What do patients really want, apart from high quality care, personalization and more transparent approach, is to be in more control over their own time and day-to-day health activities with an easy access to actual medical information. These aspects might be easily solved by an app as well. However, the prevalence of apps is not only about the convenience – the overall effect of its implementation in pharma and life sciences cannot be underestimated. In a nutshell, mHealth apps don’t aim to replace a real doctor, but rather to revolutionize the healthcare system and improve the processes of health care delivery in general. The revolution in digital health development has the potential to exceed customers’ expectations and help attain a higher level of engagement. As wearable technologies have already created a new tone of connectivity within the patients-HCPs-pharma triangle, the demand for mobile health apps has become immense. Within the article, you’ll find more about mobile health application development, its giant role in HCPs engagement and the main outcomes of including mobile apps into your omni-multichannel marketing strategy.
Healthcare consumers are increasingly using technology to manage their health, and from year to year the numbers in stats are only growing – if talking about mobile, the using of this channel increased from 36 percent in 2016 to 46 percent in 2018.
Source: Accenture 2018
When the numbers speak for themselves: a brief statistic overview
- More than 97,000+ health apps are available for mobile and tablets
- According to the Research2Guidance report, 80% of physicians prefer to use smartphones and medical apps during their medical practice
- 158,000 mHealth apps are available in Google Play Store
- Compared to 2016, the mobile health app market was expected to reach 7 billion app downloads in 2017
- 79% of respondents are more likely to select a physician who allows them to manage healthcare interactions both online and via mobile devices
- 93% healthcare providers believe mobile health apps will benefit patients’ health
- 40% doctors expect a decrease in the demand of face-to-face visits due to mobile apps growth
According to the SAP survey, 68 % of doctors prefer online modes of communication, as they are much more convenient, faster to get response and easier to touch with.
Source: SAP and Oxford Economics
Why does mHealth apps development matter for omnichannel marketing? Let’s have a look at the main touchpoints
Strengthening the brand
Revolution in digital health stepped ahead – assistant apps are helping to extremely increase pharma brand awareness by approaching a maximum amount of customers. That means your marketing campaign can be easily supported by a simple navigation to company information, such as contacts or any other first-hand details, which are always available, accessible and visible on apps.
Improved time management
Due to constant direct contact with the audience, medical apps can save a lot of physicians’ time and efforts. As a result, it streamlines HCPs’ workflows, enhances their productivity and maintains agility in communication with patients. Not to mention that patients themselves can schedule an appointment (or cancel it) with a nearby physician using the app.
Mobile medical apps significantly increase transparency with the help of constant remote monitoring, support and online interactions. This keeps patients stay actively engaged and involved into each step of their personal health care journey.
Mobile health apps can work as a single hub for all patients’ data – from numerical information to their preferences, emotional reactions and even current behavior patterns. This, in turn, provides HCPs with a full pack of useful insights for further care enhancements.
Real time response
Doctors can respond to patients proactively using mHealth apps, while providing them with the right treatment at any time and from any place.
As there are completely different audiences with various intents – the apps choice is differ as well. Here are the most of highest demand:
Reminders and alerts
Applications for remote monitoring
Support for patients with chronic diseases
Health plus applications
For healthcare professionals
Pharma guides and surveys for eLearning
For medical sales force
eDetailing scripts and guides
Here are some most in-demand mobile apps types for healthcare providers:
Such apps aim to support and strengthen learning processes. Instead of wasting time on long-turning educational sessions, these apps are giving permanent access to up-to-date materials, drug prescription guidelines, diagnostics, etc.
Apps for clinical communications
These types simplify communication between healthcare providers and facilitate quick responses with virtual functionalities, such as voice calling, video conferences, messaging, etc.
Such mHelath apps, based on multiple complex formulas and individual parameters, are used to calculate drug dosage or offer dosing suggestions.
Diseases management and diagnostics
Various symptom checkers are among the most widely used med apps. HCPs can stay in touch with their patients, in order to control their drug adherence, lab results, check current symptoms and coach them in their health journey.
