Top Features to Consider for Your Healthcare App

In recent years, the healthcare sector has witnessed a remarkable transformation, largely due to the increasing integration of mobile technology. Healthcare mobile apps have become a cornerstone in patient care, offering convenience, accessibility, and efficiency. According to a research, the global mobile health (mHealth) market is expected to reach $311.98 billion by 2027, growing at a CAGR of 35.65% during the forecast period. With the vast array of healthcare apps available, choosing the right features for your healthcare mobile app is crucial.

A concerning statistic from Accenture Labs reveals that only 2% of patients are currently engaged through mobile apps by US hospitals. This translates to a significant missed opportunity, with Accenture estimating a potential revenue loss of up to $100 million annually per hospital.

“The healthcare industry has been slow to adopt mobile technologies compared to other sectors. However, the potential benefits are undeniable, and hospitals that fail to embrace mobile risk falling behind.”

Report by Accenture Labs

Building a Winning App: Features that Matter

Back in 2020, the market saw the emergence of over 90,000 healthcare apps. Fast forward to today, and that number has surged to over 350,000 globally. This exponential growth signifies a monumental shift in how patients access and engage with healthcare services.

With such a vast array of healthcare apps now at their fingertips, patients are presented with decision overload like never before. These apps offer a myriad of functionalities, from symptom tracking to telemedicine consultations, promising to revolutionize healthcare accessibility. If you build a new healthcare app for your healthcare ecosystem, you need to make sure it’s a problem that people actually want or need to solve. According to a McKinsey survey of 22 international industry experts and 81 participants of their Digital Healthcare Roundtable, 61 % of respondents consider the main purpose of digital health services to be improving patient well-being.

Developing a successful healthcare mobile app requires a strategic approach that prioritizes both patient needs and operational improvements. Here’s a breakdown of essential features to consider:

1. Patient-Centric Engagement

Developing a feature-rich and user-friendly mobile app goes beyond just offering another communication channel.

“Simply having a mobile app is not enough. Hospital apps are failing to engage patients by not aligning their functionality and user experience with what consumers expect and need. Consumers want ubiquitous access to products and services as part of their customer experience, and those who become disillusioned with a provider’s mobile services – or a lack thereof – could look elsewhere for services”

Brian Kalis, Managing Director Accenture Labs

Here are key features that can revolutionize the patient experience:

a. Effortless Appointment Scheduling

We’ve all been there: the endless phone calls, the hold music, the struggle to find an appointment that fits your busy schedule. Imagine users easily browsing available slots with different doctors, seamlessly booking appointments within the app, and even receiving automated reminders to avoid missed visits. Empower patients to book appointments, reschedule if needed, and receive real-time confirmations, all within the app.

b.Telemedicine Integration

Telemedicine integration within your app can connect patients with a healthcare professional for a virtual consultation – no waiting room necessary! This is a game-changer for minor illnesses, follow-up appointments, or even mental health consultations where physical location might be a barrier. Offer virtual consultations for improved access to care, particularly for follow-ups or chronic condition management. Integrate secure video conferencing with electronic prescriptions for a seamless experience.

c. Medication Management

Become a partner in patient well-being by providing features like pill reminders, refill requests, medication history tracking, and clear explanations of potential drug interactions.

d. Personalized Health Information Management 

Provide a secure platform for patients to access medical records, lab results, immunization history, and discharge summaries. Allow secure messaging with providers and the ability to update personal information.

d. Wellness Tracking and Education

Go beyond basic appointment scheduling. Integrate features for logging vitals, tracking symptoms, monitoring sleep patterns, and setting fitness goals. Offer educational resources and personalized recommendations based on user data (with consent) to promote proactive health management.

2. Streamlined Operations for Healthcare Providers

Your healthcare app isn’t just for patients – it can significantly optimize internal operations within healthcare eco systems. Consider these features:

a. Secure Communication Platform

Enable efficient communication between healthcare providers and patients, facilitating appointment follow-up, medication reminders, and secure information exchange.

b. EHR Integration

Your healthcare app should do more than just schedule appointments and facilitate video conferencing. It should also include an Electronic Health Record (EHR) feature. 49% of physician’s time goes to EHR paper work instead of patient care. EHR allows doctors to update patient records seamlessly, integrating with the hospital’s internal system. The EHR feature in the app can enable doctors to fill out health forms directly within the app and sync the data with the internal system. With EHR, healthcare providers can monitor patient behavior between visits and make necessary adjustments in real-time, enhancing patient care.Integrate your mobile app with your EHR system for seamless access to patient data, appointment schedules, and medication history. This empowers healthcare professionals with instant access to vital information, improving workflow efficiency.

c.Billing and Payment Integration

Offer patients a convenient way to view bills, manage payments, and securely submit payments within the app. This not only improves patient experience but also reduces administrative tasks and improves revenue collection.

d. Staff Management and Resource Optimization

Mobile apps can empower staff by providing features like appointment scheduling for specific team members, secure internal communication channels, and real-time updates on patient flow and resource allocation.

e. Data-Driven Insights for Continuous Improvement

Integrate data analytics to track user engagement, identify usage patterns, and measure the effectiveness of your app. Gain valuable insights to continuously improve the app and optimize its functionalities.

3. Beyond the Basics

While the features above provide a solid foundation, remember a successful healthcare app goes beyond functionality.

a. Prioritize User Experience (UX)

Design a clear, intuitive, and user-friendly interface that caters to diverse patients and their technical skills. Ensure accessibility for users with disabilities.

b. Data Security is Paramount

Strict adherence to HIPAA regulations is essential. Implement robust security measures to protect sensitive patient data and ensure user privacy.

c. Multilingual Support

Expand your reach to broader patient populations by offering the app in multiple languages.

d. Offline Functionality

Allow users to access certain features, like appointment history or medication reminders, even without an internet connection.

e. Leverage Push Notifications

Utilize push notifications for appointment reminders, medication alerts, public health updates, and educational content.

By prioritizing these elements, you can create a user-centric mobile app that fosters patient engagement, empowers healthcare professionals, and ultimately propels your organization towards a future of efficient, patient-centered care.

Healthcare Future Shaped by Mobile

The future of app-based healthcare, augmented by the use of digital health devices and wearables, is an exciting area of expansion for patients and clinicians. By embracing mobile app development, healthcare organizations can revolutionize patient engagement, optimize workflows, and unlock significant revenue opportunities. One critical reason why patients abandon their healthcare providers is a lack of engagement. Mobile apps offer a powerful solution, fostering a more connected and empowered patient experience.

Are you ready to unlock the potential of mobile healthcare? Partner with a development team that understands the unique needs of the healthcare industry and can translate your vision into a user-friendly, secure, and feature-rich app. It’s time to embrace the mobile revolution and transform healthcare delivery for the better.

Talk to us to leverage the extensive Techtiz experience of working closely within the US healthcare sector.