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Digital health product development best practices

Oct 25, 2021

6 minutes read

In 2021, we saw a revolution in the digital space as businesses continued to move their services online. This change has opened many new doors of opportunities for businesses in the digital market space. We see retail, automobile, and insurance industries quickly adopting solutions that offer automation and AI. The healthcare sector is no exception. 

Hospitals around the world are heavily relying on software to automate and manage the hospital and patient-related records. Companies are utilizing healthcare software development to improve compatibility, provide precise symptom indication, and create user-friendly interoperability.

As a start-up or a mid-sized business, you can utilize product development to create innovative solutions for the digital healthcare space. To help you successfully launch a product through various stages of product development, in this article we have gathered some of the best practices for digital healthcare product development. 

Identify customer’s pain points

Before starting on this journey, it is essential to identify your customer’s pain points. What kind of problems are they facing in the healthcare space? Are your customers experiencing trouble in the billing and payments departments? Is the telehealth system insufficiently designed, making it difficult for patients to book appointments? 

Take the time to identify the main problem area and then take steps to provide a solution. The best solutions come from businesses that genuinely want to solve a problem for their customer. The human element builds a real connection with your prospective client and helps them put their trust in you.

Set expectations for success

What may be a successful product for you might not ring the same bell for the customer. You need to ask the customer the vital question: What will a successful solution mean to you?

Consider a scenario where doctors aren’t able to identify a disease at an early stage because of time constraints. Analyzing medical images is a time-consuming process as doctors have to go over thousands of patients’ records and come up with a diagnosis. 

For a hospital, a solution to this problem would involve utilizing tools that can speed up the image analysis process so doctors can provide quicker diagnoses and focus on the patient’s treatment plan.

Identifying pain points and setting expectations for success will help you design a healthcare product that solves real-life problems efficiently.

Related: Project discovery phase: to skip or not to skip?

Keep user experience a priority

Having an amazing product isn’t enough, it should also solve people’s problems. Your product should provide solutions that make people’s lives easier. Whether you are developing a product for patients, hospital staff, or healthcare providers, your product must be designed keeping the end-user in mind.

Empathize with the user and understand their expectations. Throughout the product development process, the spotlight should be on the user. A product designed while keeping user experience in mind will provide a consistent user experience across all applications.

When a user engages with a user-friendly product, they know their way through it. They find the whole process simple and easy to follow. A bad design can leave users feeling frustrated and helpless. In the healthcare sector, everything must be accessible to users quickly and easily. 

Conduct a preliminary research

Before unleashing a product into the market, you want to make sure you have covered all bases. At times there may be a disconnect between designers, developers, and users. To ensure everyone is on the same page, it’s important to conduct a preliminary research.

Modern tools have significantly simplified the ways to assess customers’ pain points, price ranges, and features. You can use various research methods, such as surveys, interviews, social media Q&A sessions, or observations. 

If there is an existing product in the market similar to your product, engaging with the product will expose you to the end-user interface. It will give you a rough idea of how a customer will potentially engage with a similar product (that’s yours).

Testing everything out on the user’s end will bring forward any problems or loopholes that need to be addressed earlier in the product development process.

Consider engaging with subject matter experts

In the product development process, while a flawless design is important, at the same time understanding the concept behind the product also holds significant weightage. A designer may know how to write code but they won’t know how the health sector works. An expert in the healthcare field will guide you through the steps you need to create a fully functioning product. 

For example, doctors use patients’ medical images to diagnose any potential ailments. Utilizing AI and Machine Learning tools can help calculate quantitative data and analyze the minor changes in medical images to predict diseases at early stages. 

As a software developer, you are not familiar with the medical processes that deal with the diagnoses and treatments, so a subject matter expert can help you understand the concepts and process much better. Utilizing the information they give you, you can create accurate solutions for your customers. Of course, in an ideal situation, you may want to have a product development team that is also an expert in the healthcare sector, however, hiring a consultant can also help provide a better insight into the medical terminologies and concepts to create an accurate product.

Create a prototype

Create a prototype, test it, and rework it until the desired outcome is achieved. Building a prototype before the actual product will give you an idea of how a user will interact with the product once it’s out in the market.

Make necessary revisions

Once you build a prototype and receive feedback from the customer, you may have to implement changes to the original design. This is part and parcel of the product development process. Everything may not always work perfectly well the first time. You may have to go through several rounds before the customer is satisfied.

Scale after a successful launch

You have successfully launched your product! Congratulations! It’s time to celebrate your success. Take this time to observe how the audience interacts with your product. Gather valuable usage data or any roadblocks that come in the way. Fix any major bugs, or redesign elements of UX design, if needed.

Also, keep in mind the rapidly changing market landscape. Your competitors may be incorporating new features based on the current market need, so make sure to stay on top of the game.

At VITech, we create efficient healthcare software development for patient involvement management, precise symptom indication, and conclusive healthcare outcomes services. Through various web and mobile solutions, we provide error-free, safe, and user-friendly healthcare development services. We are also compliant with HIPAA and other significant healthcare regulations.

Our key areas of expertise include chronic diseases management, healthcare CRM, clinical trials solutions, medical software integration, medical data analysis, medical image analysis, and data safety.

Interested in learning more about digital health product development and services? Chat with us today!

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