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The Best Practices for User-Centered Design in Healthcare Startup Development

Anastasia Golovko
Anastasia Golovko
September 25, 2023

According to an Accenture report, the healthcare industry adopts new technology slowly. While data safety concerns, siloed systems, and lack of standardization are the main reasons for the slow pace of technology adoption in healthcare, healthcare startups with user-centered designs have the opportunity to make a significant impact. By prioritizing user needs, improving data safety, and ensuring legal compliance, these startups can help drive technology adoption in healthcare and improve the overall experience for healthcare professionals, patients, and caregivers. That’s why in this article, we will discover how to design a healthcare app that puts user needs first.

The Best Practices for User-Centered Healthcare App Design

Have you ever wondered what differentiates top healthcare startupsfrom the competition? While creating a user-centered healthcare app design isn’t the silver bullet for success, it certainly fosters innovation and differentiation in the crowded healthcare market. By putting users at the center of the design process, startups can differentiate themselves by creating unique and tailored solutions that stand out from the competition, increasing the chances and growing the amount of healthcare startup funding. So, below are the best practices to design a healthcare app with the user-centered approach in mind. 

Understand the User

To build a user-centered healthcare startup, you have to understand your user first. The process of understanding the user begins in the product discovery phase, and it goes on through the whole software product lifecycle. During the discovery phase, you have to conduct user research and needs assessment as a part of your target audience analysis. 

For this goal, use such methodologies as structured or unstructured interviews, run surveys and questionnaires to gather feedback on specific aspects of healthcare user experience, preferences, or opinions, and conduct observational research to gain insights into the real-life pain points of the target users. 

Based on this data, startups in healthcare can identify common challenges that will lay the foundation for user scenarios. By considering the context, goals, and challenges of each scenario, startups can ensure that their design addresses the needs and expectations of users in practical and relevant ways.

Design for Usability

When it comes to usability, its importance for healthcare startups can’t be overstated. By prioritizing usability, startups can increase app adoption, engagement, and overall user satisfaction, so creating intuitive and easy-to-use interfaces with the users’ needs in mind is one of the ever-green healthcare app UI design practices. 

To make sure your app UI is really intuitive and effective for the users, conduct usability testing by observing them as they interact with the design prototypes or the actual app. What’s more, usability testing sessions should be run at different stages of the development process to identify any usability issues, pain points, or areas for improvement.

As another important point for creating an intuitive and easy-to-use healthcare app design, consider implementing responsive design solutions for various devices and platforms. At this stage, opt for professional app design services to make sure your future app delivers a consistent user experience across devices. 

Prioritize Accessibility

Prioritizing accessibility is another critical step in creating a user-centered design for healthcare technology startups. First, you should make sure that your app meets established accessibility standards and guidelines, such as the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG). This includes incorporating sufficient contrast ratios, appropriate text sizes, and formatting, and providing alternative text for images.

Designing for individuals with disabilities and limited mobility is also essential for making your healthcare app design user-centered. This group of target users is one of the most vulnerable and for them, having an accessibility-first healthcare application can become a game-changer for their healthcare journey. So, depending on the goal of your future app, you may want to provide keyboard accessibility which means that the app can be accessed using a keyboard alone. 

It would also be wise to foresee assistive technology integration, like screen readers, voice commands, and switch controls. For this goal, opt for professional mobile app development for healthcare since skilled specialists will help you find the best ways to make your app design accessible. 

Enhance Security and Privacy

The next step in creating a user-centered healthcare mobile app design is enhancing security and privacy, which is one of the main concerns of healthcare application users. To address it, you have to implement robust security measures, like encryption techniques, secure storage of patient data, authentication mechanisms, and access controls to ensure that only authorized individuals can access sensitive information.

It is also necessary to make your healthcare startup HIPAA-compliant. This is a document that establishes standards for safeguarding patient health information and sets guidelines for privacy, security, and breach notification requirements. In addition, your healthcare startup should have clear and easily understandable privacy policies that outline how user data is collected, used, stored, and shared.

