Patient apps – the Digital Health Solution That Saves Lives Today

29 Sep 2022 - 6 min read

Key Takeaways

  • The future in healthcare is digital: its integration with technology adds value that saves lives daily. The global mHealth apps market reached $43.5 billion in 2022.
  • The roadmap of building a patient-facing app consists of 4 main steps: methodology, problem, solution, and results.
  • Better patient outcomes, enhancement of the Patient-Doctor communications are some of the positives that patient apps introduced.
  • A successful patient-facing app means a good execution approach, mutual trust, patient engagement and added value.

It is common knowledge that changes in healthcare occur rarely. Nevertheless, the current healthcare system is far different from 20 years ago. This transformation is caused by the driving force of innovative digital health solutions like patient apps. Fueled by advances in technology, increased access to smartphones, and the popular human-centered healthcare, patient apps affirmed their position in the market. And their presence led to clever decisions and unexpected opportunities.

Inflexibility. High Costs. Workforce Shortage.

These were just some of the problems of the healthcare system when Covid-19 shook the world. In this uncertain period, the patient apps exploded: 90,000 created just for 2020. This number means that there were 250 new entries every day. The global mHealth apps market size reached USD 43.5 billion in 2022.

The pandemic paved the way for many healthtech companies and proved the importance of digital solutions. Because of this discrepancy between skills and requirements and the need for complex behavioral research, healthcare providers outsource IT activities to specialists with long-term experience. Fortunately, healthcare service providers, pharmaceutical products manufacturers, and Contract Research Organizations (CROs) found help in IT tools to fill the gaps in the system and provide better services.

Mobile health apps showed that the future in healthcare is digital. They aim to return the trust of the patient in healthcare institutions. And this process occurs only by adding value that saves lives today.

What Do You Need to Build a Valuable Patient-Facing App?

The technology-agnostic approach in the development of health apps allows patients, doctors, and health service providers to utilize health data and innovations. Here are the critical factors that make your patient app stand out:

Exceptional Еxecution Approach

To create an app that offers value, you need partners that have the vision to make it from scratch. 80% of all patient outcomes result from 20% of the creative decisions.

Trust Between the Healthcare staff and the IT Team is crucial. It is all about trust indeed.

Furthermore, your digital solutions provider should not just build the app and never show up again. Sometimes the:

  • deep understanding of the healthcare landscape
  • flexibility of the talent involved
  • wide pool of technologies
  • premium quality code
  • removal of the administrative burden from customers are simply not enough to reach success!

Look for trustworthy business relationships ensuring both teams’ benefit. Exceptional digital solutions like creating a patient-facing app require:

  • Full transparency of the processes
  • Trust
  • Team synergy
  •  Timely availability of talent

Tips to success

The roadmap of building a patient app consists of several main points. These are the essential details that a company in healthcare, HCP or a medical institution should consider when thinking about the creation of a digital health solution. If you don’t have the experience, you should trust experienced technology companies that could lead you through the process.

SCRUM: The Methodology for Innovators

Scrum is all about helping teams make smarter decisions.It encourages co-workers to learn through experiences and reflect on their ups and downs, thus seeking constant improvement. This methodology requires strong self-motivation and self-organization. It benefits individuals that know what, how and when to do a specific task.

The Scrum framework supports product and service development in every project, irrespective of its complexity. To achieve goals and objectives, teams should:

  • Ensure transparency in communication
  • Create an environment of collective accountability
  • Continuous progress based on experience
  • Continuous learning and adjustment to fluctuating factors

Scrum is structured to help teams adapt to changing conditions and re-prioritize objectives. Obviously, it provides the perfect environment for the digital health industry by ensuring:

  • Flexibility
  • Innovation
  • Transparency

Define the Problem: The Gap in The Healthcare System

Now is the time for the questions everybody asks:

  • What problem does your app solve?
  • What are these fundamental challenges that the healthcare system is dealing with?
  • How does this app improve the patient pathway?

The right approach to answer is to look at the big picture. Then, you might move to a more specific approach:

  • What niche do I want to enter?
  • How to reduce the pain of these patients?
  • What do they need? How can I provide it for them?

