How To Create A Healthcare MVP: Steps, Benefits, And Challenges

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Wondering why we need to build a minimum viable product? Healthcare digital solutions, probably, need it the most. MVP is a concept of great power. It is a version of a product with just enough features to be used by early customers who can then provide feedback to future product development. In other words, it is a minimum kind of effort that is going to give some results for your users. Why is it so necessary?

Statistics show that 35% of small businesses fail because there is no market need for their products or services. But some careful upfront planning is the key to success.

The MVP version of a remote patient monitoring software, for example, doesn’t have to be an extended all-inclusive solution, because no one wants to spend weeks or months putting all the multi elements together for no reason. Why? Because we do not know if it is facing the customers’ needs and going to sell yet. Building a MVP instead, is the wisest thing you can initially do, it is the first sprint of your creation aiming to identify your product’s core features and give you the vision of potential customers. You can give up on the features your users won’t need and add everything that will address what is really relevant.
By the way, here you can apply for our free consultation and step-by-step guide of how to develop your MVP application.

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Healthcare MVP benefits for buisness
Some of the ways MVP is contributing to your business growth.

Let’s talk about benefits. As you can see from the picture above, the list is impressive and convincing. Let’s have a look at each one!

Fast introducing to the market

Imagine 3-4 months of anticipation to build and deliver a full digital product. No need for that! Instead you can just put basic and must-have features together and release your MVP in as short as, let’s say, 25 days. This way you can see and fix users’ pain points and the newest design trends will add a lot to your product’s captivation and appeal. This also means you are keeping in mind the ongoing market patterns.


Chances to evolve


The MVP process is steady and gradual. With every new version, you make the key components of your digital product better, and the adoption of new features will take no pain.

 

Makes your product user-centric


Interaction with users prior to the main launch is worth the gold. It makes the ground for perfect planning in terms of cost, AI, automation, and more. This approach will lead you to a product that is facing and solving users’ current needs.


Money and efforts saved


In the case of MVP, there is no need for unnecessary human efforts. You just set aside the entire list of features and focus on the few most important ones.


Testing in real time, faster delivery and usage


Your digital product or service does not have an abundance of screens, so users can absorb the information faster and proceed. Our great recommendation is to invite a targeted audience for testing and feedback before the main launch. It is a mutual service, as they are already enjoying taking care of their health and improving lifestyle while sharing useful comments and observations for your further improvements.


Steady and clear focus


A minimal amount of features make all the customers form a direct, perfectly focused attention to the product. It creates the feeling of important contribution to the MVP testing. Developers save much time and effort avoiding unnecessary stuff.


Wiser roadmap planning


From the first day of launching your MVP, healthcare setting and your team are able to see the product’s strengths and investment needs. The more feedback, the more content to discuss and prioritize, the better vision and improvement for the main version. It works as a great budget savior.


Involve entrepreneurs


With all the things we have described above, you can prepare a plan for fundraising. Clear and comprehensive vision will convince and encourage healthcare investors.

 

Creating an MVP. Core Steps

Even if it is considered as just testing, MVP is not as simple as it may seem. The healthcare world requires exceptional cautions about personal data safety and attention to details. Here is our guidance for the process, follow these steps below accurately and do not ignore or underestimate anything that may appear secondary.

Study the MARKET


Market research is, no doubt, your first crucial step of an MVP development. Your goal here is to figure out the following: Who are your audience to-be? Who are your rivals in the market, and what can you offer to stand out? Is there a real demand for your product? If yes, what is it going to solve? You also have to develop your legal and regulatory compliance knowledge so that your project has a successful future with no unnecessary stresses and saving your budget from penalties.


Build a CONCEPT


The research and analysis gave you a lot of ideas for the vision of what your product should be like. Now focus on the concept. Your discussion group should ponder on a few things like service strategies, business model, product design, etc. This is the way to stand out and compete. Your roadmap towards MVP development has to be functional and strictly defined.


Decide on your BUDGET


MVPs are meant to be controversial and scrappy, so do not go with the big budget. Try to spend as little as possible so that you are not wasting money before making money. Budgeting step is actually being done after initial planning, features, deadlines, etc. to have a general idea about the financial resources necessary for your MVP. It is important to do everything accurately in order to set the long-perspective revenue from these initial investments.


Looking for DEVELOPERS


As soon as the budget is set, you are able to decide whom to hire: either your in-house team will be fine or the experts of MVP development. It is worth noting that the first option is quite expensive, as a rule, for growing startups. Contract with the professionals variant is, naturally, safer and faster.


Set a DEADLINE


The MVP step doesn’t have to be a holdup. No need to waste too much time building it, in case it doesn’t work out. Make sure your deadline gives you some kind of time pressure. If you give yourself two months, it will be done in two months.