By focusing on enhancing security and privacy, you demonstrate a commitment to protecting user data and establishing a secure environment for users to engage with your healthcare app. However, it requires strong technical expertise and a deep understanding of legal regulations, so partnering with a healthcare app development company makes business sense. 

Collaboration and Co-design

Involving healthcare professionals, patients, and caregivers in the design process is another best practice for creating a user-centered design. Since they are the key stakeholders, they can provide valuable insights into the specific challenges and requirements of their respective fields which your future startup will address. It is also important to establish a continuous feedback-gathering process, embracing open communication. In this way, you will be able to validate design decisions and make necessary adjustments to enhance the user experience. By leveraging collaboration and co-design during your healthcare app development, you foster a user-centered approach that results in a healthcare startup that meets the needs of its users.

Ensure Seamless Integration with Existing Systems

Ensuring compatibility and interoperability with healthcare IT infrastructure is the next best practice for creating a user-centered healthcare app design. This step involves ensuring compatibility with systems such as hospital information systems, practice management systems, laboratory systems, and other relevant software solutions. Hiring professional healthcare app developers who will ensure seamless compatibility would be the right choice for making your solution ultimately effective. By integrating a health app with EHR/EMR and aligning it with existing infrastructure, you can minimize disruptions to established workflows. 

In this way, you will also reduce data entry redundancy. For example, by intelligently pre-filling information from existing patient records or leveraging data from integrated devices or wearables, you can reduce the burden on healthcare professionals and improve the accuracy of data entry.

Continuous Evaluation and Improvement

The last step in creating a user-centered design for a healthcare startup is continuous evaluation and improvement. To ensure that your healthcare startup remains user-centered, it is important to continuously monitor user feedback and performance metrics, using those methods you’ve leveraged in the product discovery stage, like surveys, user interviews, usability testing, and analytics tools.

Since user and market trends are also continuously evolving, it is crucial to iterate and update the design of your healthcare startup accordingly. Take into account user feedback, market research, competitor analysis, and emerging technologies to identify opportunities for improvement. Usually, continuous monitoring, evaluation, and improvement are included into the suit of healthcare app development services.


Summing up, a healthcare application that was designed with users necessitates in mind can transform the healthcare landscape by empowering patients, improving patient outcomes, and enhancing the overall user experience. So, if you would like to create one for your business, consider partnering with a reliable and trusted software development vendor, leverage their best design practices and ensure successful outcomes for the users. 

At Tino Design agency, we are committed to delivering accessible, intuitive, and user-centered design for healthcare applications. We possess highly skilled professionals who are proficient in developing applications that take into consideration the specific needs of the healthcare industry and its users.

Contact us today to discuss how we can assist you in developing a user-centered healthcare startup that caters to the unique needs of the users, meets regulatory requirements, and foster a strong patient-provider relationship!

How to design a healthcare app?

To design a healthcare app, you should get started with a product discovery stage, research the market, competitors, and target users, identify their pain points, and find the ways your future solution will help users address their challenges. Then, you should create a visual prototype of the future solution and test it with the target audience, observing how they interact with a mockup and identifying areas for improvement. After the prototype is tested and validated, you can proceed with designing the application technically, using dedicated software and the help of professional designers.

Why is user-centered design important for a healthcare app?

Actually, a user-centered design is important for any web or mobile application for any niche. However, it becomes even more crucial when designing for healthcare since the goal of the application is to help users solve their health and wellness challenges, ultimately changing their lives for the better. To put it simply, users should immediately feel that the application is designed with their pain points in mind and with the goal to help them solve it. User-centered design is just one of the solutions to achieve this goal. In addition, you should also take care of user data privacy, quality and reliability of the information, bias-free artificial intelligence algorithms, and relevant recommendations provided by AI healthcare startups.

How much does it cost to design a healthcare startup?

The cost to design a healthcare app largely depends on the complexity of the design itself. But given that the healthcare industry is specific and there are many other considerations except for the design itself, the cost to build it may vary from $50,000 to $300,000. While it is challenging to provide an exact cost of creating a healthcare solution, consulting with a professional healthcare development team would always be the right tactic. You are also welcome to get in touch with us for an accurate and detailed estimate.