This article is part of ParkerWhite’s weekly series, “Health and Wellness This Week,” a focus on the latest healthcare news and what it means for your marketing strategy.
With the digital healthcare boom in full effect, individuals now have more access to their health vitals than ever before. Smartphones have turned into smart health devices. Currently, there are over 100,000 mHealth apps out there that you can choose from. “By 2017, it is estimated that the market for such tools, known as mHealth apps, will be $26 billion.” However, many of these apps do not meet the acceptable industry standards. According to recent research across more than 200 million app store ratings and reviews in the U.S, the average app quality score is 66.5, equivalent to a ‘D’ grade in layman’s terms. What does it take to develop a successful app that beats this average score? Unfortunately, there is no secret recipe, but here are some important elements your app must include:
You can invest a whole lot of money in your app development, but if your app doesn’t work properly or it fails to load a few times in a row, that is an instant death sentence. This is one of the fastest ways to lose your customers. According to a Global Study of Consumers’ Expectations and Experiences of Mobile Applications, “users expect a mobile app to be fast and responsive; if it’s not, it will get poor reviews, low ratings and low adoption numbers”.
You do not want to be a part of the statistic to the right. You must ensure that you thoroughly test out the functionality of your app and make sure that it will work every time, for everyone, across all user platforms.
MHealth app users treasure having access to their vital health information, but you have to make sure that you present this information in an interactive and engaging manner. That way, your users are not just bombarded with data they do not necessarily understand or know how to use. The app design must present the information in a basic, easy to understand format so users can actually act upon it.
With all of these apps being introduced to the market, they are collecting a significant amount of personal data on a daily basis. For your users to feel safe and secure, you have to ensure that their information is for their use only and that it will remain private at all times. It is essential to follow HIPAA regulations to eliminate any security breach risks.
Never stop improving! In order to have a strong user base, you have to constantly improve your app, clearly present the new features, and adapt to users’ feedback. Meanwhile, you must ensure that your app is complying with the most recent FDA regulations. With the increasing number of mobile health apps, the FDA has been enforcing specific regulations to ensure the safety and effectiveness of these apps.
At the end of the day, you have to focus on your consumers because they are the ones who are paying the costs and making the decisions to use your mHealth app. Who are they? What are their needs? What are features that they want but are lacking in existing apps? How can your app deliver these valuable elements and become an integral part of your users’ everyday life? This takes some considerable investment. However, it is crucial to your app’s success. If you get the very basics right in the beginning and continually adapt to changes, you and your users can reap the future benefits.