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The Anatomy of Building Scalable Web Apps

09 June 2021
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The Healthcare system needs substantial improvement, especially in times of outbreak such as now. Coronavirus has infected more than 2.4 million people all over the world. This pandemic has impacted the world, and its economy drastically. New healthcare apps are the need of the hour, and to deal with the situation, we need to come up with apps for medical services.

The healthcare industry is witnessing many major changes in its operation over the last few years. Stakeholders in this organization are giving soul to the innovative healthcare mobile app solutions which are being fueled by advancements such as AI, Big Data, and Blockchain technology.

Recently, Gartner conducted a survey regarding the state of healthcare systems and medical app development for the looming disruptions, and the results were as follows:

This article would provide you a roadmap for building scalable apps.

Cowin crash & challenges faced by healthcare mobile apps

Digital transformation in healthcare solutions has taken the industry by storm. The Healthcare industry just like other businesses is stepping up with the help of new and innovative technologies.

According to Xcubelabs, the digital health market is expected to reach a mark of $536 billion by the end of the year 2025.

When the registration for the COVID-19 vaccine for people of 18 years and above was finally opened on April 28, 4.00 PM IST, the servers of the Cowin app, UMANG app, and Aarogya Setu app crashed, leaving people high and dry.

Source: Cowin server crashes as thousands of Indians rush to register for COVID-19 vaccination | Business Insider India

After a long wait, the servers started responding, and users can now easily register them on the portal. Responding to the numerous tweets and the issue that emerged due to heavy traffic, Aarogya Setu's handle tweeted "Cowin Portal is working. There was a minor glitch at 4 PM that was fixed, 18 plus can register.”

Some of the other challenges faced by Healthcare mobile apps due to the pandemic are as follows:

  • Security

Patient information is a vital part of the healthcare industry. Accurate patient information helps to diagnose health problems and resolve billing and payment issues. Cyberattacks and data breaches are the biggest issues in the healthcare industry. Almost 50 percent of healthcare institutions fell prey to data breaches in the previous decade.

Source: Top 10 Challenges Healthcare Companies Face Today (finoit.com)

  • Complexity in advanced technology implementation

Although the majority of the population these days own mobile devices and smart technologies, the complexity of integrating innovative technologies in healthcare mobile app development remains the challenge. 

The current scenario for both hardware and software dynamics is changing at a fast pace. According to the UK health center report, almost 48 percent of the medical devices are connected through IoT, and the mark is expected to rise to 68 percent in the upcoming years.

  • Patient Engagement

Transparency and communication between healthcare providers and patients are the core of healthcare services. However, a lot of patients feel that they are unable to engage properly with their doctors through healthcare mobile apps. If the mobile healthcare apps are unable to enhance the medical experience of the individuals, the apps fail their purpose.

  • Pressure on pharma companies

According to a report by RX Savings, around three dozen drugmakers have increased the price of over 250 prescription drugs. This means that the average price of drugs has increased by almost 6.3 percent. In contrast, the inflation rate for the US in the past 12 months has been almost 2.2 percent.

An increase in prescription prices has led to a distorted growth in prescription spending.

Source: Top 10 Challenges Healthcare Companies Face Today (finoit.com)

Avoiding app/mobile crashes

App crashes are the worst thing you can deliver to your consumers. Mobile app users hate when the app freezes or crashes even for a few seconds. According to a survey by Dimensional Research, around 61 percent of the users expect their mobile apps to start within four seconds.

Your dream of seeing your mobile app succeed can crash in minutes, with your mobile app crashes. However, moments like these can be avoided with proper app plans and implementation while medical app development. Scalability here plays an important role.

Scalability is very crucial to the life of a web application. Without proper scalability, your app would simply fail. Understanding what scalability is and how to harness the power of scalability from the standards is the most crucial part, and this is where most web and app development organizations fail these days.

Here are a few steps that would help you to avoid app crashes and make your app successful:

1. Microservices architecture

Decentralized architecture plays a major role in building scalable web apps. The microservice architecture separates the application from its loosely coupled components, decentralized systems, and protocols.

In contrast to monolithic architecture, the microservices help to develop and sustain web services as separate modules.

1.1 Loose coupling

The concept of loose coupling implies that after updating a particular service in the architecture, other services would remain the same in the software application’s overall functionality.

The microservice architecture converts each of these features and functionality into independently testable and maintainable services.

1.2 Improvement in scalability

The microservice architecture allows you to reduce the stress of rewriting codes when an issue arises. Building microservices help you put away the hard work of days and hours of restructuring and rewriting codes.

