Improved Healthcare Member App Boosts Download and Usage Rates
One of the largest integrated care providers in the U.S. has more than 9 million members and employs more than 17,000 physicians, nearly 50,000 nurses and 175,000 other staff members. With more than 60 years of experience providing healthcare, the not-for-profit health plan prides itself on its ongoing commitment to quality as it promotes health and wellness for all in the communities it serves.
The client’s flagship mobile app has been downloaded more than a million times and is in wide use amongst its members. Repeated delays of releases, however, were causing members to experience a variety of problems with the app. The client wanted to be able to issue regular releases of the app on both the iOS and Android platforms so that enhancements of the app could be frequently delivered to customers.
Consumers and physicians alike are increasingly using mobile apps to meet their healthcare needs. Mobile phones have become an indispensable source of healthcare information for many consumers, with almost 40 percent of smartphone users calling their devices “essential” for finding health-related information.1
More than one-third of physicians have recommended the use of mHealth apps to their patients in the past year.2
With these increasing usage rates, the client needed a strong mobile development team to take charge of the development of its mobile member app, and it turned to PK for help solving its challenges.
To kick off the project, the team quickly ramped up on the code base and completed a thorough analysis of the implementation, providing feedback, identifying areas of improvement and devising a plan to incorporate the enhancements. The PK team integrated seamlessly into the client’s mobile development team, which was split between several of the client’s offices, and adhered to the client’s existing Agile processes to avoid disruption and increase efficiency in the delivery cycle. PK also redesigned the app’s interface for an improved user experience and integrated the app with back-end client systems.
PK’s work has been instrumental in improving the quality of the flagship app while also constructing a development process that helped ensure that members could benefit from regular releases of the app.
The two-year engagement tapped into the respective expertise of the members of the PK team, which consisted of a scrum master, iOS lead, iOS developers, Android lead, Android developers, QA/Automation testers, a user interface (UI) designer and a user experience (UX) designer. Testing involved both manual and automated testing, with the automation testing team using Perfecto Mobile, the tool of choice for the client.
For the client, these improvements form a strong foundation for the future, with all new member-facing features being introduced on the mobile platform first, before other platforms.
Big Data, No Longer A Novelty, Medical Apps Are Increasingly Valuable To Clinicians And Patients. Modern Healthcare. December 14, 2013. http://www.modernhealthcare.com/article/20131214/MAGAZINE/ 312149983
mHealth App Developer Economics 2014. Research2guidance. 2014. http://research2guidance.com/r2g/ mHealth-App-Developer-Economics-2014.pdf
Health Policy Briefs: mHealth and FDA Guidance. Health Affairs. December 5, 2013. http:// www.healthaffairs.org/healthpolicybriefs/brief.php?brief_id=104
A Physician’s Guide to Prescribing Mobile Health Apps. Modern Medicine Network. October 8, 2014. http:// medicaleconomics.modernmedicine.com/medical-economics/content/tags/2014-ehr-scorecard/physicians- guide-prescribing-mobile-health-apps?page=full