All You Need to Know About the Development of Health Tracking Apps

Health Tracking Apps – Business Model, Features, Development Cost and All You Need to Know About

3951 Views | 14 min | April 10, 2020
Health Tracking apps

With our lives running with the pace of light – it is difficult for us to keep a track of how healthy we are. We lack time and can’t rush to the doctors every now and then for checking whether we are healthy or not. That’s where health tracking apps come into play.

These apps have helped in bringing a 360-degree change to the healthcare industry – and for all the good reasons. Today, healthcare services are available beyond the borders of hospitals and every second person is using them.

As per Statista, the market of Health-Related Apps was worth $2.4 billion in the year 2017 and the same is estimated to grow to over $11 billion by the year 2025. 

health app development company

These stats are something that made a number of entrepreneurs interested in Health Tracking App Development and be a part of this ever-growing market.

If you are reading this article, I am sure you are in that league and want to make it big in the mHealth space. In case that is right – it is imperative for you to know every single detail about this industry before entering this arena.

So, let’s dig deeper. To start with, let’s first see the types of health tracking apps already present in the market:

5 Most-Popular Types of Health Tracking Apps

To build a successful health tracking application, you must first be aware of different types of apps in the market that can give you a competitive edge. For finding the same, let’s put some spotlight on various types of health apps:

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1. Fitness Tracking Apps

The apps in this category are developed to keep track of a user’s physical activities in a day. If a user is doing a workout, these apps can help him in keeping a record of how many calories he has burnt, how many push-ups or pull-ups he is doing or how many steps he has walked in an entire day.

Such applications also collect information about the number of stairs climbed, calories burned and hours slept by the user to help him/her analyze his proper routine and do necessary changes. By collecting the entire data, these apps build charts on the screen to show the users how he is progressing day by day in building a healthy lifestyle.

2. Diet Tracking Apps

These types of apps help users in keeping a track of what they are eating in a day – the entire information about their eating routine from how many calories they are consuming to much water they are drinking. As per Statista, 26% of 18-to 30-year-olds use applications to track their nutrition regularly, while 23% of people of similar age group use these apps occasionally.

With Diet Tracking Applications, users can set goals they desire to reach, for example, losing or putting on weight. These apps are also helpful for nutritionists to keep track of what their patients eat in a day.

3. Health Conditions Monitoring Apps

These types of applications are generally used to manage chronic conditions like diabetes. A number of apps in this category can link to devices that track weight, blood glucose, and other health measurements.

Using a health monitoring application, a doctor can monitor their patients’ health conditions without even visiting them – this concept is only known as Doctor On Demand.

When the entire world is revolving around Uber for X model – why should doctors be left behind? Doctor On Demand Mobile Apps is not a new concept but is a very popular one. Check Out Our Blog to find how this concept works and how you can build a successful app for this niche.

4. Women Health Tracking Apps

Health Tracking Applications for women are fundamentally used for periods tracking or pregnancy management.

Such solutions are developed to assist women in tracking the cycle of their periods, anticipate ovulation, assess their states of mind, entire body’s health, and recommend them when they need to take birth control pills, etc. Applications in this category assist ladies with lessening their risks of undesirable pregnancies, better understand how their bodies work, and provide them the expertise to react to various health problems.

5. Mental Health Tracking Apps

These sorts of applications assist users in tracking their mental health and learn better strategies for calming down and soothing nervousness day by day. Mental health tracking apps are widely used all over the globe these days to help survive the hectic schedules of busy lives.

So, the above-mentioned types of apps are the most popular ones when it comes to the health and fitness industry. If you are going to build a fitness app, you will have to determine the right type for your application or combine a few into one for getting the best results. Now – let’s see the most popular apps in this category to find out your competition in the market.

Market Leaders of the Health Tracking App Industry & Their Business Models

Apple and Google carry more than 100,000 health apps in their app stores. Most struggle to stand out or sustain the interest of their user and find it difficult to make it big in the industry.

On the other hand, there are other apps that earn millions in the same industry. So, how do these apps work? What lies behind their success? Let’s find out by putting some light on the market leaders of this industry:

1. MyFitnessPal

fitness app development

It’s one of the most well-known nutrition and diet tracking applications on Google Play store which is free to download and use for users.

MyFitnessPal provides a mobile application and a website for users to keep track of their health and wellness where they can learn and communicate about the same. It was founded in the year 2005 and was acquired by Under Armour after raising a total of $18M in funding in just a single round. The application has more than 165 million users and uses a freemium business model to make money. Its major sources of revenue are premium memberships and in-app advertisements.

