Steve Jobs is an undeniable genius of marketing. If there is a person that could sell an $99 pencil without breaking a sweat and in a way everyone loves the “new’, “innovative” solution – it was him, not Tim Cook nor any other living person on our planet. And, surprisingly, many of Steve’s claims and his approach towards products Apple developed are perfectly applied in the world of medical software development. Why? Because in this field of development customers come first and functionality and all other sorts of innovative, revolutionary ideas are second players. And you, as a business owner, have to adjust with this idea, deal with it and work according to it.
There are approximately 500 million of smartphone users all over the world who have healthcare applications installed on their devices and this number grows exponentially. It is believed that by the end of 2018 the impressive 1.7 billion of people will monitor their health via smart devices.
This happened due development costs have dropped as mobile development is mostly based on numerous open-source frameworks and solutions and even those of premium quality are not as expensive as they also have cheaper (free) competition to withstand. Cheapness and availability created a massive playground around the market of medical software development where new, unrecognized players have as much chances for success as recognized sharks of the industry. But is this a great metric?
New startups pop up day and night and get forgotten faster than they’ve got their first 100.000 likes on Facebook. Competition is tough and literally kills entire companies. Mostly because many people do not understand that people’s health is not a thing you can play around with. It’s no place for questionable experiments and no way will an attitude of an entertainment startup work out fine here. No, don’t get this wrong, well-branded and properly marketed solutions will get their 5 minutes of fame and first installs but only until people will actually start launching their solutions.
Today, despite market has a lot to offer few healthcare and medical applications are truly popular and demanded and ‘m about to tell you how to ensure your solution is just like that. But first, we have to determine…
…Why do things go south?
I have begun this post from mentioning Steve jobs and I did so for a reason. He was right when saying that manufacturers ought to start in a somewhat fresh direction – customer experience and then only can developers and designers move further with working on the technology itself. This idea may seem somewhat cheesy today, yet works in 10 cases out of 10, especially if healthcare is concerned.
You are, after all, creating solutions for people with special needs and those needs must be considered up-front. Don’t give your users fancy looks and great functionality they have no need in. your app may look and feel fancy. But if it does not resolve any serious issues in a comfortable, user-friendly manner than sorry, such an app’s place is straight in the dumpster.
Some pro tips just for you
- Compensation. Think this process through from cover to cover. Effectively research healthcare industry economics and apply your own rules and regulations with respect to common standards. Numerous events may take place and considering you are creating solutions for people of different health conditions backing both them and your business seems like a bright idea.
- Ensure effectiveness. This can only be achieved through accurate clinical research. Find out what do your end-users need and give it to them. Make sure your app either reduces costs of treatment or provides access to valuable data no other solution has yet displayed in a better, more efficient manner. And, never forget about design.
- Development < requirements. The entire development cycle should complement requirements and regulations of the healthcare industry like the IEC 62304. Apply risk management processes accordingly.
- Embrace a whole new level of intuitiveness. Commercially successful products are always user-friendly and understandable. No user should experience any issues while harvesting from all goods your app or device has to offer. And, there are numerous standards and best practices ready for you to use wherever and whenever you want them. Well, in terms of medical solutions you can forget about all proven practices and methodologies. You will have to create your own path. This happens because of your target audience. People you create products for might be slightly different in needs and preferences than others as they might have problems with hearing or seeing, for example and icons and buttons fairly larger than usual may make sense in your case. Such things, as numerous others cannot be ignored.
These simple, yet proven little tricks have already assisted lots of our customers and I sincerely hope you will benefit from them as well. However if you have any other thoughts or ideas – the comment section is always open!