Overview: Medical App Development Costs Guide
Digitalization has led to advancement in several industries, and healthcare is one of them. Consequently, a significant increase in the cost of healthcare services has been observed, especially in developed countries, such as the US.
The demand for digital healthcare solutions is on the rise. The spike in COVID-19 cases is an essential contribution to the growing demand for digital healthcare solutions. Since the pandemic’s beginning, the number of downloads of digital health applications has risen by 60%. The mHealth market was valued at $45 billion. It is now anticipated to cross $100 billion by the end of this year.
This increased demand encourages organizations to extend their services to the digital world by creating impressive healthcare applications. Medical applications are certainly a profitable option that promises elevated revenues, considering the increasing demand and growth of the mHealth market.
However, medical device app development is not as easy as it may seem. The profitability and increased revenues come with a cost.
What is the Medical App Development Costs Breakdown?
The expenditure of developing a healthcare application relies on several factors depending on which your costs might deflate or inflate. You must first identify the resources you already own and the resources you need to acquire to proceed with the development process.
While we may want to put the finger on exactly the costs of developing a medical health app, that is not always possible. It all comes down to what features of a digital healthcare solution you wish to provide your users and their level of advancement.
Here are some of the factors that break down the expenses of developing a healthcare application:
- The Functionality and Purpose of the Application:
There are several types of healthcare applications. Every application has unique features and capabilities that influence the final cost of developing a particular app, from telehealth apps to symptom checkers. Choosing the kind of application you wish to develop will depend on what features you want to provide to your users.
Do you want users to be able to contact physicians via video chat? Will users be able to get prescriptions digitally? Will they be able to get alerts on upcoming appointments or medication?
All of these factors determine how much you will spend on the development of your healthcare app.
- Supported Devices and Mobile Platforms:
One of the most important aspects to consider when developing an application is what mobile platforms your app will be available on and what devices will support the app. This is a significant concern for almost all the top healthcare IT companies. This means you need to decide what platforms your application will be available on. Will it be Android only or iOS only, or will your app be available to users of both? The specific devices that your application will support are also a critical consideration to make when it comes to app development.
Will your app support just the latest iPhone models, i.e., iPhone X and beyond, or will it also support iPhone models beyond iPhone 7?
- Integration Points:
Integration points describe what third-party apps will be integrated into your application. For example, to alert the user of upcoming appointments, you might want to integrate your app with Google Calendar, etc.
- Visual Objects:
The visual objects in your application are a significant influence on the cost of developing it.
- Maintenance Plans:
The completion of the app development process is not the end of your expenditure. Once the development phase is complete, you will require technical assistance from the app developer to continue running the application seamlessly. This technical assistance and maintenance require a specific cost that depends on the maintenance plan you select.
Can Medical App Development Costs be Compared? A Medical App Development Costs Comparison:
The cost of developing a medical app varies by the type of application you decide to build for Android or iOS. This is because not every medical app has the same features and capabilities, which influences app development cost. Some of the popular types of medical apps are listed below:
Medication Management Apps
Medication Management apps can send alerts and reminders to their users to take their medication at the prescribed time. Such apps might also alert users to get refills or notify them of any exercises or injections their physician has prescribed. The primary purpose is to manage the drug intake of patients. Such apps could require third-party integrations for alerts and reminders, which may add to development costs.
EHRs (Electronic Health Records)
The medical application market demands EHRs, or electronic health records the most. The reason for this is the advanced organization and storage capabilities that these apps show off. With EHRs, the challenging task of storing and management of vast patient records becomes much more accessible. The intelligent apps allow doctors to access medical records instantly and give their patients the care they require on time.
Doctor Consultation Apps
Ever since the pandemic forced people indoors, doctor consultation app downloads have been on the rise. Doctor consultation apps allow users to book appointments at hospitals closest to their location. The best of these apps also notify users of scheduled appointments.
With telehealth apps, patients are not required to make extended visits to the hospital any more. The number of downloads of telehealth apps has also increased since the beginning of the pandemic.
Considering the increasing number of users of telemedicine apps, the investment in their development is undoubtedly profitable. They are convenient for patients who are unable to visit hospitals.
Symptom checkers are also one of the apps that have experienced an increase in popularity since the beginning of the pandemic. This means developing such apps is beneficial for the developers. The main feature of symptom checkers is to confirm specific diagnoses by guiding them to the nearest lab centre.
Remote Patient Monitoring
Digital healthcare solutions enable physicians to monitor patients from anywhere, at any time. They are designed to bridge the gap between doctors and patients who require care on an emergency basis.
