Posted By Gozio Health on 02/07/2023

3 Reasons You Shouldn’t Build a Mobile App from Scratch

3 Reasons You Shouldn’t Build a Mobile App from Scratch

In a recent survey of health system executives, 9 out of 10 healthcare executives said that they believe a robust patient-facing mobile platform could help deliver on digital strategy goals while also addressing critical business issues.

However, in a focus group of healthcare CIOs, several attendees said that the biggest challenge in creating that mobile experience is making it happen successfully without taking on a huge burden. “What I’m looking for is an operational leader in my organization to say, ‘We want to do this; we must do this,’” one healthcare CIO stated. “IT can provide the capabilities for mobile services and engagement, but it needs to be owned by someone, operationally, if it is going to be part of a broader engagement strategy. It can’t be owned by the IT team.”

There are organizations that have figured out how to be successful with their mobile engagement strategy. By bringing all their patient-facing digital tools together into a single, branded mobile application, Piedmont Healthcare in Atlanta has engaged over 250,000 healthcare consumers who have downloaded the app. Most return multiple times and engage with high-value features like online scheduling and navigating to their appointments. 

You don't have to start from scratch, build a mobile solution yourself, or reinvent the wheel to see results like Piedmont. In fact, you shouldn’t. It takes longer, costs more, and is far more complicated.

Instead of reinventing the wheel, choose a proven foundational framework to build on. I hear many stories about how one person stood up a mobile app in a day—that’s a hack, not a product. You need a solid, reliable, and info-sec-safe solution that can grow with you over time. It is literally the foundation that you will build and rest your reputation upon.

There are three main reasons to use a foundational framework built by an established technology vendor.

  1. You don’t have to worry about building and maintaining things like your core code and data model. These core technical, architectural decisions have implications for years to come. When it needs to be updated, it can be deeply disruptive to an internal technical team. You could spend a lot of money on your software developers, but your users don’t place any value on it. There are also other ongoing costs of maintaining this core code, and every one requires specialized engineers. These are areas like:
    1. Compliance
    2. Content Management
    3. Analytics
    4. Information security
    5. Software interoperability/compatibility issues
  2. You don’t want to waste time on all the updates and requirements needed to maintain a mobile app. These can also be frustrating and time consuming, and they often require experts. These can include:
    1. OS updates that can throw a wrinkle into mobile performance.
    2. App store updates that can drag on and get hung up on misunderstandings or minor technical details.
    3. Accessibility of the design to ensure it is inclusive, easier to use, and considerate of people with disabilities.
  3. You do want access to user experience experts to do the design. An established technology vendor won’t just have excellent engineers, they will also have product design resources to help identify problems and ideate on possible solutions. They will think about:
    1. User journeys for various patient flows, staff workflows, and other improvements.
    2. Navigation-specific changes that minimize cognitive load and help patients and their families navigate contextually using landmarks and unique architectural elements or interior design elements and iconography that is consistent with your other signage or other symbolic cues.
    3. Custom color palettes that help with accessibility, support brand identity, or maybe just spice up the look and feel of your platform.

”We don’t have to reinvent the wheel,” one CIO said in the focus group. “Using what others have already learned and applying it saves time and increases the chances of success. There’s simply too much to do to start everything from scratch.” An established vendor leverages that deep, hard-earned experience, which allows you to feel confident the underlying framework will continue to be enhanced and supported. 

If you're thinking about your mobile strategy, talk to someone at Gozio about how we can help eliminate the time and cost of building the framework yourself.

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Gozio Health offers an end-to-end, customizable digital health platform exclusively for healthcare systems. Gozio’s extensible mobile platform enables seamless consumer interactions and provides an... Read more

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