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Red Hat Releases Healthcare Mobile App Assessment Tool

Red Hat releases a new healthcare mobile app development assessment tool so organizations can fully realize the cost of individual app development.

Red Hat releases new healthcare mobile app development tool to better assess building costs.

Source: Thinkstock

By Elizabeth O'Dowd

- Red Hat announced the release of its Mobile App Assessment Tool to help organizations break down their mobile apps, giving IT decision-makers and mobile development managers full view of the healthcare mobile app development process and necessary requirements.

For healthcare organizations, this tool can help in the app development process to ensure that all mobile apps are HIPAA compliant.

The tool is designed to give organizations a better understanding of the true cost of an app, from the initial development, through the launch, and the continued management of it.

“Mobility can add great value to the business; however, its true cost can often be underestimated,” Red Hat said in a statement. “Many mobile app development projects require more complex integration with back-end systems, adherence to regulatory requirements, and/or compelling user interface design that can drive up the cost of development.”

Assessing the app before it’s built is important as organizations add more custom mobile applications to their health IT infrastructures. This allows entities to stay within budget while still producing quality apps. Organizations can discover if an app is going to be over budget before they are committed to building it.

The tool allows organizations to explore use cases along with elements of development, integration, and deployment. Each step is a large part of the process supporting the lifecycle of a mobile app. Once an app is deployed it still requires maintenance, which can be an unexpected cost for some organizations.

The tool gives organizations an overview of the resources and requirements each app project requires based on responses to 10 questions. The questions are designed to help organizations realize the scope and complexity of the prospected app.

“As decisions on enterprise mobility initiatives shift from IT to lines of business, we see the responsibility for tracking the success of mobile app projects shifting as well. While the business can provide value in prioritizing mobile use cases and features, determining technical complexity and cost can be challenging for line of business managers,” said Red Hat.

Late last year, Red Hat released a survey that polled over 200 IT decision-makers from public healthcare, private healthcare, life sciences, and pharmaceutical organizations.

The survey found that 82 percent of healthcare organizations had implemented some form of mobile strategy, with 78 percent reporting a positive ROI from mobile applications.

However, a positive ROI didn’t guarantee that application development was going to receive more funding because of the high cost of the initial app development. Despite limited budgets, organizations are continuing to develop more healthcare mobile apps

Red Hat’s survey also found that mobile apps are currently provided primarily for doctors and second for patients. Respondents did indicate though that patient demand will drive patient app development to surpass internal efficiencies over the next 12 months.

Costly technical challenges presented by the survey showed included back-end integration to healthcare systems and securing access to data.

More than half of all respondents said they used an on-premise or partial on-premise deployment model for their mobile apps. In the US, 23 percent deploy in a private cloud and 11 percent in a public cloud. On-premise and partial on-premise deployment models are not uncommon in the healthcare industry because of regulations regarding PHI.

Discovering how an app will interact with backend systems and how much work it will take before the development process is invaluable to healthcare organizations. This information gives entities the information they need to plan projects according to cost. Therefore, two high budget projects are not deployed at the same time and smaller projects can be supplemented in as the budget allows.