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400 billion dollars a year! That's how much the U.S. healthcare system is losing to unnecessary manual processes, outdated management systems, and communication problems, according to a McKinsey report. All of these costs can be easily avoided by using of the blockchain potential to protect sensitive data, automate unit processes, eliminate unnecessary intermediaries, or increase transparency. In this article, we will tell you how you can get involved in this process by developing your own blockchain-based application
Step 1. Defining the concept
The number of mobile health apps in the world by destination. Source
Before moving on to the practical steps, you need to understand what kind of application you are going to create
: what target audience you will target and what problem it should solve. At the same time, the emphasis needs to be placed on where it is best to use blockchain technologies.
For example, according to a Gallup survey
, 20% of Americans regularly use digital health products such as fitness trackers or other health tracking apps. This is a large and rich market, but blockchain cannot drastically improve anything here. The same situation is with fitness apps
, as well as apps for weight loss, meditation, sleep, etc.
Blockchain should be used when developing medical applications where are needed:
- Protection of confidential data. Average damage from one data leakage in 2020 for a healthcare provider was 7.3 million dollars.
- Reliable identification system. Blockchain can help speed up and make identity verification faster and more reliable, for example, when writing prescriptions for patients or matching a person and their medical records. In addition, blockchain can help fight counterfeiting and expired products.
- Automation of typical business processes. The blockchain manifests itself best of all when automating workflow and typical processes in supply chains. But it can also be automation of insurance processes, payment transactions, accounting entries, etc.
Step 2. Finding a technical partner
Once you understand what kind of blockchain-based medical application you want to develop
, you need to choose a developer company
. You need a technical partner, since the development of blockchain applications
requires certain knowledge, skills and experience. They cannot be created using a constructor or a generic template, like a website or simpler mobile applications.
Where to look for and what things to pay attention to when looking for a technical partner is described in the article: « How to choose a developer company
». Together with your chosen partner, you will need to complete the concept design. After that, it will be necessary to agree on the creation of a Statement of Work (SoW) and a technical specification, on the basis of which it will be possible to proceed with the selection of a specific blockchain network, technical stack, and then to the development of design and coding.
Step 3. Choosing a platform and technical stack
Pattern of choice of development tools for a blockchain application. Source
A medical application can be built on a private blockchain if you need an enterprise product with maximum protection of sensitive data. In this case, they usually choose the Hyperledger Fabric blockchain from the Linux Foundation or its modification Hyperledger Iroha (the main developer is Soramitsu), which was created with an emphasis on the development of mobile applications
If you need maximum transparency and security from unauthorized access, then you need to choose a public blockchain:
- Ethereum. The most popular platform among Dapps developers. Suitable for projects focused on transparency and security. Ethereum uses its own programming language Solidity.
- EOS. This is an advanced version of Ethereum, tailored for working with decentralized hosting and storage. Suitable for medical data storage, supply chains, process automation and Iot.
- TRON. This protocol allows you to freely add, store and possess data in a decentralized autonomous form. This can be data on financial payments or EMR. In addition, TRON can operate with tables, pictures, photographs, sound and video files.
- NEO. It is the Chinese equivalent of Ethereum with the dBFT algorithm, more decentralization and a focus on Asian developers.
- Steem. Fast and free platform to create Dapps.
Here is an example of a technology stack for developing a medical mobile application based on the Ethereum blockchain:
Step 4. Developing user interface
Example of a medical application design by Anastasia on Dribbble
According to a comScore poll
, 21% of American millennials will immediately remove a mobile app if they don't like the design of the interface. Considering that young people are the main driver of growth in this market, one can understand why startups devote so much time to UI / UX design of their products. And therefore, when developing your blockchain-based medical application, you should also pay maximum attention to its design.
Here are the design rules you need to consider when doing this:
- Optimize the user flow. Examine every point of user interaction with your application to find design weaknesses, remove unnecessary actions and make the interface intuitive.
- Show important information at the beginning. If you're building a fitness app, the first screen should be calories burned and upcoming fitness activities. If this is an application for a reminder to take pills, you need to indicate on the first screen the nearest date/time for taking pills, their list and timer to this point.
- Make the design responsive. In addition to the visual component, it is worth taking care of how your application will look on different screen sizes. This is especially important if you are building an Android app.
Step 6. Implementing the MVP Application in Code
When you start developing your own application
, your first impulse will be desire to make it perfect. But this is wrong. Instead, it's best to narrow the idea down to core features and develop an MVP to test the concept and collect feedback as quickly as possible. This will improve your service according to the expectations of real users.
In addition to standard functions such as registration, profile setting, notifications, payment services, chat, etc., the MVP functionality of a medical application may include the following features:
Step 7. Testing and check-up
Thorough testing of your blockchain-based medical app is a must if you want it to be listed on the Google Play Store and Apple App Store. These marketplaces require the app to be bug-free, secure, and able to handle loads. In addition, in the case of medical applications, compliance with the rules and laws for the provision of offline and / or online medical services is also required.
Step 8. Launch and deployment
Deployment is the final stage in the development of a blockchain-based medical application It involves the launch of all the necessary services (servers) and publication in the Google Play Store and Apple App Store. For the latter, you need to:
- Create an account on Apple Developer and Google Play Console.
- Fill in the relevant applications for the publication of the application.
- Pay the site: $ 99 per year for Apple, $ 25 for Google.
This is described in detail in the article: « How much does the development and implementation of the blockchain cost
». Here we just leave a table with the estimated cost and time of creating blockchain-based applications for Android and iOS, depending on the complexity and functionality of the software product being implemented.