Its the year of mHealth. And according to a recent market research report by MarketsandMarkets, so will the next few years.
The global mHealth solutions market is expected to witness exponential growth in the coming years and is poised to reach a whopping USD 59.15 Billion by 2020, growing at a CAGR of 33.4% during the forecast period.
According to mHealth App Developer Economics Report 2015 report by Research2guidance.Com, today there are 45,000 mHealth app publishers that have published at least one mHealth app into one of the major app stores.
But, we have another contrast in this picture. How many of these apps actually go on to be successful, both in terms of usage, downloads and profits? The actually numbers paint a completely different picture.
What then, makes an mHealth app successful ? Here are the 5 key factors
1) What is the primary purpose of the app ?
mHealth apps cover a wide gamut of uses. So, the first success factor would be to arrive at the app’s primary purpose. Be it tracking or monitoring, medical condition management, nutrition and fitness, diagnosis, data collection or education , the app should serve one, clear purpose. 2) Who is the app’s intended user group? Based on the purpose of the app, the next step would to focus on who would be benefited by the app. The target user group could be very well defined in some cases (for example, a pregnancy resource app or a diabetes management app) or could be more generic ( a fitness tracking app or an app for running enthusiasts) . Once there is a clear vision of who the app can help, its much easier to align it with functionality and features.
3) What is the potential outreach of the app?
How many different people can the app reach? Has the app been built on a specific platform like iOS or can it reach a larger audience through Android platform? And the devices – is the app available only on a smartphone or are other devices like the smartwatch, glasses etc available) Each of these decisions can potentially increase or decrease the number of people who can download and use the app.
4) What is the app’s unique differentiator ?
Does the app use unique sensors? It could be device specific sensors like the accelerometer or could be associated with a wearable, a medical device like a Blood pressure monitor etc. The goal here is to ensure a USP that sets the app apart from the many different competitors in the market.
5) How will the data be protected and used?
With any app comes data. And lots of it. Therein lies the potential. Its key to understand if protected health information ( PHI) is being collected by the app, how its been collected, where its being stored and how its being used. Data privacy, HIPAA compliance and user privacy are the cornerstones of any successful mHealth app.
6) What is the distribution and publicity strategy for the app ?
Last, but not least is the distribution strategy in place for the app. Can the app be downloaded through the public app store ? Or is it something thats more private and can be downloaded only by select users? Would a physician or healthcare provider specifically recommend it to patients ? Or would app store ratings and feedback sway potential users?
With a plethora of apps in the market, answering key questions like this beforehand can make all the difference in an app’s success !
Learn more about having a successful mHealth startegy.Download the infographic to know more!