Building fitness applications and apps for healthcare in 2020

COVID-19 pandemic has put an emphasis on staying healthy at home. Let’s talk about building fitness applications and apps for healthcare in 2020.

  • How to start building a fitness/healthcare app (a roadmap)
  • How to build a team for MVP development and what specialists do you need for it
  • What should you do in-house and what tasks can be outsourced
  • How to select the best cloud platform for MVP development (checklist)
  • How to make your app secure
  • How to market and promote your product

How to start building a fitness/healthcare app (a roadmap)

  1. High-intensity interval training. This type of remote apps for gym workouts is suitable for experienced athletes who want to keep their training regimen active even when they cannot go to the gym. However, these apps are not beginner-friendly, as they are usually centered on providing timers and instructions for short (up to 10 minutes) high-intensity training sessions for all groups of muscles — from abs and cardio to pushups and booty & thigh exercises.
  2. Dietary and nutrition control apps. This kind of apps is used to help monitor your daily calorie consumption and is suitable for all users. After taking a meal you select the products eaten from the list and specify the weight eaten and the app calculates the calorie intake. Such apps usually come with a barcode scanner, so the users can estimate the calories of any product while they are shopping, which is great for maintaining nutrition control.
  3. Apps for tracking activity. Smartwatches, fitness bands and other devices track our pulse, number of daily steps, distance traveled, etc. This allows activity tracking fitness applications to calculate calorie burn due to walking, running and any other activity. Building a social integration feature into such an app motivates the users to share their achievements on social media, which bolsters their resolve.
  4. Bespoke apps for gym workouts. Such applications can be uniquely built to meet the needs of a particular gym, fitness studio, or personal trainer. They might include a wide range of features, from training schedules and group chat to access to an archive of videos with training guides. Latest innovations like AR/VR and cloud streaming enable users to have live fitness classes streamed into their homes from devices like TheMirror or communicate with their instructors using their mobile devices — and the demand for such apps only grows.
  5. Apps for healthcare. There is a wide variety of activities, from yoga to meditation, that requires little movement and cannot be tracked using smartwatches — but provides a significant calorie consumption. In addition, people with various pathologies like diabetes need to have their vitals monitored 24/7 and have a distress button at hand to send an alarm to an emergency unit. Thus said, there are multiple medical institutions and fitness providers in need of custom apps that might come coupled with specific wearables or use a standard range of sensors to keep track of the patient’s vitals.
  • Log in. You app users must be able to authenticate themselves using a variety of choices, from phone numbers to email addresses and social media accounts.
  • Social media. Sharing the achievements on social media and being gratified for it by family friends motivates the users to keep on pushing and continue training. It is an important feature for any kind of apps.
  • Personalization. Your app must provide users with a personal cabinet where they can input their personal details, choose the imperial or metric measurement system, upload their photos, etc.
  • Connectivity. Ensure your app supports as many APIs as possible and interacts with a wide variety of fitness trackers, smartwatches and other wearable devices like WHOOP bands.
  • Activity monitoring. To keep track of the calorie consumption your app must use the information from the phone or fitness bracelet sensors to count the steps walked, the distance run, the time taken exercising and other data.
  • Geolocation. It is essential to draw the routes on Google maps to showcase the daily achievements to the user’s contact list. There are many more benefits for various industries, so using geolocation is a must for fitness applications.
  • Reminders. Being fit means being regular and following routine schedules. However, it is harder to do when exercising at home. Thus, reminders and push notifications become extremely useful, both for the user and for the emergency unit in case of a stroke.
  • Goal setting. How many kilograms do you want to lose? 5? then you have to walk at least 5 kilometers a day every day for a month. This is an example of a goal-setting feature that helps transform fitness objectives into simple and doable (not always, hehe) goals.
  • Workout plans. Your users must be able to create their personal workout plans or use ready ones from their instructors.
  • Configuration. Various types of apps require different types of configuration, just try to keep your app comprehensive.
  • Gamification. People love to play, so hiding some advanced features behind achievements and granting points for reaching various goals can add another layer of motivation and engagement.
  • AR/VR implementation. As we mentioned above, AR/VR is becoming increasingly popular with fitness apps, but the range of implementation possibilities is limited by the need to purchase VR headsets. However, Google Cardboard VR headsets are freely available and their API is open-source. Let your users train by running in the jungle or along the sea beach, not on a treadmill in their living room.
  1. Analyze the current fitness app market.
  2. Analyze your main potential competitors
  3. Select the core features for MVP development in order to be competitive
  4. Add some innovative features to help your app stand out
  5. Gain access to a reliable software development team for your project
  6. Prepare rough project estimates and make them more detailed over time
  7. Select the level of investment needed.
  8. Actively discuss, ideate and adjust the future app design with the team
  9. Test the MVP at the end of every sprint to track the project progress
  10. Once the MVP is nearly ready — promote it to potential customers
  11. Publish the app to the app store(s) correctly
  12. Launch marketing campaigns to get better coverage for your app

How to build a team for MVP development and what specialists do you need for it?

  • a DevOps engineer to build CI/CD pipelines needed for automating the software delivery
  • UI/UX and graphic designers to prepare mockups for your application interface and use flow
  • Front-end developers to build customer-facing system components
  • Back-end developers to enable interactions with the database, API interactions with external modules and other functionality
  • QA engineers to test all system features
  • Project Manager to coordinate the team effort

What should you do in-house and what tasks can be outsourced

How to select the best cloud platform for MVP development (checklist)

  1. List all the features your product should have, not only the ones you will include in the MVP.
  2. Consult with your tech team regarding the technology stack needed to build and run those features
  3. Check what of these technologies are supported by major cloud providers
  4. Look at the MVP development platforms available: Amazon CodePipeline, Google Firebase, Google App Engine, IBM Foundry, etc.
  5. Learn the conditions and costs of scaling from the MVP platform to a fully-fledged infrastructure with these providers

How to make your app secure

  • Reliable authentication methods and Single Sign-On features help manage security of every user session
  • Building apps for healthcare using microservice architecture ensures independent scalability and security of every component
  • Configuring Docker container security policies enables real-time monitoring and instant alerting
  • Using single-tenant architecture results in a system where each app instance uses a separate database, so even if one instance is breached or fails,the rest work safely
  • Configuring Kubernetes Identity & Access Management policies correctly to limit the user rights within the whole Kubernetes cluster
  • Using cloud provider security features like Amazon CloudWatch or Google Stackdriver provides a convenient dashboard for monitoring your product in production
  • Leveraging CDNs like Amazon CloudFront makes DDoS attacks much less dangerous and using direct DDoS protection services helps reduce this security threat nearly to zero.

How to market and promote your product

Conclusions on building apps for gym workouts and apps for healthcare in 2020

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