The current world situation — whether we look at it from the perspective of the COVID-19 outbreak, or increased adoption of mobile devices and demand for mobile-first approaches in the delivery of services, or a higher than ever pace of the development of innovative techs — has skyrocketed the popularity of healthcare apps. With people becoming increasingly conscious about their health and medical professionals looking for tech solutions they can rely on, the industry faced the need for more accessible, user-friendly, productive, and focus-oriented mHealth apps that would enhance experiences for both.
Let's dive into the current state of mHealth by viewing it from the end-user side, identifying its potential, and seeing what technologies shape its coveted face — all to understand what issues are covered by healthcare apps, what customers expect from the solutions they use, and what are the proven ways to meet their demands.
Health-Related Issues Covered by Real-Life Solutions on the Health App Market
When it comes to the identification of issues that an mHealth app can tackle, it's worthy of noting that industry players of the health app market generally deal with these two major groups: patients and doctors. For sure, there is a space for variations: the app can cover the needs of both or can be tailored to some subgroups (lab assistants, healthcare facility administrators, etc.). As you can understand, tasks that need to be addressed with an mHealth app can largely vary from one group to another. So in terms of this article, let's try to create a picture of 'must-haves' or 'most-wants' based on the pointed majors.
While there are wide opportunities for the extension of each list and more complete coverage of health-related needs each group is facing, even the pointed essentials drive us to the conclusion that the best mHealth apps really make a difference to their users. To provide you with one more proof of this statement, we've gathered the recent statistics on the healthcare market.
Health App Market in Numbers
During the last year, the digital transformation of the healthcare industry has resulted in a 64% increase in mobile healthcare demand. What's more important, it is projected that this number will increase sevenfold by the year 2025. To create a full picture of how the mHealth market evolves, take a look at the following infographics.
There's no doubt that with each passing day, the demand for mHealth solutions increases. But, taking into account severe competition on the market and the fact that mHealth apps are not created equal, is it possible to find out the recipe for success?
Healthcare Mobile App Development Trends 2021
So what is the face of modern mobile health customers expect to see? To answer this question, let's take a brief look at mobile technology trends in healthcare that rock today and will remain with us in the coming years.
The Internet of Medical Things (IoMT)
Connected devices are shaping the modern world, opening up space for greater mobility and agility, increasing efficiency and productivity, and allowing to receive and process various types of data for valuable insights. A survey conducted last year by the Pew Research Center states that 21% of Americans (about 70 million people) claim to have embraced wearable tech. So there's no wonder why the IoT trend paved its way to healthcare where it is known as IoMT (Internet of Medical Things).
The truth is that today's mHealth apps and IoMT devices like wearables go hand in hand, providing meaningful grounds for each other. Nearly all IoMT devices require integration with an mHealth app, and the latter provides the app with useful data that ensures better health management.
The valuable potential of IoMT is hard to underestimate, and here's why. Remember the introduction of the Apple Watch in 2015? Back then, these devices were mainly used for fitness tracking, while today, Apple’s “Movement Disorder API” allows monitoring symptoms and gathering new insights into Parkinson’s disease. Just imagine what miracles IoMT technology will bring to us in the future!
Telemedicine is now on top of all healthcare technology trends. It allows physicians to remotely monitor patients, provide them with diagnosis, treatment, and high-quality assistance in the privacy of their own homes. Considering the current situation with COVID-19, these are very good reasons. But let’s go into more details.
As you can see, telemedicine has started its way to the top before the pandemic. And for sure, it will gain momentum. To be more exact, it is projected that the industry will reach $113 billion by 2025 compared to $41.4 in 2019.
It's not a secret that people enjoy playing, and even more — winning. The competition created by games is of high value, as it motivates people to reach their goals. That's why game design elements applied to mHealth apps can be considered as a powerful addition to positive health motivation.
Another benefit of gamification is that it reduces stress. For example, medical procedures can be stressful and exhausting, especially for children. Applied to such cases, gamification can relieve a portion of stress and minimize destructive emotions.
Use cases of gamification in healthcare are numerous, from disease prevention and self-management to medical adherence and education-related simulations. Whatever is the case, the thing that really matters is that people do love games.
The use of AI in different sectors is one of the most widely discussed topics. This technology literally transforms the world we live in, and in healthcare in particular, it can be applied to a variety of different processes, making them more efficient, accurate, and smart. Safe collaboration, appointment scheduling, information sharing, patient support, drug testing, training of professionals, minimization of gaps between different practices — all these along with many other issues can be covered by AI.
And the thing to mention here is that today, in addition to all the benefits offered by AI, mHealth featuring this technology can take up one of the safest and most prospective niches. In 2020, a little over 7% of mHealth apps incorporated some level of AI. So if there’s a good time to enter this market, it is now.
One more trend that ensures safe positions for the adopters on the mobile health market is voice technology. Providing extra convenience in giving requests to the app with a voice to get results, it has a real value for healthcare. In addition to facilitating workflows for professionals, voice tech also benefits patients. For example, hospitalized patients can use it to contact a nurse and receive a painkiller or other medication prescribed. For sure, there are plenty of other use cases for voice tech, from appointment scheduling to facilitated interactions.
Our Attitude Towards Healthcare Mobile App Trends
Now, when we have discussed the major shapers of the modern mHealth, let’s clarify the possibility of their implementation. And the first thing to say here is that all of them are already applicable to healthcare solutions: there's actually nothing that should stop you from the adoption of these techs.
So what should be your first step? It is to find an experienced and trusted technology partner capable of meeting your needs. And here is where we can help, with our expertise in the development of apps for the healthcare industry, IoT implementation, telehealth solution development, vast expertise in AR, and implementation of AI and ML technologies.
Having a Research and Development (R&D) department focused on the latest advances in IT, Emerline has always been at the forefront of innovation. Our success in the healthcare sector is proven by tens of complex solutions delivered to clients operating in different parts of the world. To learn more about the ways we can impact your company's digital success, you are welcomed to explore the portfolio section on the website. Here you can learn about our recent projects such as an Uber-like app for doctors or a healthcare marketplace platform. And in case you have some questions left, we are always here to answer them.