The healthcare industry has always struggled to stay current with technology when compared to other industries – and this does not exclude mobile applications. Many large healthcare organizations are still lacking a suitable mHealth app, making it more difficult than necessary for patients to access medical records, conduct appointment scheduling, securely message their providers, or utilize online bill pay.

Thankfully, we have seen a shift transpiring in the healthcare industry in recent years. At my company Universe mHealth, which offers an app platform that makes it easier and more cost-effective for healthcare organizations to develop an app, we’ve been seeing a marked increase in the number of organizations that are committed to creating an app for their patients. Here are some of the major factors contributing to this occurrence. 

Availability of Cheaper App Development

The cost of developing an app has decreased significantly in recent years. With new technologies such as React and Angular, which allow code to be written across multiple mobile operating systems, app development for iOS and Android is now available at much lower costs. As a result, app maintenance is much cheaper simply because there is only one codebase to maintain for all mobile operating systems.

Software System Interfacing is Getting Easier

To create a successful mobile app, there needs to be a seamless interface between an organization’s other existing software systems. This can include a healthcare organization’s RCM software, EMR, event scheduling system, and much more. Occasionally, it can be difficult or near impossible for a health system’s existing software to interface between various systems. Furthermore, even if an interface is possible, the creation of these interfaces can be extremely time-consuming. 

Many medical software developers have been swapping out HL7-based capabilities for API-based capabilities, which is much simpler for interfacing various software solutions with an app. As an added bonus, there are also usually much fewer maintenance-requiring problems when using APIs. 

Patients Want Mobile Apps

In other industries, such as real estate and transportation, customers have access to high-quality mobile applications. Consumers have grown accustomed to using mobile apps in their day-to-day lives, and we are seeing a greater demand for quality mobile applications from healthcare organizations. Healthcare patients are searching for convenience and function in their lives, and mobile apps (when done correctly) provide just that.

When a healthcare organization is able to properly develop a HIPAA-compliant mobile app, patients can use their smartphones to pay bills, sign up for events, check urgent wait times, schedule appointments, and much more. Some healthcare organizations are able to provide some of these functions online using their patient portal, but a mobile application only increases ease of access for healthcare customers. All of this put together increases patient retention while raising the quality of patient engagement, leading to the overall growth of an organization.

For more information about how mHealth apps are changing the landscape of the healthcare industry, please visit Universe mHealth online for more information.  

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Bridge Patient Portal is the leading patient portal technology for practices, hospitals and telemedicine businesses. The Bridge Patient Portal platform is ideal for organizations seeking to replace their existing EHR portals or connect to disparate EHR environments with a single, EHR-agnostic patient portal platform. Bridge Patient Portal has installations in more than 50 physician practices, hospitals and health systems nationwide. Bridge offers a coordinated, online patient communication platform and provides expert assistance to help you navigate your Health IT landscape, build better patient-provider relationships and achieve Meaningful Use.

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