It is essential to note that the biggest challenge is to cooperate with the team developing your patient app. The medical experts and tech gurus are from entirely different worlds. For that reason, you should carefully choose your digital solutions provider. Look for a partner with proven expertise, an innovative team of professionals and a vision for the future in healthcare.

BGO Software expertise

in 2018 we managed to build Healthsuite – a patient app that provides effective digital therapies for inflammatory conditions. In this case both Ampersand Health and BGO Software focused on improving patient outcomes when fighting long-term inflammatory conditions.

Here are some of the values that this app brings:

  • Customizable personal health record

    That keeps all of the patient’s information in one place, from the hospital, wearable devices, trackers and outcome measures.

  • Support and guidance

    Patients can get advice from the hospital team remotely and access the Crohn’s & Colitis UK helpline whenever they need some support.

  • Latest research section

    Where people can find practical advice, tactics and the latest research in the self-management library and personalized feed.

  • Set up reminders option

    For medication and appointments and find out more about local events and support groups.

Learn more

In the making: The Digital Solution That Saves Lives

After carefully analyzing the problem, you are ready to work on building the digital solution. Make sure that you’ve performed a full inquiry on the subject. Now we must focus on the organization that develops your app.

You and your team should be able to adequately explain to your IT partner the results you want to achieve and the problem you want to solve. Good communication and transparency are the basis of every fruitful relationship.

Results = value or How Patient Apps Beat the Stereotypes in Healthcare

In the digital world you can see the results immediately. That’s why the value of digital health solutions and more concrete patient apps is so easy to point out.

Here are some benefits that patient apps deliver right away:

Ease of Use

It takes the patient two or three clicks to enter information about their health status, perform research or contact a doctor from the hospital.

  • 24/7 Availability
    People can use the services of patient apps anywhere and anytime. Therefore, they have more control over their health.

Speed

The endless hours at the waiting room are decreasing significantly. Some apps offer live video consultation with a doctor. This option saves time and resources for both the patient and the health provider.

  • Less Demand for Physical Consultations
    The Covid-19 virus made it clear that in-person meetings are not safe, especially in hospitals. Physical consultations for a mild medical condition are easily replaced with a virtual one on a smartphone app.
  • Supporting Science & Research
    By obeying the privacy and data security rules, some institutions might use the gathered medical data in clinical trials or generating medical insights that could help clinicians for their treatment plan.

No Negative Impact on Ultimate Treatment Decisions

Treatment decisions are taken only after the physical consultation with a doctor. The patient app aims to make the whole process easier and more convenient.

  • Better Patient Outcomes & High Satisfaction
    More data about the medical condition means smarter decisions based on data, better patient outcomes and high satisfaction rates.
  • Enhance Patient-Doctor Communications
    Patient apps enhance the communication of the two parties as they support the patient-centered approach. The mission and vision of healthcare are aligned to the patient’s goals. Care is collaborative and coordinated, as physical comfort and emotional well-being are priorities.

Patient Engagement & Added Value

 Mobile health apps offer fast access to high-quality medical care anytime and anywhere. However, we live in a dynamic world with endless distractions. Many people neglect their health condition even when it is life-threatening.Therefore, the medical applications should be both helpful and engaging.

The future is here

Here are some digital health app features that already have enormous impact:

  • Live online connection and communication with the healthcare provider
  • Direct-to-consumer virtual care services
  • Connection with wearables to track and collect complex patient data
  • Personalized care
  • Health educational content
  • UX that triggers engagement and adherence to treatment

According to some healthcare experts, innovations in healthcare will finally prevail over bureaucracy and bad management. If your idea offers value and better patient outcomes, you will reach your desired goals. Then, you should find the right IT partner that will help you reach your goals and deliver an exceptional digital solution.

Bibliography:
https://www2.deloitte.com/us/en/blog/health-care-blog/2021/how-digital-health-apps-are-empowering-patients.html
https://www.designveloper.com/blog/advantages-mobile-health-apps/
https://cancer.jmir.org/2019/1/e12317/
https://www.nature.com/articles/s41746-019-0212-z
https://www.bgosoftware.com/case-studies/healthsuite-management-tool-for-patients
https://www.bgosoftware.com/industries/mobile-health
https://www.bgosoftware.com/blog/healthcare-it-outsourcing-everything-you-need-to-know/

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