The digital healthcare market is booming. Two-thirds of patients in developed countries already use or plan to use healthcare apps in the future. The global digital health market was valued at about $50 billion in 2021. The number is expected to triple in the next 10 years.

If you are a health and wellness provider, having a dedicated app is a must. But before you decide to hire a healthcare development service company, take a look at 15 features you should include in your healthcare app to stay competitive and satisfy your customer needs.

User-friendly Registration and Sign In

The first 3 to 5 minutes will determine whether a patient will continue using the app or uninstall it from their device. If your sign-up process is complicated and not intuitive, the user will switch to a similar app. There is no shortage of alternatives in most health and wellness niches. Best practices include keeping fields to a minimum and providing alternative ways of logging in, like using popular messengers, social networks, or a Google account.

Real-Time Video Appointments

Telemedicine is one of the rapidly growing fields in the digital healthcare market. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, most health services providers switched to distance consultations and treatments for non-essential cases. With telemedicine, patients don’t have to wait countless hours in the waiting rooms, risking being exposed to the virus. Doctors can use their time more efficiently, having relevant patient data and a means of communication in a single app.

Regular Progress Updates

Healthcare and fitness apps can track daily patient progress. Doctors can use these updates to correct the course of treatment. Keeping track of their blood pressure, sugar levels, and other vitals make users more disciplined and knowledgeable about their health. It helps them develop better habits and get encouraged by their achievements, however small they may be.

Transparent Booking

Being able to plan their schedule is a feature demanded by most users. Traditional ways of booking an appointment can be messy and lack transparency. Some patients might even postpone visiting the doctor because they feel discouraged by this. If your app includes robust booking features, it not only gives more control to the patients but also lets doctors manage their workload, availability, and visiting hours with ease.

Seamless Integration with EHR Systems

Successful apps use APIs or third-party solutions to connect to popular hospital EHR software. Being able to enter and edit a patient’s health record in the app without manually transferring it to the EHR system removes duplicate work and reduces human errors. It makes tedious paperwork obsolete.

Connecting With Other Apps

In addition to EHR, there are hundreds of other applications, systems, and databases that your healthcare app can work with. From storing medical documents to managing patient data and having a multi-channel connection with a healthcare provider, APIs can improve the security, convenience, and speed of doctor-patient interactions. Using APIs can also bring down the development costs as you don’t have to duplicate features found in other apps.

Digital Prescriptions

If a doctor-patient interaction can be conducted in an online format then e-prescriptions should be available as well. This feature allows healthcare providers to generate and authenticate prescriptions and send them directly to a patient’s computer or a mobile device. This feature can be developed further by connecting to a pharmacy’s database to show the price and availability of prescribed meds.

Essential Notifications

All apps should have a thought-out notification policy. Setting automated reminders to take medication or visit a hospital is useful, especially for older patients. It should be noted that excessive notifications might force a patient to uninstall the app.

Chatbots and Messaging

Most users prefer text communication to calls and video conferencing. A built-in messaging allows patients to ask questions, receive quick care, and build trust with their healthcare provider. Using chatbots is a great way to improve customer service and provide the most frequently sought information about symptoms or treatments without overburdening human chat reps. Chatbots also allow patients to stay in touch with a healthcare provider 24/7.

Intuitive Dashboard

A dashboard is usually the first thing a user sees after logging into the app. It should have all the necessary information in one place, providing a quick overview for doctors and patients. You might have a separate dashboard for doctors and a simplified version for regular users. To provide a great user experience, a dashboard should utilize easy-to-understand graphics and bright color palettes. Don’t forget about the needs of visually impaired patients.

Payment Gateway Integration

In addition to setting appointments and participating in video conferences, the app should have convenient payment integration. Many healthcare services require advance payments, as well. Using credit cards or popular payment gateways like PayPal should cover most billing needs of healthcare professionals. Additional options might include budgeting or exporting payment statistics and sending them to insurance companies.

Bracelets and Other Wearables

Wearables made a revolution in the fitness niche. However, the usability of these devices can extend beyond calorie counting or managing workouts. Healthcare providers can use bracelets and other wearable devices to monitor a patient’s heart rate, blood pressure, blood sugar levels, and more. Doctors can receive regular updates and adjust their treatment to achieve better results.

Multi-Language Support

While English is a universal language, having support for other popular languages like Spanish, Chinese or Arabic allows you to reach a larger demographic in different parts of the world. A lot of medical terms can be language-specific. Allowing users to receive information about the course of treatment, symptoms, or medicine in their native tongue will increase customer satisfaction.

Virtual Reality

VR is the frontier of modern technology. It has incredible potential in healthcare and medical staff training. For example, surgeons may perform routine or complicated surgeries in virtual reality, allowing them to become more experienced in the real world. Patients can use VR to perform exercises or even manage pain.

User Privacy

You can’t develop an app without a comprehensive user privacy policy. Healthcare data is extremely sensitive. Patients should be able to trust your app. There are also dozens of regulations, including HL7, HIPAA, and GDPR, that healthcare software must conform to when handling patient data.