The Ultimate Guide To Develop Minimum Viable Product (MVP) for Healthcare Applications

Key Takeaways

  • Data reports that 45 percent of product launches are delayed, leading to a loss in time and money. However, MVP development guarantees a reduction in project delays and failure.
  • Investors are only interested to know whether a healthcare MVP has any market need or not, and without this investors won’t go ahead with the idea.
  • MoSCoW is one of the proven methods for prioritizing features during minimum viable product development.

The top causes for the failure of a startup or any business are no market need for a product/service, absence of monetary support, and lack of the right team. More than half of the businesses don’t survive till the fourth year due to all of these reasons. So, to avoid such scenarios, it’s best to have a minimum viable product (MVP) for whichever application is being developed.

In this context, the development of a minimum viable product for healthcare applications will help to increase its scalability, range of users, and a steady source of monetary help from investors. Let’s dive in to know more about the benefits, challenges, and process of building a minimum viable product for healthcare applications.

Benefits of Developing MVP for Healthcare Applications

1. Faster Time to Market

According to a 2019 Gartner report, only 55 percent of product launches take place on time, 45 percent of the products are delayed, and 20 percent on average fail to meet internal targets.

Primary reasons for a high rate of delays can be either building the wrong product or creating a product that’s too long. By using the minimal viable product method, healthcare app developers can not only reduce the risk of project failures but also minimize the time to market a healthcare app.

Implementing basic and useful features in an application can significantly reduce time to market. Faster time to market gives a competitive edge, helps to rectify issues quickly, and assures on-time product delivery.

2. Helps to Pitch Ideas to Investors

The key goal of MVP is to showcase a healthcare app’s functionality and this is what interests investors the most. Understanding an application’s functionality helps investors gauge the problem that an app is trying to resolve.

Further, MVPs make presentations more simple and streamlined. Ensure to display the market need for a healthcare app because without it investors may not be interested in the idea.

One of the examples of a failed market need is that of a startup called Dinnr, a service that delivered pre-packed ingredients based on a recipe. Market research displayed positive results, but in reality, Dinnr had little or no market need.

3. Testing Healthcare App With Real Users

Testing a healthcare app with real users allows app developers to:

a. Check whether installed features are liked and preferred by users or not.

b. If target users are attracted to your healthcare application.

c. Helps to eliminate redundant features and functionalities.

d. Issues in an app are fixed as early as possible.

Feedback from the target audience such as patients, nurses, doctors, or administrative staff helps to modify the initial app. Feedback-based improvisation makes a medical app more valuable. Real-life results help developers to understand how a user perceives a software app.

Some of the best ways to acquire feedback are social media surveys, reviews on the app store, cold emails, paper prototypes to understand user experience, and A/B testing.

4. Minimal Time and Cost Needs

The minimum viable product method helps to build something that doesn’t already exist in the market and test a product before investing in it. This eventually saves tons of money and time spent in developing healthcare software or app.

The performance of MVP determines whether to go ahead with a project or not. This saves investors from huge financial, resource, and time losses. Thus, MVP is a fruitful approach for reducing healthcare development costs in the long run.

Further, continuous consumer feedback allows the creation of healthcare software that caters to the needs of users. Once core features are identified it’s quite easy to make a minimum viable product for healthcare.

Overall, MVP helps to save money and time through consumer support, upgrades, and iterations. One of the best case studies that support this statement is that of Airbnb, an application to find affordable stays. Airbnb was built with an MVP called and had bare minimum features along with a few photos. MVP helped the investors to test the market before going all in with the investment.

Steps to Develop MVP for Healthcare Application

1. Market Research

Market research helps to define the target audience and core features to build an MVP for healthcare software. To kick off market research activities, here are some of the top tools and technologies that mobile app developers can use:

a. Google Market Finder: To identify new opportunities in the market.

b. Google Trends: To analyze product trends in the market and measure the interests of people.

c. Google Surveys and Survey Monkey: This is an effective and cheap way to gain feedback from the target audience.

Other than this, some of the market research campaigns that work well are email and landing page campaigns. During market research, consider narrowing down a niche audience to have a better shot at positioning a healthcare software product. This can be done by answering a few questions such as why and who will use these products, including time to market and profits estimations. Additionally, analyzing competitors’ products and services will help to get a better idea of the target audience during MVP market research.

2. Build and Launch MVP

Now that the nuts and bolts of market research are set in place, the next step is to build and launch MVP for healthcare applications. For this, identify core pathways and create an MVP workflow. Concentrate on users’ needs and then plot out steps to accomplish each task. Once this is done, move on to the features section.

Consider hiring a specialist healthcare app developer as a great deal of complexity is involved. If going ahead with a DIY project then remember this example; founder of W-9 Form Manager, John Croyle, created a complex website that wasn’t user-friendly and ended up losing tens of thousands of dollars. So, in such cases, it’s best to get an expert on board.

Next, include all the core features, however, avoid adding any extra features as this creates confusion for users. Don’t reveal all the bells and whistles at once in a healthcare MVP. Scrutinize how users respond to the healthcare application and then scale it to the utmost efficiency.

