What mHealth app makers need to consider before development

When embarking on mobile app innovations, developers and clinicians need to delve into the root cause and the healthcare ecosystem and avoid a Band-Aid solution, says Stacey Chang, association partner and director of Health & Wellness at IDEO, in a post to iMedicalApps.

Physicians, medical students, dentists, pharmacists and any other mHealth app creator has to first investigate if the app solution will solve a common problem and not just a niche issue, he writes. "For a long long time in healthcare, it was sufficient to do something to create a better outcome. But now that's not enough. You want to create a lower cost point. There's very little room to make things more expensive," he says. "A lot of times we get a lot of proposed solutions that make an incremental difference. It's not enough to solve the problem, because there are so many stakeholders, and people focus only on what they can effect, and it's a challenge for entrepreneurs."

He recommends reading books on business model development and art of design in mobile apps. "When you think about differential diagnoses, you're trained to be very discriminating to think about the solutions in your back pocket. I have an unknown problem, and you'll think of a toolset to apply to that. Design thinking is not analyzing what I see, but interpreting what's underneath," he writes. Article

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