A guide for starters. In recent years, there has been a huge increase in demand for online healthcare platform. More than seventy per cent of the patient population agrees that access to the medical professions on mobile apps or websites provides great help. There is increased demand for digitalization in the healthcare sector. Based on Appic Softwares' experience with real-life projects, I have included some must-have features for healthcare applications in this article. Healthcare platforms can have different features depending on the requirements, user base, environment, etc. The main goal of such a platform is to make it easier for the patients to contact their health care providers and vice versa. M-HEALTH: A CRUCIAL INDUSTRY The health care industry in the United States was valued at about 3.8 trillion USD in the year 2021 and this value will increase many folds in the coming years. This is the reason why m-health is the need of the hour. There are 301 physicians available per 100,000 people in the US. In India, the doctor-population ratio is 1:834. These numbers are extremely worrisome. It is very difficult for our healthcare providers to treat all the people requiring medical attention when there is such a scarcity of doctors. How can we solve this problem? Yes, increasing the number of doctors and encouraging more and more people to join the medical profession sounds great. But do we have the resources? As a country, we will have to improve the medical academic facilities and increase the number of medical colleges and existing infrastructures. But how can we find an immediate solution to this problem? Using online healthcare platforms helps medical professionals to engage with more patients in a given timeframe than when consultation is done face to face. A large number of patients with similar symptoms can be consulted at the same time. There can be a separate section and record of the treatment so that no time is wasted in finding previous medical records or re-accessing the patients. Patients can have all the information on their devices and this makes the whole process a lot easier. The union of the IT industry and the Healthcare industry will lead to the improvement of society as a whole. Doctors will be able to see their patients remotely and everyone would be able to get basic medical health in their time of need. The cost of treatment will also decrease and the healthcare providers would be able to cut their fees. A win-win situation for all. This is why healthcare management should jump into the IT sector to improve their services and business. THINGS TO PONDER UPON BEFORE STARTING THE M-HEALTH BUSINESS What is the goal of your platform? Like we set treatment goals before making a plan for the patients, it is important to set your goals for your m-health platform. To determine the goals it is important to what would be the services you want to offer? What kind of platform do you want to go for? Mobile apps, Websites, Web apps? What user base you would like to target? What features you would like to add to your platform? What would be your budget? Now that you have the answers to the above questions, let's decide what tech stack you would want for your platform. If you want healthcare app development, do you want one that works for both iOS and Android? I would suggest you go for a hybrid language like Flutter as one code would suffice for both types of devices with slight changes. It will lead to a faster and more budget-friendly medical app development. You can also go for native iOS and Android languages for your mobile health app development. It would all depend on what you want for your platform and would be easier to select once you have clear goals. If you want a website, do you want it to be built from scratch, what tech stack do you want to go with? Or you would like to go with CMS like WordPress, Shopify, Magento, etc. What do YOUR users want? When deciding on the features of your Healthcare platform it is very important to know your user base. What would be your target audience? Are you building the platform for a particular specialty or it would be multi-specialty? For example, a mobile application for Obs. and Gynae will have a user base consisting primarily of females. It will have features revolving around obs. and Gynae like tracking menstrual cycles, booking sessions with the Gynaecologist, etc. The patient information visible to the doctor on a priority basis will also depend upon the specialty of medicine. Features of healthcare platform? A healthcare platform can have several different platforms and this will depend greatly on your requirements. What data is important to your practice, your goals, and the services you provide. And of course your target patients. An Orthopaedic practice's m-health platform will be a lot different from a dental platform and both functionalities will be there in addition to other features for a multi-specialty platform. There are several different types of the medical healthcare platform available for medical facilities, depending on the requirements of the users, like: M-health Applications Data Management Softwares Care Management Softwares Hospital Softwares Patient Analysis Softwares Softwares for managing appointments Electronic Health Record Medical Video Conferencing Platforms Electronic prescriptions mHealth bridges the gaps in the healthcare system by ensuring easy and transparent communication between patients and healthcare providers. Clear communication is very important in the medical sector and I feel that it is lacking in our current healthcare system. With healthcare platforms, doctors can communicate with the patients, among themselves, and the hospital staff, and there will be records for all the data to ensure zero chances of error in taking the best care of the patients. The United States Food and Drug Administration has also established practices to keep the digital health records of all patients. M-health is the need of the hour and I encourage all our healthcare professionals and administrators to look into taking their consultations and treatment online. Online platforms have proved to be a great help for our health care professionals in maintaining a safe distance while continuing to treat their patients. This way we can ensure that our patients are been taken care of despite whatever is going on. It is the easiest way for the patients to reach their doctors. mHealth can never take the place of a good old physical examination, but in today's environment, the requirement of such platforms can also not be ignored. “The art of medicine consists of amusing the patient while nature cures the disease.” ― Voltaire Health care platforms help patients to interact with doctors directly without visiting the hospital. This is used to maintain the health record for effective collaboration between doctors and patients. Want a customized M-health platform for your business? Get in touch with us today at Appic Softwares.