The healthcare industry is rapidly evolving, with key changes leading to a shift from in-person appointments and services to online opportunities. Mobile app development has played an integral role in the healthcare industry and is expected to continue to remain important over the long-term.
Major healthcare facilities across the world are investing heavily in mobile app development, whether it be chatbots or larger, more complex apps as 5G continues to roll out.
As a healthcare provider, it’s more important than ever to begin investing in mobile app development in an effort to maintain market share.
Patient Behavior is Shaping the Healthcare Industry’s Need for Mobile Apps
Doctors are already using mobile devices in their day-to-day practices. In fact, 8-in-10 doctors use mobile devices already, and over 90% believe mobile apps add value to emergency health services.
Mobile apps can, inadvertently, promote better care and more attention to patients due to 75% of all visits, including emergency room visits, are unnecessary and can be effectively handled via video or phone call.
The astonishing growth in telemedicine was experienced in 2020, and this trend is expected to continue in 2021.
Mobile apps led to this rise, with a few important notes:
- 30% of weekly visits between June and November were telehealth visits
- Telehealth opens up healthcare to people of all ages
- Ease of access to care is improved
- Risk of disease and virus transmission is lower via telemedicine
Mobile apps and the ease of scheduling are expected to lead to a CAGR increase of 14% in the industry. Consumer behavior is also shifting, with over 70% of patients stating that they’re considering telemedicine over in-person visits.
There's also a time savings of as much as 100 minutes for patients and less time wasted by medical professionals.
More importantly, nearly half of patients state that adoption of virtual options would help them consider telemedicine. Apps have the ability to continue shaping the industry, as more people realize that they can do everything virtually from visiting the doctor to having their prescriptions filled online.
And over 90% of patients state that telemedicine will help them stick to their doctor’s appointments.
With a lot of people neglecting or pushing off healthcare, especially in the past year, it’s more important than ever to open up healthcare services to more individuals. Mobile app development offers the ability for people to seek out healthcare that they may otherwise neglect.
Younger generations, from millennials and younger, prefer telemedicine. Three-in-four millennials state that they would much rather use telehealth and medicine than go to an in-person visit because they save so much time.
An appointment that would normally require a lengthy commute followed by a long wait time will take a mere 10 minutes in many cases. Beyond a general exam, the average telemedicine visit lasts just 22 minutes.
Patients are also highly satisfied with the services that they receive.
For healthcare providers, there are a lot of key benefits, too.
10 Key Advantages of Mobile Apps in the Healthcare Industry
Investments in mobile apps are due to the advantages that the industry is experiencing thanks to the flexibility offered to consumers. The advantages for healthcare providers and the industry are:
1. Improvement in Patient Health
Doctors and medical staff are onboard with app development and advancement in the industry. Medical professionals need apps to receive faster updates on patient health conditions to provide prompt care.
In fact, 93% of doctors believe that apps can lead to better patient health.
A lot of apps are already offering digital prescriptions and online health reports. Apps also make it easier to exchange information with patients and other medical professionals while also increasing the speed of suggesting emergency care for patients.
2. Remote Area Access
Remote areas often struggle to get access to healthcare because providers are too far from patients. Apps and smartphones offer access to these areas where Internet access is available via 4G/5G, satellite or other means, but the patient may be 20 to 30 minutes away.
Patients that would normally travel to urgent care centers or emergency rooms are now opting to schedule appointments on apps.
Apps also provide access to important:
- Healthcare information
- Tips on managing their condition
- Rapid access to appointments if the condition worsens
Apps help healthcare providers to capture more market share in areas where access to healthcare is limited.
3. Patients Benefit from Apps
Healthcare is about the patient and how medical professionals can best meet the needs of patients. The patient benefits the most from apps by being able to open up their app to do the following:
- Schedule appointments with a physician or specialist
- View medical reports
- Purchase medications
- Video chat with medical professionals
- Gain access to rapid care
Medical professionals can improve the engagement with their patients through apps, too. The patient is the one that benefits the most from healthcare apps and development. Even something as simple as viewing a prescription through an app allows for a world of in-depth information, including side effects and usage instructions.
4. New Business Opportunities
Doctors and healthcare facilities can help gain a larger portion of the market by creating new business opportunities with apps. For example, solutions, such as ReferralMD, allow for an easier way to offer referrals to businesses.
These platforms are offering solutions that allow doctors to make referrals and easy scheduling, too.
