Challenges in Mobile Healthcare in 2017
As mobile devices continue to offer consumers efficient ways of managing and tracking their health, the mobile healthcare industry is expected to grow further heading into 2017. However, that doesn’t mean the industry won’t face challenges that app developers and mHealth product producers need to address to ensure a steady growth in the coming year, 2017.
It was reported that mobile health app revenue is expected to grow tenfold this year. Based on a study conducted in 2014 entitled ‘mHealth App Developer Economics,’ the market will grow to $26 billion by the end of 2017 from $2.4 billion in 2013.
Currently, most premium handsets today boast their own revolutionary health apps that are built-in to the mobile operating systems. Apple recently introduced the iOS 10 with an interesting Health app update that comes with more comprehensive tracking systems that measure sleep, reproductive health and so on. The software is said to be the reason “why there’s nothing else like an iPhone.” The OS update also contributed to the new iPhone 7 being one of the most sought after handsets on the market, which many O2 users gave a healthy 4.1-star rating, despite the negative reactions from many users regarding its aesthetic upgrades.
Meanwhile, the new and upgraded Android health applications were also released in 2016. However, since Google became more focused on introducing Nougat as a data encrypted and secured OS, it had missed out on addressing some of the compatibility issues it was criticized for, particularly with its S Health. These issues should be addressed immediately by both app developers and OS providers to avoid losing customers in the coming months.
Thus, let’s highlight the challenges in mobile healthcare during 2017 that will help developers in making their mHealth platform efficient, effective, and reliable.
Even with the upgraded security measures implemented by OS providers and mobile manufacturers, security remains an issue among many users and app developers. Unfortunately, tech companies are yet to come up with a device, which is 100% secure and free from being hacked. Because of this, devices are still susceptible to hackers and data breach.
So with that in mind, here are the best practices to ensure app security:
- Validate input fields
- Apply SSL and HTTPS
- Maximize ‘threat modeling’ phase
- Reduce app request permissions
- Encrypt saved data using AES
Complexity in mobile systems
Aside from security, mobile operating systems also create an issue in terms of app development. To prevent data leakage and to fix bugs, OS providers make their mobile ecosystem complex, which greatly affects the development app process. Developers need to make their applications simple and easy-to-use while building it on a complex platform.
Devices and apps that are difficult to use hamper the amount of medical professionals and other users that want to use their platforms, thereby negating gains in efficiency.
To maintain a strong relationship with users, developers need to keep them well informed and engaged. This process is also vital in enhancing the digital medical experiences of patients. There’s a need to ensure quality and transparency across all types of users from doctors and medical departments to patients in order to improve user satisfaction scores. It’s virtually impossible to offer quality mobile healthcare services if the app or platform isn’t capable of delivering this data to the end-user.
“Both clinicians and administrative leaders are hungry for data to make decisions and guide their planning,” said Bobbi Brown of Health Catalyst.
Failing to address the aforementioned challenges will have a great impact on how much growth the mobile healthcare industry sees in 2017. Fortunately, there’s a way to combat it through providing a truly engaging mobile experience. All that is left to do is to start working towards a mobile-friendly future today.
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Exclusively written for Altencalsoftlabs.com by Jen’sTech