Pick up FEATURES


For a healthcare product to be popular, it has to solve particular user demands. But, first of all, try to keep your MVP software simple. Decide on core elements. It needs to function at the basic level. Map out the user flow diagram. It is a step-by-step visual mapping process outlining what a user does to finish a task, or to complete a goal throughout your product. So keep essentials, non-negotiables, and custom validated features, and cut nice-to-haves and cut everything not aligned with your unique selling point. You are creating for the Healthcare industry, so you need to address patients or doctors and other medical staff.

While solving the needs for doctors, the MVP should have encrypted chats for safe and effective communication with other colleagues, all embracing patient management systems, medical data scanning, and more. Some of the key features for patients include a convenient payment system, easy appointments scheduling, chatbots, vital tracking in real-time, health records, and more.


Choose DESIGN


The actual design of your MVP development is more important than you may think. As well as its making changes, which is inevitable in every process. This vital aspect defines how pleasant to use, intuitive and user-friendly your app is, and if not, the first users will surely show it. While rolling out this stage, focus your efforts on wireframing, collecting user feedback and making iterations based on the insights you’ve got.

The image above demonstrates the beauty of minimal interface design. This is what unites all the top healthcare apps in the market, so this is what you should also aim to.

BUILD IT, TEST IT, SHIP IT

Try building with the convenient non-code tool. All in all, stick to the three Fs at this stage. Make it as Fast, Function and Free as possible.

Your MVP may be simple but it still needs to impress. Test different environments like browsers, operating systems, etc. and conduct quality insurance on the user journey.
Put your MVP to the real test by getting it in front of your customers. You may start with your friends and family first. Getting their opinion will show if your work is truly worth pursuing.

Potential Challenges

When your MVP software development is on the stage of your digital product’s first version, there will surely be a couple of challenges to face. In some ways, the healthcare industry requirements are clear-cut and individual, this is why at the beginning following them all are not easy. We want you to be prepared and fully realize the dangers prior to developing your MVP.

1. Cyber Attacks

Everything that deals with private information is, naturally, especially vulnerable and exposed to cybercrime. This also refers to your MVP, that is why the multi-level authentication and data encryption must be provided even on this testing level.

2. Strong Competition

Healthcare refers to every human in the world, so no wonder its market is very competitive, and innovative ideas appear one after another, so do the transformations and upgrades. A comprehensive study of tools already accessible on the market, and also a detailed analysis of the strong and weak points of your rivals will give you precious info for the directions of your product’s or service’s future development. To be ahead of the game with your project, the issues and demands of your target audience have to be your main focal point. And do not forget about USP either.

3. The key features prioritized

It may be often challenging to define which features are supposed to be the most important and are first to implement. Discuss it with other experts! The development team opinions matter as well as the feedback from designers, PMs, financial and markets specialists, etc. An effective MVP is the result of mutual contribution of many people. If you still feel lost, there are some proven tools to apply – basic methods to begin with when building an MVP in software development: MoSCoW (Must, Should, Could and Won’t), KANO model and Story Mapping. They are all super helpful, go to check, you will not be disappointed.

4. Unpredictable patients’ needs

While working on your project’s MVP, mind that there is nothing stable and settled about your customers’ expectations and demands. On the contrary, everything is very lively and vehement here. We witnessed in 2020 how fast the needs of patients can change and to what extent the whole industry can be transformed.
Conventional, offline care is no longer the preferred option. More and more people tend to choose telemedicine and highly innovative healthcare services with improved quality of patient-centered experiences. Self-service tools, for example, or remote patient monitoring have proven to be extremely effective.

5. Compliance

Healthcare world means dealing with tons of sensitive data that requires exceptional caution and attention. The regulations are very strict when it comes to private data security, and even your MVP must follow them all to avoid penalties. Whether it is HIPAA in the United States, or European GDPR, or United Kingdom’s DPA, be sure your first version of the product is safe from legal violations. By the way, this also refers to some ISO and IEC policies, so you have no choice but to consider everything.

6. Health dangers for peculiar fragile patients

Taking care of human life and health excludes any intentional risks, the costs are too high. For that reason, the adoption of any new digital products and innovative services to the market here means a lot of limits and taboos. This is why an MVP is not always an option here, if we talk, for example, about serious diseases, and critical health conditions, or intensive therapy cases. Everything that needs immediate care must be done with professional, well-tested software rather than experimenting with new. So what are the safe areas for MVP health care then? Medical wearables, healthy lifestyle and wellness apps, medical educational and reminding apps, fitness and meditation apps, apps for losing weight, water balance apps, heartbeat or blood pressure trackers, and others that you can see on the picture below.