2. Calm

healthcare app development company

Calm is a meditation and mindfulness app used and loved by millions of people around the world. If you are planning to make a meditation app – Calm can be your ultimate competition. As per a report by CNBC, the app is at present worth more than $250 Million.

The application helps users sleep better, minimize their anxiety and stress, boost their confidence – all with the help of soothing music, guided meditation, and bedtime stories.

Just like MyFitnessPal, Calm follows the freemium business model. Users can download the app and take benefits of its basic facilities for free, but for more advanced options they will need to pay.

Meditation Apps are very popular around the world and as a result, the value of the Meditation Market is set to double – from $1.2 Billion in 2017 to $2 Billion by 2020. Check Out Our Blog to find more details about Why Calm Like App Development is a Billion-Dollar Idea?

3. Freeletics

health application development

It is a Munich based app offering a profoundly effective training program based on HIIT standards. The app offers an assortment of exercises and workouts, which can all be performed without a gym but with a yoga mat and a pullup bar.

Furthermore, the premium version of the application offers a customized training program called the “Coach” along with recipes and data for healthy nutrition.

But besides these features, Freeletics is a community-based app and that makes it one of a kind. All around the world, users of freeletics app get together in parks to do their exercises together and push one another, not to give up.

As said before, Freeletics is also using a freemium model. The basic app with a set number of exercises is accessible for free while the Coach premium feature can be bought on a membership basis.

Now that you know about your competitors and how they are working – it’s time for you to decide which type of health tracking app you want to develop and how you will earn profits from it. Let’s look into the options you have for making money using a health and fitness application.

Revenue Potential and Sources: Making Money With the Health and Fitness Apps

According to the Sensortower, revenue from the top 10 health and fitness apps increased by 61% in the year 2018. The numbers were somewhere around $203 million in the year 2017 and around $327 million a year after. This data shows the potential of growth that the  market holds.

Also, if we talk about data from Statista, the numbers are mind-blowing. Have a look at different fitness apps with their worldwide revenues:

healthcare app developers

These statistics are simply to make you understand that if you make an application with the aim to solve serious health problems faced by people – you can earn a huge amount of money if your app becomes successful.

In the graph there are several types of applications including nutrition apps, fitness tracking apps, meditation apps, diet tracking apps, calorie counter apps and all are winning a lot of generosity, even when they are on a similar train.

This suggests that there is enough space for new entrants in the market to flourish and earn their part of goodwill. Now, let’s have a look at various sources of revenues using which these apps are bringing money to the table:

  • Ads Based Revenue Model

Ads are the all-inclusive method of earning money with the applications. Also, it fits well in the health tracking app development industry as well.

All you have to do is make your application free to download and monetize it with the right type of ads. But, you need to do it very carefully! Sometimes, ads can annoy people. So don’t try too hard with the advertisements all through the application. 

They should be shown in a sorted manner, and should not pop-up randomly while the user is doing that serious piece of exercise. So, be careful while using this monetization strategy – a wrong way of showing ads can increase your app’s churn rate and can even force users to uninstall it.

  • A One Time Fee, Or Make It Monthly

Subscriptions or Membership models are a very popular way of earning money using an app.

When you develop your own wellness application, you can integrate in it multiple subscription plans. The basic ones can be on a yearly or monthly basis, which implies the users would need to pay a monthly fee each month to utilize special features on the fitness application or pay a fee once in a year. 

The other plans can be quarterly – which means a user needs to pay a fee every 3 months. Having different membership plans in your app will ensure that the users can buy them as per their convenience.

  • The Paid Features

When you build up a fitness application, you can have the function of paid features in your application. It tends to be anything from customized training sessions or in-application calling or chatting with the coaches or getting normal exercise tips from fitness experts.

What’s more interesting is that users can combine this monetization strategy with others to earn or get maximum advantages.

  • Get Sponsorships For Your App

The sponsorship for your application monetization can work in two different ways. Firstly, you can get sponsors who will pay you so that at whatever point the users of your application need to purchase something or need any outside assistance, you can direct them to the sponsor’s platform.

Using the second method, you can promote any sort of fitness related product, and get paid a fee when the application users make a purchase of the advertised product. Sponsorships are an astonishing method for monetizing fitness applications. Since not just you are going to bring in cash with it, however, you are also going to get the exposure you need to develop your client base. 

Now – let’s see some basic features that you must add in your health tracking app to make it work seamlessly.

