Things to Remember while Making a Medical App

By Cherilyn Hamilton

When it comes to app development, it’s a tricky business as one simple mistake can make users not want to install your app.

Whatever the mistake, significant or subtle, can cause the whole user base to come crashing down and make potential new installs stray away from the app.

Mobile Apps are up and coming in the medical field, connecting people to doctors easier than ever- right from the comfort of their own home. But what would stop someone from installing this type of app?

App Developers in London have been pro-active in delivering some mind-blowing medical apps in the industry. The Health Connect App, Practo, MyMedi App, etc are some landmarks on the mobile medical front.

medical-app

As an app developer aspiring for success in the industry, it is important that you know what medical app users don’t want in their app.

First Impression Jargon

The first impressions of your app are important and you need to make a good one instantly!

If your app is confusing or doesn’t satisfy what the user wants/needs straight off the bat then the chances are high that he/she will never return to it.

On average 95% of apps are abandoned and completely forgotten about and it may surprise you to know that this usually happens within the first month and the complex first impression is one of the reasons.

Application Crashes

I understand that sometimes application crashes can’t be avoided and it might take a little tweak here and there to fix it but if your app crashes far too often then that is a big no!

Just a simple crash can absolutely ruin the reputation of your app as it’s too much effort to log back in and finish what you were doing especially in the case of a medical app due to the live call features connecting you with doctors.

If your app crashes too regularly then you could potentially risk losing users for good, the best way to avoid this is to focus on quality and assurance before even publishing the app.

However, if you did release the app before checking these issues over, there are plenty of app monitoring programs that can help you get down to the bottom of these issues and resolve them.

Keeping your app maintained is very important not just for crashes but for general bugs to more severe issues like privacy breaches etc.

Privacy Issues

Do you know how many apps have privacy issues? At least 80% which is a huge number especially if the app requires personal details to be added, eg: payment details, phone number, names, date of birth etc.

Anyone who uses your app wants to know it is safe and secure and can can also trust you with their data being safe and secure.

if not then not only for that specific user, when word gets out about the security issues then that is going to have an impact on your whole user base.

Most people can’t even begin to understand what an app can really do or what goes into it and right away there are 6 risky traits that can send off warning signals in a user’s head and these include:

  • Location tracking.
  • Passing along/selling information to third party companies or analytic companies.
  • Accessing user’s contacts and having permission to change them.
  • Accessing user’s camera and having permission to use it.
  • Accessing a user’s phone calls/text messages and having permission to make calls and send messages.
  • Accessing personal data including emails, calendar info, notes etc and having permission to view and change this data.

To ensure that you can get people to trust you and your app, avoid these behaviours and try to have some sort of security or encryption on your app and provide users with the badge of security so they know that they are safe.

With medical apps, private information needs to be 100% secure as many personal details are discussed through these apps.

Changing Smartphones

People change smartphones all the time whether it just be because they wanted a change or because they upgraded from an old device to the newer version and a lot of the time people forget to reinstall your app.

In cases, where they do reinstall they want to have all their data there to hand instead of going through the effort of signing up again, having to go through a lot of effort to sort everything out again. So having a backup system directly in your app is a handy tool for users.

Even if they do forget to reinstall or just don’t feel like dealing with the effort remind them and reassure them through your website, newsletter or even an email.

Sending Too Many Notifications

Sending too many notifications is bad for users and they find it highly annoying and will dislike your app very quickly if you notify them multiple times a day or even everyday.

In some cases you can notify people every few days or even weekly without overdoing it or without people forgetting your app.

For example, Wish is a discount store which has a mobile app and sends you notifications multiple times a day about deals, if you leave something in your cart it notifies you multiple times a day, basically you get bombarded with notifications daily and sometimes these notifications are as little as 20 minutes between.

I personally used Wish and I ended up using the browser store and removing the app because some days I was getting 30+ notifications daily and some of them were coming in as little as 5-10 minutes between.

This sort of notification system will make users get annoyed very quickly.

In the case of a medical app it’s best to notify users as little as possible, in 3 cases which notifications are important:

  • Appointment confirmation
  • Appointment reminder (a few days before)
  • Appointment reminder (on the day)

You could even give a notification every so often just reminding users to check in if they need any more medical advice or just to keep their information and doctors updated.

Notifications are important to remind people of your app but if you over-do it then it truly is a bad thing, if you just want to remind people to keep using your app then there are other ways to do so than constantly sending notifications to the user.

Examples of reminders:

  • Put a banner on your website.
  • Put a reminder inside the app.
  • Include links to your app in your newsletter.
  • Mention your app in all forms of marketing, social media etc.

Ads

On a free app the ads are okay because unless you do the freemium approach but if you don’t then how else are you supposed to make an income right?

Well, on medical apps it’s no lie that you either pay a subscription service or an upfront cost when having a consultation with a doctor whether it just be a General Practitioner, a Nurse or a Therapist then these health care professionals still need to be paid and so do the companies running these apps.

Apart from certain countries, health care is not free especially if you have private medical care and that is basically what these apps are, private medical care from the comfort of your own home without the stress of having to wait up to 8 weeks or more for an appointment.

On premium apps like this and especially if they come with a bit of a price tag no user wants to see ads everywhere or be completely overwhelmed by them because they are already paying for the services the app provides and ads are just downright annoying for any user.

Imagine you were watching a tv show and it was one you really enjoyed but it was interrupted every 5 mins by advertisements, it would be pretty frustrating right? Well, the same goes for apps and this can lead users to delete the app very quickly.

Another huge thing that will turn people away from your app if you do use ads is if the ad is irrelevant to the app and a huge example of this is using adult related ads on an app designed for kids or using gaming ads on a medical app.

In conclusion, your users are your biggest critics and can determine the fate of your app in a split second decision but as long as you provide them with exactly what they need from an app then you should do completely fine!

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