Example: An app SkinVision, developed by a Dutch company, used to identify skin cancer on the early stages. It reveals diagnose immediately and is available on both iPhone and Android devices.
These medical apps are general evidence-based resources that include info about drugs, their pharmacology, indications, dosages, interactions, contraindications, cost, etc.
Patient education and engagement
mHealth apps, designed specifically for patients, include any educational content (e.g., materials about treatment options, diseases or prevention methods, etc.). This, in turn, results in better patient experience and their higher satisfaction rate.
Example: An app called TalkLife is a virtual helper that allows patients to talk to people with the same symptoms or illnesses. They can ask for advice or exchange their experiences if they need.
Another great feature in mHealth apps is an implemented video service. HCPs can deliver “live” assistance to patients through remote video function. Especially it concerns those who cannot access their healthcare providers directly (or to get needed care due to remote location or any physical disorder).
Example: By using an app called Dr Now, patients can make a video call to reach their physicians from any place
We’d like to highlight some of the use cases from our experience on creating mobile applications: from Dosages calculators for physicians to perform quick calculations and offline time-saving tools to medical reference apps for pharma representatives with education materials.
Let’s overview TOP mobile applications use cases in healthcare created by Viseven:
- The 1st case – Dosage calculator for children’s caregivers. The app is used to calculate a dosage and its frequency of administering a pill or suspension. All the data is based on the criteria of a disease as well as on the little patient’s weight.
- The 2nd case – Dosage calculator for parents and HCPs, provides an easy access to drug instruction and allows parents or physicians to calculate a right dosage.
- The 3rd case – Offline application with recommendations on oncology sphere (adjuvant, neoadjuvant and surgical therapy).
- The 4th case – Versatile medical reference app for pharmacists. The app offers diagnostic possibilities and helps users to identify a type of pain depending on its location, duration or intensity. Osteohelp also allows choosing among the best treatment alternatives, investigating its pharmacological properties, route of administration etc.
- The 5th case – Pharmacist’s guide, which offers a wide range of up-to-date medical education materials for HCPs with a various reference videos for clinical procedures.
- The 6th case – Health app for tracking patients’ health. It’s a hybrid application, based on PhoneGap, with built-in Video module and BMI Calculator. The app provides users with the needed info regarding their disease, sets up the custom pill reminder, and tracks their current health situation.
- The 7th case – Life Plus App for program members, pharmacists and new customers. This app allows to share offers with clients and includes various options (promotions for top products, redeems and redemptions and eVouchers). Users receive fresh information continuously and always stay updated.
Viseven expertise covers a wide bunch of mHealth apps development, no matter whom they’re designed for – physicians, patients or pharma representatives. Each kind off an app is targeted to solve a specific challenge, such as: reach higher level of personalization, straighten patients’ awareness and adherence or provide better education opportunities to field and sales forces.
To sum it up, look at some core usability principles medical apps should met for successful launch:
- Intuitive UX – easy to use and navigate
- Be easy to install and work properly
- Sync the data across devices
- Be safe and secure for personal information
Innovations in digital mHealth technologies help to augment clinical efficiency, provide accurate diagnosis and help pharma brands stand out. Healthcare application development contains business analysis, UI/UX design, backend, app development and quality assurance. When it comes to operating systems, Android and iOS are still the most popular ones. However, Android remains the lead platform for mobile health applications development.
Interested in adding mobile applications to your multichannel marketing strategy? No matter what kind of an app you’d like to launch, Viseven team of specialists have a wide expertise in developing over 50+ mobile apps for iOS and Android, as well as in iOS, Android, PhoneGap, React Native, AngularJS, Ionic, Firebase technologies, providing both native and hybrid mobile app services to our customers. Ask our expert if you want to find out how mobile apps implementation helps to create a successful patient-HCPs-pharma collaboration. More about mobile applications best practices in healthcare can be found in the on-demand video.