Healthcare is one of those industries that have transformed 180 degrees from what they were ever since human evolution. One of the ways through which the healthcare industry has been on top in development is through Mobile healthcare Apps. According to Businesswire, “In terms of revenue, the healthcare apps market in India was valued at 27.01 Bn in 2018 and is estimated to reach 138 Bn by 2024.”
We have almost entered an era where applications monitor our lives. Starting from a primary BP machine to conventional angiography, we depend upon application and digital devices. Healthcare is a scalable field where no one can take the risk of error as a single mistake can put multiple lives at stake. That's the reason why testing of healthcare applications & health care devices is stringent where there should be no room for error.
According to the digital healthcare market valued over $95.8 Billion globally back in 2018. In the current scenario, the growth rate of the sector is pouncing at the rate of 27.7% annually. It is expected that by the time we reach 2025, the healthcare sector will be thrice or maybe four times the current value. These figures clearly show that the demand for remote monitoring devices is skyrocketing.
Why Is There the Need for Mobile Healthcare Apps?
Increasing focus on patient-centric care, the emergence of advanced technologies, and changing business models have played a crucial role in driving the healthcare apps market. Let's discuss some of the reasons that will let us know the need for Mobile Healthcare Apps.
With the help of mobile healthcare apps, one can find a doctor, book an appointment and view all your medical test reports from the comfort of your home. For example, during the ongoing pandemic, people were able to video call their doctors and nutritionists to discuss their health issues online.
People also feel comfortable by using healthy lifestyle apps and health monitoring apps to keep themselves in check on a regular basis.
Amid the pandemic, mobile healthcare applications for patients turned out to be sanctified. Patients suffering from problems like frustration, anxiety etc. got huge help from these apps as they could make appointments with their counsellors. Other than this, there are certain healthcare mobile apps that provide yoga and meditation for free, thereby ensuring the mental wellbeing of patients.
Healthcare mobile apps not only help patients but also allow doctors to gather and store personal health data in a non-chaotic way. Patients can directly submit their insurance cards and other information to mobile apps. This further facilitates healthcare professionals to reduce errors in their paperwork.
Health is wealth! With the help of mobile healthcare apps, one can track activities like a number of steps taken while walking or running, sleep timings, diet check, period tracker and so on.
Big thanks to mobile apps! Now, patients can have super easy access to all the information they need to finalize a doctor for their treatments. From ratings, cost, expertise to other patients’ reviews and experience, one can stay well informed.
Essential Steps to Build a Healthcare App
As per, imaginovation.net, “Most of the healthcare apps have less than 10,000 downloads. However, there are 400,000 healthcare apps available in app stores.” This clearly shows that the apps are not able to meet the requirements of the users. So, let's learn some of the essential steps to build a healthcare app.
1. Easy Access to Functionalities: It's always good to have unique functions in your app but not so unique that the user fails to understand it. Patients look for an app that helps them save time on booking, changing, or cancelling the doctor's appointment. If your app requires patients to spend a long time to figure out how it works, they’ll no longer use it. So, easy access to functionalities is a must.
2. Choosing the platform: proper research is required to know the platform on which you want to launch your app in the market. The most used platforms globally are Android and iOS, and it totally depends on the user to choose any one of them.
3. Detailed & apt information: Patients want to learn about their condition, causes and then take action based on the available options. Therefore, your mobile healthcare app should be designed in such a way that it would seamlessly walk patients through the pool of information about a pertinent condition/problem.
4. Use of Layman language: Patients may have little knowledge of what problem they have. However, they will be certainly unaware of the jargon words. So, avoiding the use of technical words in your mobile healthcare app would facilitate an easy flow of information to the patients.
5. Easy communication with professionals: The mobile healthcare app should allow patients to easily interact with healthcare professionals. Studies suggest that around 75% of hospital visits are basic and can be handled over the phone or video call. Telehealth service can help in this case as it saves the time of patients and even the doctor can talk to their patients at a personal level.
6. Patient community: Patients want to connect and interact with each other. So, developers should add a community feature in their mobile healthcare app.
7. Service Integration & Testing: Integration of emergency services is an integral part. It can include; ambulance on call, ICU, and ventilator on wheels. After this, testing your app is important to find any bugs or errors before launching it to the market.
[Related Read: Role of Software Testing in Healthcare Industry]
Testing Healthcare Mobile Apps
Mobile health care apps are something that makes the connection between patients and doctors. Testing of such apps is vital so as to provide an error-free service to the users. Healthcare is that arena where a minute mistake cannot be afforded as it can lead to multiple lives being at stake. Here, testing of these apps acts as a stimulant in providing an efficient experience to the app users.
Performance Testing of Healthcare Application
Before preparing test scenarios certain requirements of the system should be considered. For example, healthcare providers (Doctors/Hospitals) provide care 24/7, so the patient check-in software needs to be available at all times. Also, it needs to communicate with insurance companies to validate policy information, send claims and receive remittances. Here, the architecture should define the different components of the system, the protocol to communicate with insurance companies, and how to deploy the system so that it complies 24/7.
Other Testing Types Applicable to Healthcare
Functional Testing: Testing healthcare applications against functional capabilities.
Conformance Testing: Conformance test Healthcare security requisites and industry frameworks.
Platform Testing: Testing of applications on the mobile platform and application testing for cross-browser compatibility.
Challenges In Testing Healthcare
It requires expertise in testing, and usually, it is high in cost.
Testing should be done keeping in mind the safety and regulatory standards- as any error can cause a direct effect on a patient's life.
The testing team needs to be well aware of the various functionalities, clinical usage, and the environment the software will be used for.
Cross dependency of software- testers need to ensure that any changes in one component or layer should not lead to side effects on the other.
Useful Tips for Healthcare Testing
Check out the list of the useful tips that can be considered while testing healthcare mobile apps:
Dates are important and need to be accurate
While designing test cases consider various parameters like different types of plans, brokers, members, commission, etc.
Complete knowledge of the domain is required
Benefits of Mobile Devices in Healthcare
Healthcare Device Testing
While health-care device software is not the direct concern of patients, they also require rigorous testing like other software testing. Machines that are controlled by software programs should be tested well because any testing error in software can lead to a serious effect on the patient.
FDA (Food and Drug Administration) has guidelines for mobile and web applications for medical devices. While testing medical devices the proper functional Test Plan is part of FDA guidelines. The results are collected and reported to FDA. This process ensures that the device meets the standard of the regulatory bodies.
Catering to the customer requirements and technology advancements, the evolution, innovations and trends of the healthcare industry will rise in coming years. Healthcare mobility solutions are going to be beneficial for the entire globe as well as the healthcare industry.
However, we can’t overlook that the healthcare app should be without any error, because one error can put multiple lives at stake. Here, testing for healthcare mobile apps becomes a crucial and vital step. If you are thinking of contacting an app testing service provider, now is the time! Contact BugRaptors.
Also Read: Case Study on Cognitive Geofencing Mobile App Testing