1.3 A continuity in the delivery

The microservices architecture reduces the work of endlessly scrolling through thousands of KLOCs to identify bugs and add new functionalities.

The complete app architecture is when divided into smaller segments, it becomes easier to handle the tasks, and through this functionality, the microservice architecture ensures continuous delivery of the software.

1.4 Improved fault isolation

When a memory leak occurs in one of the services of the microservices architecture, the affected service would experience a downtime. This fault would also be isolated from the rest of the application.

This is the function of fault isolation as it ensures that the other part of the application offers seamless and continuous services. 

2. No crash analysis

When the app crashes, a "crash report" is made, which helps you comprehend the issues and their place of creation. This would help you analyze the condition that is responsible for the app crash.

Source: Do iOS Apps Crash More Than Android Apps? A Data Dive (forbes.com)

Most mobile app developers tend to neglect this vital function while mHealth app development. In case you are not integrating this feature into a mobile application, then you can do nothing to tackle this issue.

3. Memory Management

Memory management is a vital phase of the app development journey. If you don’t deal with the memory sensibly, your mobile app would crash when the load happens.

Memory management is one of the biggest issues while creating health records apps as some apps continue using the unwanted threads and drain memory prompting this issue.

Establishing scalable healthcare mobile apps

Scalability is an important factor for establishing web apps, as they can handle workloads more efficiently. Several healthcare models have been published to improve the scalability of the healthcare apps, a few of them have been listed below:

1. Technology acceptance model (TAM)

The technology acceptance framework works on the principle of understanding the acceptance, use, and benefits of the ease of the technology. Furthermore, the user, hardware, and social context have been seen as the framework that influences the use of the technology. Customization is the key here.

2. Health information technology acceptance model (HITAM)

HITAM framework is all about digging deeper by including the Health Belief Model with a major focus on health tech. The Health Belief Model is used to explain the behavior of the patients.

3. Mobile application rating scales (MARS)

MARS is a suitable framework when it comes to the aesthetics and functionality of mobile technologies. This framework calculates the quality score which is designed specifically for the mobile health apps and identifies the potential weaknesses before the launch of the app.

The frameworks used in the Australian Study identifies four areas of interest while using healthcare apps. The major of them being ease of use, functionality, and information management. These four areas can be considered as the guidelines while building health apps, and are explained below:

1. Ease of Use

The healthcare app has to be functional and convenient for its users to avoid any backlashes. The target audience for the app includes people with different ranges of literacy which include different health and technology literacy. App automation is an important aspect as it can improve the usability of the app while reducing the time and effort required.

Source: Tracking App designs, themes, templates, and downloadable graphic elements on Dribbble

Automated data collection such as pulse rate tracker, footsteps tracker would help eliminate errors and provide a better record of events. Imagine working out for more than an hour but forgetting to switch on the tracker. Yes, this is what we are talking about!

2. Engagement

All of us want our mobile apps to be engaging by keeping the interest of the users. Two-way interactions make the app more engaging and hence draw a more user base to it. This engagement can be created by allowing reactions from formal health data, enabling social media sharing, and offering options for the users to compete with their competitors.

3. Functionality

The intuitive and aesthetically pleasing design attracts more users, which is a win-win situation for both sides. Mobile health apps demand appropriate feedback and natural navigation for their survival. The most important thing here is to keep the individual balance while keeping the user engaged.

Another expected feature in mobile health app development is the ability to synchronize health data between various apps. Scalability in mobile health apps allows sharing across platforms and making the apps more versatile.

4. Information Management

The quality of the captured health data ensures the quality of the data stored. Health data management helps to take care of the data right from the beginning of the stored data. Different users prefer different modes of output such as audio/video, feedback, text, and numbers and some of them prefer detailed statistics of the app. Personalization is what is important!

Wrapping up

App scalability is not only about developing apps that would succeed in the app market, but also meeting the user demands and designing specifically validated mHealth apps.

Apart from meeting the technological features of the apps, user experience and personalization is important to keep the users engaged. The design and technological features of the app keep the users engaged.

Want to build a scalable medical app that would help your organizations and clients achieve success? Debut Infotech is your answer.

Debut Infotech has developed several ground-breaking apps that have achieved massive success. Our robust team of app developers has the experience and capacity to elevate your your mobile app development applications to next level.

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Debut Infotech A Top-Rated Web, Mobile, & Blockchain App Development Company

Debut Infotech is a global mobile app and digital product development company that leverages Blockchain, IoT, AI, and other cutting-edge technologies to help SMEs, startups, and global enterprises harness the incredible power of modern digital products to drive their online businesses to unwavering new heights. 

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