Cloud-management systems can be integrated with apps to provide real-world solutions to patients across the entire medical industry. The ability to meet the needs of tomorrow’s patients can be satisfied with proprietary apps.
Healthcare facilities can capture new business opportunities with apps in ways that weren’t possible with a brick-and-mortar location only.
5. Apps and the Internet of Things (IoT) are Working Closely Together
Apps are connecting to the IoT to offer the healthcare industry a wealth of data at their fingertips. Hospitals and doctor offices are able to interact with devices connected to the IoT to perform a variety of tasks, such as:
- Inventory management systems to rapidly order supplies and products
- Connect to advanced medical equipment to monitor patient vitals
- Staff and/or patients can view information from the doctor
The IoT and apps help drive treatment costs down and provide a higher level of communication among patients, doctors, and many of the systems inside a medical office. As medical equipment continues to evolve, apps may connect remotely to a patient’s medical devices to make treatment adjustments.
6. Apps Reduce the Risk of Errors
Medical errors account for 250,000 deaths in the United States alone per year. Worldwide, this figure would be substantially higher. Reducing the number of errors is a key focus of healthcare providers worldwide, and app development can help drive this reduction.
- Accurate, direct-to-doctor reports with no information exchanged with a middleman
- Dosage information for prescriptions can be double-checked using big data to reduce the risk of errors leading to dangerous prescriptions
- Patient notes and medical history can be rapidly accessed in the app
The precision of an app and the ability to access big data ensures that errors happen less often due to doublechecking.
7. Quick and Easy Payments
Payments and invoices can be time-consuming for everyone from the patient to the medical facility. Patients that used to want to pay their bills on time didn’t want to spend 10 minutes in line at a doctor’s office, or they couldn’t spend this time due to work or other obligations.
Apps allow you to take payments instantly through the app.
Patients love the convenience of using an app to make payments, and less time is spent trying to chase patients for payment. When you’re able to automate the payment process, you’ll enjoy higher cash flow levels and lower your outstanding invoices.
An app can also allow for:
- Direct, full payment plans
- Pay over time options
- Credit and debit payments
You can also send notifications to patients that remind them that it’s time to pay their invoice or that the payment is overdue.
8. Reduces Overhead and Bills
Overhead takes away from offering patients lower costs for their medical care. Medical bills and expenses are rising, and a lot of the costs are administrative rather than health related. There’s a lot of checking, verifying, and tracking down invoices involved with every visit to a medical professional.
Hospitals charge fees at will, but when apps are used, medical professionals are able to:
- Reduce administrative overhead
- Promote fast payments
- Lower other inner office costs
Due to the streamlined process created by an app, it’s possible to move a lot of the scheduling burden and filing to the patient. Secure and safe, mobile development solutions enable you to quickly organize your patient documents, offer rapid customer service and do it faster than a secretary.
The upfront investment in having an app developed is just a small part of the process.
You'll spend money upfront while reducing your overall expenditures in the long-term. If you want to reduce your bills and overhead, you should speak to your app developer to find ways to automate time-consuming tasks that cost your healthcare facility excess money.
9. Self-Monitoring of Health Vitals and Indicators
Patients need to take their medical care and health into their own hands. Scheduling appointments and turning to telemedicine are just the start for anyone that wants to take care of themselves.
Self-monitoring allows patients to:
- Monitor blood pressure
- Check cholesterol levels
- Monitor blood sugar
- Measure and track weight
- Check heartbeat
Through in-app monitoring, patients have the ability to continue checking their vitals and can report back to a medical professional if any issues arise.
Checking health vitals and indicators allows patients to make medical choices with greater accuracy and learn how their body responds to certain stimuli, such as a change in diet or routine.
When connected to smart devices, apps are rapidly advancing, with the ability to spot key changes in vitals that may be warning signs for certain medical conditions.
10. Build Brand Value
Brand value is growing in importance as more healthcare providers aim to differentiate themselves from the competition. When you have an app developed, there are numerous ways that you can use the app to improve your brand value.
A few of the many features that your app may have to improve brand value are:
- Push notifications
- Reward or loyalty options
- Appointment reminders
- Medication reminders
You can use your app as an extension of your brand to help you connect with patients in a way that isn’t possible otherwise.
Mobile app development is an essential part of the health industry’s future. Medical offices and facilities that focus on development now will be better able to remain competitive in the future.
With the benefits for patients and a medical facility, it’s a win-win to invest in mobile app development.