Android and iOS App Development Trends for Healthcare Industries
An app that gives you information on health and illnesses is nothing new. The twist is health-related apps that go further by asking you if you would like the app to check your heart rate and blood pressure. Agree and the app automatically uses the phone’s or smart watch’s sensor to give you a status report and then if it finds you need medical attention, it could possibly direct you to the best healthcare service provider in your neighborhood. Meanwhile, it recommends what you can do to control your condition. WebMD’s mobile app works somewhere along these lines and it is no surprise the app is so popular. The confluence of IoT, AI, and mobile technologies are powering mobile application development like never before, especially in healthcare.
The global mobile healthcare market was valued at USD 2450 million in 2013. It jumped to USD 26560 million by 2017. Services accounted for 67%, paid download for 5% and transaction apps for 4% according to research2guidance App Market Report. Jump to the present. The market is expected to be worth 60 billion USD. It is not surprising given that 90% of physicians use mobiles for their practice, 93% believe health apps improve patient’s health and 75% of apps target wellness. 71% of patients prefer a professional recommended by a mobile app and 70% of patients prefer email, chat and phone interactions. From another perspective, IoT helps lower repair times in hospitals by 50%. In brief, mobile application development in iOS and Android is on a roll as trends indicate.
App Development Sectors
Mobile app development, whether it is iOS or Android, can follow various paths.
The most common and simple variety of apps integrate mobile phones and fitness trackers to give users data about exercise tracking, heart rate, calories expended and even dietary recommendations. This is mainly intended for the general population to manage their health.
At a higher level, there are avenues open for mobile app developers to offer specific apps that use sensors to keep track of a patient’s condition across various parameters and then use the data to warn patients if the condition approaches critical or to send out an alert to the doctor attending the patient. Better grade apps include facilities for monitoring, tracking, and even diagnosis.
Then there is an activity in another sphere involving healthcare professionals like doctors, hospitals and emergency care services to access patient records, keep tabs on patients, improve the knowledge base of doctors, facilitate remote interaction with patients and collaborate with other doctors and hospitals. Hospitals may use specialized apps that monitor the state of health of various equipment to ensure these do not breakdown abruptly. With IoT integration, it becomes easy for apps to flag problematic areas for preventive maintenance. The recent outbreak of Coronavirus and various other similar pandemics prompt app developers to develop apps for hospitals to spread information, manage such epidemics, share knowledge and be prepared. Hospitals also need to ensure the security and safety of patient records to comply with regulations and apps are likely to see the integration of blockchain technologies.
Even more sophisticated is the use of apps along with AI for a variety of purposes such as robot-assisted surgery, fraud detection, dosage administration, and automated image analysis. AI and ML integration mean better predictive analysis of patient data for fast response that could save lives. AI in mobile apps also assists with risk estimation, simulations, and geo-mapping at one level and, at another, predicting no show patients, predicting patient deterioration and self-harm.
The above channels have serious intent. However, one can mix fun and games with healthcare as the emerging trend of gamification of healthcare apps shows.
There is a growing market for health-related video games whose worth is estimated at over $ 4 billion, targeting everyone in the age group from 18 years to 65 years. Gamification is a wonderful way for school kids and teens to learn about healthcare at an early age. It is also an engaging way to get people to take part in rehabilitation or medical training.
Apps for Mental Issues
John Donne said, “No man is an island..” but he was unaware of today’s world where every man becomes an island in the sea of humanity. This leads to mental issues like severe depression. Understandably people with these conditions may not even be aware of it or maybe reluctant to discuss it. Apps can assist such people to express themselves, find relief and even treatment. The app helps people to become members of groups where people have similar conditions and then participate in a sharing session online.
AI-assisted diagnosis apps do help doctors arrive at the right diagnosis. The diagnosis that an app carries out could be even more precise and accurate than that of a doctor since it has ML and AI to power it. The benefits are trickling down to apps that include AI to help individuals diagnose themselves before they seek help. Understandably such apps are bound to grow in popularity. Consulting a physician is time-consuming and expensive. Besides, you tend to be shunted from one doctor to another before an illness can be pinpointed. AI-powered diagnostic apps help individuals possibly identify what ails them and approach a specialist if need be. Babylon, K-Health and ADA are prime examples in this segment. Then there are simpler apps like Dr. Now that permit online video chat with a doctor on a subscription or per-consultation basis. Alexa does it one better by transmitting blood sugar measurements to doctors and scheduling an appointment. Not only that, Amazon has acquired a large online pharmacy and, along with Warren Buffet of Berkshire Hathaway, plans to launch Haven that will provide access to primary health care, provide prescription drugs and simplify health insurance all from a single point.
If apps can target healthy people, patients, doctors, and hospitals then why leave medical students out? Touch Surgery is an app that is created by surgeons and it includes 150 surgical simulations that students can download and practice.
Google’s indigestible sensor is on the horizon. It is a capsule an individual swallows that capsule keeps track of bacteria, toxins, acids, sugar levels, hormone levels and a host of other parameters it transmits to its host device. You can keep it inside and keep tabs on your internal health through an app. It can be used by physicians who then would not have to use invasive instruments like endoscopes.
Look at it from different perspectives and you will find that the healthcare segment is quite promising. Healthcare is social service-oriented and it is also huge business across the world. Population increase brings in its wake the need to provide better healthcare services. Apps for the healthcare industry facilitate better services, better awareness and faster as well as precise diagnoses. The app development segment can ride on healthcare, provide them apps that will improve operation across the spectrum and, in turn, benefit monetarily. Apps, in their way, contribute to better health of people across the world. Take a look at Apple’s general health app that gives users precise data on body measurements, cycle tracking, hearing, heart, mindfulness, and activity.
It is no easy task to develop apps for the healthcare industry. Apart from being proficient in technology stacks for Android and iOS, developers must have an in-depth understanding of the medical side as well as how doctors and hospitals function. In addition, they must also know how to incorporate AI, AR/VR and IoT – a tall order where only a few can deliver.