The Growing Demand for Accesibility
Saying that the digital health market is growing year after year would be an understatement. In fact, software solutions for the healthcare industry are steadily on the rise and growing at a breakneck speed. That’s so much so, that the worldwide digital health market value is expected to hit $200 billion in 2020 – an increase of $120 billion in the last 5 years.
A huge part of that impressive increase is due to the mobile health segment, which will amount to $46 billion of that total by 2020. The reason behind this? Growing consumer demand for more accessibility to medical services of all kinds. Fortunately for consumers, that demand is being addressed by many clinics and health organizations – but there’s still room to grow, especially in certain health segments.
That’s particularly true for the dental industry, a segment that’s more traditionally reticent to embrace cutting-edge digital solutions. Naturally, this turns dental offices into the perfect candidates for mobile app development. By adopting mobile technologies, the dental industry can quickly modernize itself while meeting the demands of its clientele for more accessibility and better overall experience.
Truth be told, mobile app development can transform the dental industry as we know it. How so? By providing all kinds of services, both for its professionals and its clients. Here’s what mobile apps can bring to the dental industry’s table.
1 – Enhanced data and service accessibility
Dental clinics that develop their own apps can provide their customers with an easy and convenient way to access all kinds of services and data. Just by accessing the app on a smartphone or tablet, the patient could quickly make appointments, get instructions on post-treatment care, pay dental bills and check the professionals available in a certain location, to name a few.
Additionally, mobile apps for dental clinics can be used to create electronic records, which are beneficial for both patients and practitioners. Patients can quickly check information about their next appointments and request changes, see the evolution of their practice, input important information (such as declaring allergies), and keep track of their diagnosis.
Professionals, on their part, can quickly see the patient’s history with past diagnoses, follow up treatments recommended by other professionals, check health information, and even manage their daily appointments for better organization.
All that enhances the accessibility for everyone involved, putting important information at the tip of the fingers of practitioners and patients. This, in turn, results in a more organized practice, better time management and an increase in the convenience regarding administrative tasks.
2 – Educational content
Recent research found out that one of the areas where dental mobile apps can make the most impact is in the education department. In other words, mobile applications can be used as support to teach patients about important dental practices for daily use, illustrate them about diseases and treatments, and help them in making informed decisions when there’s more than one treatment available for specific dental issues.
The value of the educational content provided by the mobile app will largely depend on the dental clinic’s goal, the budget for app development, and the mobile app development team itself. However, and generally speaking, a good dental mobile app should include visual components as well as interactive elements.
Thus, a mobile app for the dental industry could have 3D models of a set of teeth affected by different diseases. The professional or the patient could zoom in and out, rotate for a better view, and get further information by touching certain trigger points. All of this can greatly improve the patient’s comprehension of dental diseases and educate them in crucial procedures for more accurate decisions about their own dental health.
3 – New opportunities
Finally, mobile app development can uncover certain growth opportunities that might be missed otherwise. For instance, mobile apps can be great communication tools for clinical offices to get in touch with their patients. Thus, they can use them to remind them of routine checkups or talk about potential issues with payments, for example.
Additionally, mobile app developers can embed the app with a video chat feature that allows patients to talk with a professional without leaving their homes. This is great to provide early diagnoses and recommendations on the best course of action to alleviate pain or prepare for upcoming treatment. This also helps in reducing self-diagnoses, a common occurrence in the dental industry that often leads to further complications.
Finally, apps themselves can be a great way to get feedback on the clinic’s practice, their professionals and the overall attention. Opening such a channel gives professionals direct communication with highly engaged patients that can suggest improvements and point to deficiencies that might be overlooked.
When should a dental clinic get a mobile app?
Since developing a mobile app isn’t precisely an easy or cheap project, it’s understandable if certain clinics are shying away from getting one. Of course, that can make sense, depending on the case. Small practices with a loyal clientele might do away with a well-developed and responsive website – or even a web app!
Bigger clinics and centers, though, should definitely consider hiring a mobile development team to get their own mobile app. That’s because many of the biggest organizations are already offering mobile apps to their patients, which gives them a competitive edge. In fact, with the projected growth for the mHealth market, people will come to expect this kind of mobile apps from dental practitioners.
In the end, it’s up to each clinic to decide if they jump onto the mobile app wagon but they should take into account the huge transforming potential mobile development can bring. More accessibility to data and services, valuable educational content for patients, and new growth opportunities are benefits that no one should sneeze at.