These apps allow doctors to monitor chronic health issues such as blood pressure levels, heart problems, etc. Pregnancy apps fall under this category, designed to monitor fetal growth.
How Much is Medical App Development Costs SaaS?
The total expenditure on cloud computing services is predicted to grow by 23%. SaaS will reach$122.6 billion in the next few years. SaaS helps every industry develop strong relations with its audience and customers. The same is the case with the healthcare industry.
SaaS allows hospitals and healthcare providers to cater to the needs of their patients. Here are the 7 components of the SaaS application:
CRM (Customer Relationship Management)
There are several stages involved in developing SaaS healthcare applications, each of which requires different expenditure.
Stage 1: Market Research
Market research can cost you nothing, only if you do everything on your own. However, hiring a business analyst involves an expenditure of about $80 per hour which means the total cost of market research depends on the time it takes to conduct the research.
Stage 2: Product Planning
Product planning and discovery require at least a week or a maximum time of up to 3 weeks. This means multiplying the pay per hour of the expert with the total number of hours it takes will give you the cost. On average, this phase costs about $1,600-$4,800.
Stage 3: App Design, Testing, and Development
Once a basic design has been developed, it only takes a few months to roll out an MVP. If the average hourly rate is $35, then it should take about $17000 to launch an MVP within 3 months.
Stage 4: Launching the App
Like we said earlier, the expenses do not end at the launch of the application. Once an app has launched and is available for public users, the developers will always be required to pay for the long-term maintenance and improvements in the app. Combining this cost with hosting, the numbers can vary since hosting is priced between $1K to $10K.
What are the Medical App Development Costs vs. Benefits?
Although the development of a healthcare app is costly, the benefits and profitability of these apps are undeniable. The costs of development might intimidate individuals from investing in healthcare apps, but considering the countless benefits of such apps, the expenditure is worth it. These apps not only benefit patients but also make the lives of healthcare providers easier.
Here are some of the benefits of medical apps that one can’t ignore:
Healthcare is not always adequately available in all areas. Thanks to healthcare apps, doctors can connect with their patients virtually and offer healthcare facilities and prescriptions regardless of their location. This benefits both doctors and patients who require a healthcare facility but cannot visit a hospital.
Undeniably, developing a healthcare app is costly, but in the long run, the costs of operation are nothing compared to the revenue that these apps generate. The company saves up on the costs of employing labour because the app’s functionality is mainly automated. From the patient’s perspective, they don’t have to spend as much on transportation to the hospital since they can consult doctors directly.
Higher Productivity Levels:
Increased productivity translates to lower costs. Thanks to healthcare apps, physicians can access patient information from anywhere, working more productively without wasting time on paperwork. This raises productivity levels which can generate higher revenues in the long run.
New Business Models:
Referral pads that were once used to develop patient relations and make door-to-door visits are now a thing of the past. Thanks to hl7 data integration, accessibility is improved, plus clinicians can write resourceful referrals quickly. This establishes new business models and unearths new opportunities.
What are the Medical App Development Costs vs. Soft Costs?
A lot goes into building a healthcare app, from planning and market research to testing the application and post-launch expenses. The process begins with market research and finding out what features of healthcare apps are in demand today. Do people prefer symptom checkers, or do they demand telehealth applications?
Is it more convenient for people to book appointments online and visit a hospital in person, or do they prefer to consult doctors virtually? This will help you discover what kind of app you need to develop, but to conduct market research. You need a specialist team who knows what they are doing. This comes with certain costs, referred to as the soft costs of medical app development.
In addition to this, it is not possible to build an app without deployment and testing. In other words, before you release your application for public use, the developers need to test out the functionality of your app and check to see whether the user interface is ideal or not.
You must ensure your app is simple to use and easy to navigate. For this purpose, testing is a crucial phase, but it is also an expensive stage. The soft costs of developing a medical app are just as significant as the hard costs, including hosting, a developing team, license purchasing, and much more.
How long does it take to make a medical app?
The time it takes to develop a medical application depends on a bunch of factors. Creating a simple application takes at least 3 to 6 months, while a medium app requires 6 to 10 months. On the other hand, a complex application will need more than 10 months for development.
This is just an estimate, which means the time it takes is variable. It could take longer than expected in case a complication arises during development.
Building a medical application is not easy. The costs of development depend on numerous factors but compared to developing other apps, and healthcare apps are more expensive because development also involves healthcare compliances. Health care compliance organizations play an integral role in app development which further increases the cost of medical app development.