Health tech is booming industry recently, which gives rise to several healthcare startups becoming giants. What are their secrets to success?
The digital health sector stepped into a maturation stage in 2019. In fact, the medical and healthcare industry has been at the top three sectors of the list that experienced significant growth in mobile devices. Last year, there were over 195,000 digital healthcare apps launched. In which, several apps deliver the digital forms of communication between doctors and patients.
Emerging technology in healthcare promotes comprehensive home care, which reduces the massive burden for public hospitals. In reality, healthcare startups are inspired by the idea of prescription digital therapeutics. Take mental health apps as examples, these apps provide activities and tasks to prevent mental disorders. Xmed Health is an outstanding app in the matrix mental health mobile apps. It developed to reduce pressure for users, frequently known as telemedicine for souls. Working around Artificial Intelligent technology, Xmed designed lists questions to detect mental issues of users.
Along with the domination of smartphones in human life, startups that provide mobile apps development for healthcare promises to gain more potentials to succeed. The estimated size of the global mobile health market in 2019 reached $37 billion, while this number is expected to double the increase in 2020 (roundly $72 billion). However, the Healthcare sector tends to be a closed industry with strict regulations and rules.
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In particular, healthcare startups companies might struggle with launching their very first digital health software. It might be due to a lack of resources and experiences. Fortunately, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) claimed to focus on digital healthcare. They developed a group of professionals, forming a project called “Software as a Medical Device”. FDA also released a comprehensive guideline for healthcare software getting approved. With enormous opportunities and challenges, let discuss 5 major aspects causing healthcare tech startups’ success or failure.
Healthcare software companies focus on patients but don’t forget doctors.
Different from other mobile apps in the market which designed to improve users’ engagement via interesting feature, digital healthcare software work alongside patients’ trustworthy. For startups, which have never appeared in the market before, patients have their right regarding severe suspicion regarding the services they provide. Without quality doctors, healthcare apps cannot take responsible itself for any health issues of users.
On the other hand, the trendings on digital health focus on home care scheduling software and electronic health records software, which require an intensive connection between patients and doctors. These apps enable digital communication that patients could contact their assigned health professors directly in apps.
At Adamo, we have developed a healthcare mobile app, mainly focusing on premature birth care. In the research period, we recognized that parents of premature babies expect to get custom care from hospitals and clinics. They require real healthcare experts instead of preset software. In pursuing this basic requirement, Adamo created an app as connecting platforms. In which, parents can enter a virtual hospital with real doctors. They can easily schedule medical appointments and get advice that fits with their baby’s health status. On the other side, this app provides unique features for doctors, where they can manage patients and make electronic health records.
In other words, healthcare software recently treats professionals as users or even partners, who co-operate in serving patients. In fact, when patients got satisfied with private professors, they have low incentives to change the producer.
Mobile health technology tends to be designed friendly with low tech users
As mention above, doctors or healthcare experts tend to be the strategic users of digital health software. It is the fact that most of them are extremely busy in keen on technology advancement. In the US, roundly 70% of healthcare experts were claimed to be over 45 years old in 2018, which group has less ability to quickly adapt to IT innovation.
Similar evidence was seen in doctors’ demographics in various EU nations. In terms of patients, it is undeniable that older people suffer more health issues than others. These groups tend to be the focused groups of the most digital health software. Generally, a high portion of users in the health tech app might be considered as a low-tech group, which requires friendly designs. For those features with more complications, healthcare professionals should be well-train in a custom campaign.
Digital health startups perform among industry’s regulations and rules
Healthcare authorities are acknowledging that current regulations and governance might deter startups from entering the market.
Fortunately, several countries have started to embed support health companies to fulfill legal requirements by promulgating guidelines and frameworks. Australia has published a national digital strategy for enabling the digitization of healthcare in this country.
In the US, the FDA considered a flexible framework to validate medical software products. They propose the concept of real-world data in this industry. However, it is not all about strategy. Undoubtedly, any improvement in governments’ policies takes time to take effect. Currently, health tech software emerges strict control of professional rules and regulations. Only experts with legal licenses could back up for the projects. As a result, health professionals should involve several stages of app development. Cove, successful mental health apps, provide simple music maker for relaxing. For validation in the US, Cove got assistants from clinicians and medical experts. This app did require technical tested, evaluated, and trailed in several health organizations before officially launching.
Finding Strategic partners for healthcare tech startups
Healthcare is a highly competitive industry, where incumbents take absolute advantage compared with startups regarding certifications and professionals. Clearly, flight alone seemingly is a thorny and solitary path. Precursors have a high incentive to attract newbies by their heavy weapon: professional barriers and capital advantage.
Without cooperation, hospitals and traditional clinics might treat digital health companies as competitors. Due to abundant resources, including a restricted community of current clients, newbies might not have any chance to win. As a result, make friends do not make enemies. Searching for integration might be an efficient solution for most startups in recent times.
Also read: 8 Common Pitfalls When Building a Mobile App
Telehealth mobile Apps should include science-based games and activities
One of the most important missions of digital health apps refers to raising prominent communities of users. However, keeping current users on apps is concerned as a long-run goal. Apart from specialized features, health mobile apps should provide engaging games and activities, which could capture users’ attention. Unlike other social apps, those games are required science-based evidence of efficiency in the health sector.
Gamification in health apps
Highline examples of gamification practice embed in digital health mobile app:
- Taking a progress bar with questions and activities on a daily basis. For example, chronic disease prevention: Gamified health tracking designed to keeps patients follow appropriate therapy treatment.
- Custom award including medals, virtual currency, and rank bar
- Simple music-making, drawing, and coloring tools for better mood
- Enabling group participant or community access.
Must-have features that keep users’ loyalty
- Telemedicine and home care scheduling
- Online medical examination with video conferencing
- Search, listing, and profiles for users
- Health dashboard feature for electronic health records
- Personal notification and reminders
- Blockchain and cloud
- Report and analytics features
Final words: the telehealth industry open an enormous door that leads startups to success. However, huge opportunities often enclose with big challenges. To become giants, startups should collaborate with professional healthcare software development company, which can limit the uncertainties during the app development journey.