Lunch an MVP in segments x
Safe areas where it is appropriate to use MVP

Thus, in Remote Patient Monitoring the vitals like blood pressure, heart rate, etc. are recorded and it is possible for therapists to supervise their patients in real time, no matter where they are. This is how the remote patient-doctor online communication looks:

A patient is talking to her doctor via video call
A patient is talking to her doctor via video call

Another safe and widely used option for MVP are Telehealth tools. This way, doctors can help a lot of patients effectively via online means of communication. Moreover, doctor appointments online, e-prescriptions have already become preferred by a great number of people thanks to telehealth and telemedicine apps. On the picture below you can see how a doctor appointment via smartphone looks like:

Fixing the appointment online
Fixing the appointment online
General Care and Fitness apps became saviors for many people during the Pandemic. In worldwide isolation they helped to set and reach physical activity goals and remain sane in some way. These apps had features of calories counting, workouts tracking, losing weight plans, as you can see on the picture below:
The pages of a fitness app
The pages of a fitness app

In the case of Medication Reminder MVP, users can test how comfortable their customized medicine intake schedules are. The app is especially effective for aging patients.

A medicine reminder minimal UI design x
A medicine reminder minimal UI design

Digital tools for Prior Authorization is another great way to build MVP for. Optimizing the process of authorization denials and requests has multiple benefits. This way the resubmission of claims with appropriate authorization data is updated more accurately.

One more option is a Care Management app for checking the vitals of those who have been released from hospital care recently. If sudden worsening, the app sends emergency notifications to the caregivers or hospital staff. Below you can see the app interface of medical records easy authorized access and management:

A medical records app
A medical records app

And this is about pregnancy care:

Pages of a pregnancy care app
Pages of a pregnancy care app

Productivity apps are also great to try with MVP first. They help to free the human effort for something more important than just repetitive monotonous huge amounts of actions. Automation solves a lot of hospital workflow overload. Remote dictation, symptoms collection, prescription writing automated, and more come into this category.

The examples of MVP directions listed above can evolve from the minimal set of features to multifunctional platforms like Doctor On Demand, Simpatra, Practo, InsideTracker, and many more. They are real ecosystems for clinics, pharmaceuticals, doctors, medical assistants and patients that have proved to be effective. Each of them is unique in their way due to lots of precious features offered to improve care experience to both patients and doctors. The innovative marketplace, super accurate drug dosage calculator, and many other advanced services make treatment go to a higher level of effectiveness and comfort.


How Do MVPs And Prototypes Differ?


Though they may seem similar, MVP and Prototype are different concepts, and in the picture below you can see the main differences.

MVP va prototype

The creation process of these two concepts is not to be confused. Although they are both initial testing versions of a product, the differences between them are quite vivid and contrasty.
With a prototype you already have a clear vision of your app. Essentially, it is a theory that is shaped up into something real, possible to touch. From a simple sketch to an interactive digital tool, a prototype is aimed to contribute to the communication between different teams of developers.

The prototyping workflow ends up in various versions for a single minimal viable product which is soon going to be launched as a complete product. MVPs are always aimed to become an end product. Prototypes are not, and a couple of prototypes may be actually built prior to a MVP creation.

How Much? The Investment of Time, Budget and Efforts

It is true that MVP is meant to optimize time, cost and human resources, but it also needs considerable investments. To give you some basic estimations, the whole picture looks like this. In terms of time, depending on the features and other aspects, to create the MVP in healthcare will take you from 3 up to 6 months. The cost varies depending on the developers hired, a team from Western Europe or The USA will ask around 50 thousand USD while hiring a dedicated team in Eastern Europe will cost you much less with the same quality and timing. The idea of your MVP and its main features define the amount of resources needed.

These are very rough estimations, of course, just to give you an idea of what it means for a startup to enter the healthcare market. Every project and every MVP is individual as visions and business models vary a lot. In addition to this, your MVP budget depends on the number of employees greatly. An ideal development team, in our opinion, has a Project Manager, a couple of QA Engineers, Product UI/UX Designers, App Developers, and having your own Business Analyst is super helpful.
How big should your team be? No common answer here as it fully depends on your project specifics. In order to get a comprehensive picture of your upcoming project development, please contact us. We have the necessary expertise to help you with the creation of your MVP, about the fact that we are experts in our field. Our developers will take into account all the nuances, requirements and peculiarities during the process. As a software development company that has clients all over the world, we have the necessary expertise and experience to spearhead MVP development projects.

Conclusion

The creation of MVP is a great approach to software development. And also widely used due to the number of advantages offered like budget savings, faster and easier market release, steady and step-by-step smooth adoption of innovations and updates. It is the most secure way to see how your ideas work out without putting in all your money.

We hope we were useful, and now you are convinced that creating an MVP for your healthcare project leads to minimizing the launching risks.
Need more info or advice? Contact our team! We do know how to build an MVP and bring your vision to life!

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