app-building, but we recommend starting with the following steps:

Choose a Healthcare App Type

Start by deciding what kind of healthcare app you want to create.

There are lots of different types of apps you can develop, depending on your goals, your patients’ needs, etc. However, here are some examples of what you can offer

  • Clinical assistance: This kind of app offers access to electronic medical records, such as digital images, laboratory results, patient charts, etc.
  • Scheduling and reminders: This kind of app helps physicians and administrative assistants to schedule appointments and administer reminders
  • Telehealth and remote monitoring: This kind of app will remotely transmit patient information to providers in various locations
  • Medical resource and education: This kind of app provides access to educational resources, such as clinical references, drug-related information, and more
  • Health and lifestyle: These kinds of apps can be used for tracking personal health or fitness information; some of these apps also transmit patient information directly to their healthcare provider

Consider Essential Functions and Features

Once you know what kind of app you want to build, your next job is to think about the essential functions and features you want it to include.

For example, will your app need camera access or GPS features? Do you want to build an app that allows users to share other information with their healthcare provider?

Make a list of the most important features now. That way, you won’t forget anything later on in the development process when it’s harder to make updates. 

Consider App Design

Think about your app’s design, too.

A healthcare app needs to be easy to navigate and provide a good user experience. This is especially true if the majority of your patients are elderly or not tech-savvy for any other reason.

In addition to usability, factor in branding when you’re making decisions for your app. For example, make sure the colors used in your app design are the same as the colors used in your clinic or practice’s logo and other marketing materials. 

Prioritize Privacy and Compliance

Privacy and user security are always important in the app-building world. When it comes to healthcare apps, though, you need to take security even more seriously.

People are going to be inputting and sharing personal data through your app, so you and your development team will need to work extra hard to make sure they’re safe and can use the app with confidence. 

Focus on Accessibility

Healthcare apps (and those who develop them) should also take accessibility seriously. The more people who can use your app without having to jump through a bunch of hoops, the more effective and profitable it is likely to be.

Some examples of accessibility in app design include:

  • Clear headings
  • The ability to adjust the font size
  • Voiceover/narration features
  • Subtitles for videos
  • Assistive Touch for those with impaired motor skills

Choose the Right App Platform

When you’re building a healthcare app, you should consider whether you want it to be available for Android devices, iOS devices, or both.

Eventually, you’ll probably want everyone to be able to access your app, regardless of the type of device they have. In the beginning, though, you may need to pick just one, depending on the type of device the majority of your patients or clients use.

Find the Right Development Team

If you don’t have the experience necessary to build a healthcare app from the ground up, you’ll need to hire a development team to help you.

Try to find a team that has experience working on healthcare apps. They’ll have a better understanding of what healthcare apps (and the people who use them) require, which will make it easier for you to put out a quality product.

Test and Assess Your App

When the app development process is finished, make sure you test it thoroughly before releasing it to the world.

Be sure to test all aspects of the app to catch potential issues before you launch it. It’s best to have multiple people, including those with disabilities, test your app, too, so you can ensure all of the accessibility features work properly.

Launch and Monitor Your App

Finally, when testing is complete, you’ll be ready to launch your app.

Once it’s available for your patients to download, monitor its performance closely. Take particular note of the download rate, the number of sessions it’s generating, and the reviews it’s receiving through the app store.

Our Healthcare App Development Process

Our team at Digital Engage uses a distinct, expertly designed process to develop apps for a wide range of clients. If you partner with us to build your healthcare app, here’s what you can expect from our approach to app development:

Research and Prototyping

Whenever we take on a new app development project, we start by doing our homework.

We begin with a deep dive into your client base and do plenty of research to ensure we understand the people for whom we’re creating the app.

We want to know about your target customer’s age, gender, interests, app design preferences, and more. The more information we have, the easier it is for us to create a healthcare app that they will want to download and use. 

When we’ve finished our research, we move on to prototyping.

Prototyping involves creating a working (but not fully functional) model of your app. Because we take the time to create a prototype, it’s easier for us to finalize the design and layout of your app and avoid potential usability and user experience issues later.

Backend Development

After you’ve approved the prototype of your healthcare app, the next step is backend development. This is the behind-the-scenes work that allows us to create a highly functional, high-performing app from the ground up.

Because we take backend development seriously, our team runs into fewer problems later on when we’re trying to finalize the app. Not only does this help us get your app launched and on the market faster, but it also helps you to avoid expensive updates and changes later.

Frontend Development

Once the backend development process is complete, we’ll start working on the frontend. The frontend of your app is all the aspects that your target customer will see and engage with, such as the home screen, various dashboards that showcase health statistics and data, blog posts, and more.  

When we work on frontend development, we pay special attention to both the appearance of your app and its usability. We want to make sure it’s easy to navigate and has an intuitive design that your patients, clients, or customers can figure out without a lot of guesswork.

Quality Assurance

When you partner with our team at Digital Engage, you can feel confident that your healthcare app will be thoroughly tested before it’s launched. We have an in-depth quality assurance process that we go through with every app we develop.

We’ll assess all of the app’s features and functions to ensure everything works properly. If any red flags arise, we’ll correct them as quickly as possible, then retest to give you (and ourselves) peace of mind.


When we’ve finished the quality assurance tests and are satisfied with your healthcare app’s performance (and when you’ve given your final approval, of course), we’ll go ahead and launch your app.

Once people can start downloading it and using it, we’ll monitor various aspects of the app’s performance and keep track of essential KPIs, from the number of downloads it gets to the number of sessions it generates. 

Start Building Your Healthcare App Today

Are you ready to move forward with your healthcare app? Now that you know more about what it takes to build a great healthcare app, as well as the specific process we go through with our clients, you might be feeling a little more confident about turning your vision into a reality.

If you want to work with the best to create an impressive healthcare app, we’re here to make that happen at Digital Engage. We’ve got everything you need to develop a functional, user-friendly app in no time.

Reach out to us today for more information on our healthcare app development services.

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