There are more and more talks nowadays in the IT world about the mobile medical apps changing healthcare technology. That’s why we have made up our mind to find out what should a modern healthcare app contain.
Let’s deal with the medical app functionality first.
The first thing we need, not only for our medical app but for the majority of mobile applications is the possibility to identify a user and to distinguish one client from another. To implement this function we have to embed registration and authorization options. Though it’s a basic and simple feature of our application, it’s rather important.
As a rule, in the course of medical app development, it’s enough to create a form with a minimum set of fields such as the Username and Password. You can also add here an e-mail (or put it instead of the Username) for sending out e-mail notifications, password recovery, and some other trifle needs. Looking ahead, it’s important to think of the users and remember how tiresome it is at times to fill in all those fields. That’s why to add the function of social media sign up and sign in is quite a good idea. A Facebook or Google account button simplifies the user’s life to a great extent. Do you agree?
Further on in the process of a healthcare app development, you must think over what a client would see after the logging in. It’s logical to assume that it should be some kind of a dashboard with certain important indicators, which can be updated, important events or notifications, possibly some notes about the last activity or something like this.
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The next item — is the user’s profile. It’s the section of the app where the most important information will be displayed and can be edited. The patient’s full name, blood group, allergy to certain medicines, last visit to a doctor and everything of such kind will be stored here. Several more fields, like blood pressure indices, can be added, but they are not of much importance. The users are not likely to update this information regularly, so we do not advise to implement the unnecessary features into your mobile app.
One more section, which should be added is booking an appointment with the doctor. The following aspects should be outlined here.
- Appointment with the doctor.
- Video call with a specialist.
Every feature has its target market that is why we have indicated several functionality types. A private clinic, for instance, may need to create a schedule of the doctors working in it or to make the online appointment possible for the patients. We would not explain it here, how convenient it is and what benefits it has. We will only mention that the options of displaying the specialist’s full profile with his photo and detailed info about him and his experience, even the patients’ feedbacks can be added here.
Another variant is a small service, which does not have a unified office or has several buildings on a certain territory. We can add up here the functionality of synchronization with the online calendar, sharing of events and various kinds of notifications. Google calendar, by the way, can be used with its synchronization options. Everything depends on the taste and preferences of the client.
Anyway, implementing such features we should think about the different kinds of doctors, about their specialization. One doctor cannot cure all the illnesses and diseases, you know. It’s important to take care not only about the doctor’s specialty but also about the time of booking and a good idea is to indicate the patient’s complaints.
Let’s look at the opportunity to communicate with the doctors by means of video calls. As usually, we have a choice here to create something from scratch or to make use of the ready-made solutions in our healthcare application development.
Here we should keep in mind that every medal has its reverse. On the one hand, we will get a solution which will meet our needs, on the other hand, we will deal with a solution, which requires developers, time, servers, tests, and much headache. As an experienced medical mobile app developer, we advise using the already existing solutions from the companies dealing with such features for a long time. We have experience of such powerful solutions integration as Twilio and Tokbox. They are very flexible and allow not only video calls but text chatting, audio calls, and even IP telephony. Besides, they have very flexible pricing plans. If your startup is successful, you’ll always find funds later to implement the very functionality you need. Initially, it’s better to invest in marketing and advertising.
In the case with video communication, we consider some kind of a register will be an important part of your smart medical app. The doctor can put down some notes about the consultancy or certain prescriptions into this register. Such an option does not require much time to develop, but should also be considered.
Do not worry, not much is left. Do you remember us mentioning notifications? So, not a bad idea is to remind the user about his appointment with a doctor. It’s especially important in the case with video calls. Push notifications may be sent to the client, for instance, 5 or 10 minutes before the communication. It’s not difficult to implement this push notification feature. Such notifications work well both for Android and iOS mobile apps.
And the best for last! Any business should bring benefit, so let’s speak about the payment systems because payments will be realized with their help. There are multifold financial options at present. We have worked with such big systems as Braintree, Stripe and some others. They not only allow making transactions, but also statistical data collection and report generation. You can also integrate payment aggregators like Google Pay or Apple Pay into your healthcare mobile apps.
In fact, it’s almost impossible to make accurate estimations how much certain features may cost to develop. That’s why in the process of project price estimation we assess each feature in two aspects: optimistic and pessimistic. When speaking about the optimistic variant we suppose that we will all make brilliant work from the first attempt and there will not be any deviations from the routine implementation (no additional animation or unreasoned features, like the function of a beer bottle opener).
The pessimistic variant of estimation is the case when we consider complex logic, unusual features, which may get in conflict with the other functions, bad mood, weather, and all the black cats, which may prevent us from doing the work fast in accordance with all the client’s requirements. In fact, the difference between the optimistic and the pessimistic scenario is just several hours, so the client gets the approximate estimation with the straight average.
Let’s make the general cost estimation of our project, supposing it will be a small Startup with MVP.
Features to develop and implement:
- Authorization – 8-10 hours
- Dashboard - 12 -14 hours
- Client profile - 10 – 14 hours
- Booking an appointment with a doctor - 12 - 16 hours
- Synchronization with a calendar - 4 - 8 hours
- Video Calls - 14 - 20
- The register of the visit - 6 -10 hours
- Push notifications - 6 – 8 hours
- Payment systems integration - 16 - 20 hours
- Related functionality (animation, doctors’ lists, specialities enumeration) - 16 - 20 hours
The time for the communication inside the team and with the client should also be added. Certain moments will require explication, besides the application architecture, should be created. We do not want to make a product and forget about it, the app should be maintained in future, improved and customized according to the necessities and requirements of the end-user, the possibility to expand the features should also be pre-supposed. It’s really very important, if we do not devote time to it initially, we may face problems in the future when a trifle task or correction will take us much more time than it’s really necessary. Let’s invest in the future and develop the apps that need to be made properly from the very beginning. Creating the app architecture will take us about 8-10 hours more and for communication, we add up 5-10% of the estimated project time.
Let’s summarize what we have got. The optimistic variant will take 112 hours plus communication, resulting in 124 hours. The pessimistic variant is 150 hours, which actually result in 160 together with communication.
Eventually, the client receives the estimation equal to 145 hours of the medical app development, which means slightly less than a month’s work. However it’s the estimation good for an ideal world, but we are all humans and to err is human, that’s why we should add some time for testing of the medical application features developed. It drives us slowly to a more realistic 160-170 hours of the development work. Besides, we all want the end user to feel comfortable while using our app and no questions to arise in the process. We want our medical app design to be attractive and interface intuitive. At this point, our design team enters the field and 40 to 60 more hours are required to think over, create and draw the medical application design. For your better understanding, we will note here that a month with 21 working days has 168 working hours.
Finally, the total estimation of the time we need for the mobile medical app development and design results in about 220 hours or 5,5 weeks or almost a month and a half. In money equivalent, it will be about 40 000 US dollars, but you should keep in mind it’s only the cost of development and design, the server and site development aspect (backend and frontend) we’ll discuss next time.
We should admit we have cut corners a bit claiming it was sheer estimations when speaking of the medical apps for smartphones. Stfalcon can be referred to as one of the experienced medical app development companies as we have carried out similar projects. We have created similar applications, which you can find in our portfolio.
With this article, we just wanted to facilitate your considerations as a client because our experience prompts us already which things should go first and what can be put off till later. To be aware of the major obstacles and difficulties you may face, read our latest whitepaper “Breaking Barriers in Healthcare Startups” and take advantage of the favorable moment.