Also Read: How Do Apps Make Money: Mobile App Monetization Models

6 Must-Have Features of a Health Tracking Application

As explained above, there are various types of fitness and health tracking apps that can provide users several functionality sets. But, here we are offering you a list of the most basic features you can use to form a base when you make a fitness app for your business:

health tracking application
  • App-Onboarding

If you want your health and fitness app to be successful – you will have to provide your users with a high level of personalization. And for the same, your app should have a personal account of each and every user with complete information like the user’s age, weight, height and so on.

A number of apps also allow users to log-in to the app using social media websites like Google+, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Gmail. However, your future application should give users both the options so that they can join your app as per their convenience in a hassle-free manner.

  • Social Media Integration

This feature is very crucial for a fitness tracking app as it serves two purposes.

Firstly, using it the user can register in the app with just a few taps. Secondly, authorizing your app using Facebook will make the process of searching for friends easier for your users. Thus, your app can combine a few features of a social networking website like sharing the workout results with friends while doing its principal job – Tracking.

Also, there are a number of apps that let users publish their exercise results directly on apps like Instagram or Facebook along with the screenshots of the path they walked or cycled and upload the photos while doing workout – this feature lets the app gain popularity with the help of its own users.

  • Personal Information

There are different types of data that you must ask your users when they start using your app, the rest can be updated later in settings. You should also let them add a profile photograph by either taking the one from the camera or downloading it from a library. 

Also, remember to let your users choose between kilograms and pounds when it comes to the user’s weight, and among meters and feet when it comes to the height. Try to make your app using a global approach!

  • Device Connectivity

It’s crucial for a fitness application to be compatible with as many tracking devices as possible. Luckily, wearable makers and mobile platforms provide fitness app developers such a possibility. 

  • User Activity Tracking

As a matter of fact, this point is profoundly connected with the previous one. Health and fitness tracking applications are centered around exercises like running, walking, cycling, and even swimming in some cases. The application shows the number of calories burnt, miles run, steps made, time taken, et cetera. You can utilize both, tracking with the assistance of a Fitbit or using sensors in a smartphone.

  • Geolocation

With this feature, a user can create his own walking routes, track his present location, and record exercises. 

While these were the features of an MVP for developing a fitness tracker app there are some advanced features as well. If you want to make your health tracking app stand out in the market – let’s see some of the advanced features that you can integrate into it to make it stand out.

Also Read: Check Out why It Is a Great Idea to Build an App Using MVP Approach

5 Tips To Develop a Successful Health Tracking App

The worldwide fitness app market is developing and is anticipated to continue growing further. There’s is a high demand for various kinds of fitness applications – however, there is high competition as well

Therefore, to make sure that your app doesn’t lack behind the competition – you have to keep the following things in mind:

1. Try to Provide a Personalized User Experience

Personalization is the key to making any type of app successful and the health and fitness industry is no different.  To make sure that your users stay hooked to your app you should take advantage of emerging technologies that will help you provide a personalized experience to your users. 

For example, if you are going to launch a fitness application, you can provide your users with a personal fitness coach powered by artificial intelligence. With the help of emerging technologies like machine learning and AI, the digital coach can tailor workout plans for your users depending on their needs. 

Or, when your users do the workout, the digital assistant can talk to them, provide them instructions or access their performance. This way your users will find your app more engaging and you can also help them achieve better results. 

Freeletics is one such app that uses these technologies and provides users a tailored experience. The app is one of the top-grossing apps of the app stores and has millions of downloads. 

healthcare mobile app development

2. Use Gamification to Motivate Your App Users

Let’s face it, we all need some motivation to get out of a comfortable bed and appear at the gym each morning. And, your health or fitness apps users will depend on you for the same motivation. Gamification is one such technique using which the task of motivating your users to use your app can be accomplished. 

By rewarding them with medals, stars, badges or giving some virtual money during each phase of progress in your health application – not just you can help your users achieve their goals faster but you can also increase your app engagement rate which in turn will help you increase your app revenues. 

Fitocracy app is a fantastic example of a health app that takes advantage of the gamification technique to motivate its users for achieving their goals.

best health tracking apps

It uses the user’s health data to make customized workouts and diet plans and then rewards users with badges and points when they meet the desired expectations.

Think about every level of the user’s capacity. By beginning with simple goals, Fitocracy keeps achievements and badges within reach for users of all fitness levels. Also, by rewarding users each time they accomplish an achievement or win a badge, their progress gets noticeable. In-application quests and competition with friends are other ways to increase new users and keep them engaged.