A pro tip to remember is that it’s quite easy to get caught up with unnecessary features, so work under a tight deadline. Additionally, keep the minimum viable product as simple as possible to get the ball rolling. Don’t try to perfect an MVP for healthcare applications, instead launch it once all core features are installed.

3. Testing and Tweaking MVP

Test minimum viable product for healthcare apps by acquiring feedback from the target audience and then fine-tune it. Know how users feel about the healthcare application through surveys, chats, or calls.

Reviews and feedbacks are reasons for the success of well-known apps which were an MVP first and these include Facebook, Dropbox, and Instagram. Based on feedback, add or delete features and functionalities. Consider upgrading the application every 3-4 months based on reviews and market trends.

Compliance for MVP in Healthcare

Healthcare apps and software are required to fall under certain security and privacy regulations to protect the vital personal data of patients. Disclosure of ePHI (Protected Health Information) is authorized by patients under these rules.

In the USA, all healthcare data is safeguarded with HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act) and HITECH (Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health Act) regulations. Without these rules, a healthcare app won’t see the light of the day, as they ensure the security of data through physical, administrative, and technical safeguards.

As per these rules, four critical aspects must be implemented in a healthcare product: emergency access, automatic log-off, unique user identification, and role-based authorization. Furthermore, approval of the FDA (Food and Drugs Administration) is also essential to bring a product to the market.

A Digital Health Software Precertification (Pre-Cert) Program launched by the FDA allows companies to innovate rapidly, without applying for a 510K clearance for every new product release. This launch helps to quicken the pace of MVP development and testing applications’ needs in the market.

How Businesses Can Develop MVP Faster?

The above-mentioned steps are one of the efficient ways to develop a minimum viable product for healthcare applications. However, is there an even faster way to do it? Yes, there is. Businesses can develop MVP at a faster rate by using a white label telemedicine platform.

A regular telemedicine platform offers healthcare services to patients via video calls or chats and is built from scratch. In a white label telemedicine platform, businesses have the privilege to customize an app as per their needs and preferences. A white label telemedicine platform saves the pain of coding an app from the ground up.

Additionally, white label telemedicine is a boon for those business founders who have little or no knowledge of coding and programming languages. They can get an app with a team who have the bare minimum of tech experience.

White label telemedicine platform is free of the challenges faced by custom app development such as time-to-market and cost. A white label platform provides a set of features that can be fine-tuned as per user needs. Thus, decreasing time-to-market and saving tons of money.

Challenges of Healthcare MVP Development

1. Health Risk for Certain Patients

In the healthcare industry, the stakes are usually high as it’s a matter of life and death in certain cases. Hence, using an MVP approach to test new digital products in the market doesn’t always work. In case of urgent medical support, well-tested software must be preferred rather than relying on MVP healthcare software.

Applications that can be safely approached with MVP are wearable devices, medication-reminder apps, lifestyle apps, health condition monitoring apps, etc.

2. Data Security

In the healthcare sector, healthcare professionals have to deal with vast sensitive data, hence mobile app developers need to be careful while implementing compliance during the development stage.

Creating an MVP that violates compliance protocols results in heavy penalties and criminal charges, as per the degree of violation. Rules such as HIPAA are in place to avoid breach of any rules during the development of MVP. Adequate safety measures are undertaken to protect the privacy and security of healthcare data.

3. Prioritization of Crucial Features

At times it is difficult to differentiate between key features from the rest during the initial development stages. Consider discussing critical aspects with the development team, designers, managers, business analysts, and the marketing department. Further, MoSCoW is one of the proven methods for prioritizing features during MVP development. It stands for:

a. Must: Obligatory features must be included in the application, as without them the entire project would fail.

b. Should: This refers to features that are great but not significant. They don’t have an impact on the delivery process.

c. Could: This is about small advancements that don’t play a critical role in the project development and their presence doesn’t interfere with the release.

d. Won’t: This consists of features that have low importance, so they can be omitted due to their insignificance.

Healthcare MVP Development Cost

The average cost of MVP development ranges from $15,000 to $150,000, depending on varied aspects. One such aspect is the complexity of an application. The simpler a product, the lesser the cost of development, and vice versa. Consider listing out features and functionalities before deciding on a budget for MVP. After this, segregate all the features as per the MoSCoW approach as mentioned above.

Furthermore, the type of development team also affects the cost of MVP. Clients can opt for either of the four types of development teams: in-house, outsourced, freelancers, and local agents. Depending on the type of team cost varies, for instance, the cost-per-hire for an in-house development varies between $3,500 to $4,500, whereas that for an outsourced team is $800 to $1000. MVP outsourcing is a preferred option as it saves tons of dollars and quality work is assured from the team.

Cost plays a significant role in healthcare MVP development and impacts all major business decisions as well. So, to get the best MVP developed for a healthcare application and to build a top-class healthcare mobile application for your organization, just get in touch with Arkenea, a healthcare software development company with over 10 years of experience in the field.