3. Push Notification System & Reminders

Anyone who is working out consistently would never like to miss a session. But, while keeping up with bustling lives – sometimes, it gets skipped from the mind. In such cases, a push-notification from the application can be helpful to remind us of our exercise session. 

This is the reason why numerous health tracking application development companies are investing a lot of money in notification frameworks. But, they should remember one thing that Push Notifications acts as a double-edged sword. Sending too many push notifications can annoy your users to such an extent that they can even uninstall your app.

But, if used in the right manner, these push notices can work wonders in letting you achieve your revenue goals using your health tracking apps. There are many ways using which you can use push notifications in your health apps like:

  • You Can Send Near-Goal Push Notifications to Your Users

People love to reach their fitness goals and that’s where push notifications can help them. You can send automated reminders to your users for retaining and motivating them to complete their goals. At the point when they’re approaching their goals like monthly miles run or calories lost, send them a push-message helping them to remember how close they are of their goals.

You have to be their gym buddy that keeps pushing them a bit ahead even when they believe they could not. This way, your users will begin to consider your app the best spot to improve their health and that will definitely give them the motivation to keep coming back to it.

One of the health apps that used this technology to the fullest is FitBit. 

healthcare application development

It has revolutionized the manner in which people track their everyday steps. When users come close to achieving their daily steps, FitBit motivates them by sending a push message to alert their users of what number of steps they have left that day. Through this amazing marketing strategy, FitBit doesn’t simply perform a function, it helps users with accomplishing their fitness goals.

  • You Can Publish In-App Content to Target User 

In the health field, your app should be a source of usable knowledge about how to maintain good health. We are not recommending you to publish long pieces of blogs for your users – but, a daily health tip sent via push notification can help you users as well as you in running your business successfully. So, consider using this feature to build trust and improve your app open rate.

Also Read: How to Increase App engagement Rate Using Mobile Push Notifications?

4. Build a Community

Nowadays, when a person does something, he wants to tell everyone about it. And you should consider this fact as a huge possibility for your business.

These days, when a person accomplishes something, he wants to inform everybody about it. And you should use this fact to build a community around your app.

All you have to do is add as many social media features in your app as possible. The more you integrate the more free promotion you’ll get. Let your users share their results in their social networks, let them invite their friends and set a competition among them. This way, your users will feel entertained while doing the workouts and you will get a chance to expand your app’s user base.

5. Connectability to the Wearables

Regardless of whether you are making an Android or iOS app, ensure you add in it the functionality of connectability to a wearable gadget as the physical device market is expanding quickly. 

fitness tracker app

With such an integration, your health tracking app can get benefits of a strong partnership with some of the popular brands of wearables. This will give your app a hype into your application category and will take you much ahead of your competitors.

When developing your health tracking application, remember to add the above-mentioned emerging features in it which will help your application stand out in the market and attract more users. Let’s now look into the tech-stack that you will require to build your health tracking application.

What Technologies are Used to Build Health and Fitness Applications?

When you begin developing your health tracking application, you should build its front-end first and then the back-end. But, no matter what out-of-the-box idea lies behind your app – it won’t get the success unless you back it with a blend of robust technologies.

Also, the choice of your tech stack depends a lot on the features that you want to integrate into it. Here is a set of tools and technologies recommended by us for building a robust health tracking application:

Tech Stack for Health Tracking Apps

Now that you know everything about health tracking apps – how they work, what features you need to add in your own app, tech-stack that you require – let’s find how much money you will have to invest for health and fitness app development.

How Much Would It Cost to Make a Health Tracking Application?

To make a quality health and fitness app, you need to work with a reliable health tracking app development company. They will provide you a team of expert health and fitness app developers which will have a project manager, android and iOS app developers (depending on your needs), back-end developers, product designers, and testers.

Now the three major factors that will influence the development cost and time spent on health and fitness app are:

1. The complexity and size of the app
2. The Platforms for which you are building the app
3. Which country is the development center for your app?

Depending on all the parameters mentioned above – the cost to develop a health and fitness app will vary. To give you a rough idea – we can say that if you want to develop your app with the MVP features only, it will cost you somewhere around $30k-$40k. The cost will increase as you keep adding features in the app and can go up to $80k.

Wrapping Up

Health tracking applications are no longer a trend these days – they are needed. The market is developing as time passes and with it the competition between the market leaders. 

The moment you intend to be a part of this market, make sure you hire the best development partners who can build a robust app for you. If your app is not engaging and robust enough – it won’t be able to fight the tough competition of the market. Keep this in mind and then plan ahead!

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Ramdan
Ramdan