Taking Digital Health to New Heights – Case Study

3 min read

     This article delves into the technological enhancements we implemented for our client, a digital health platform operator. Through our collaboration, the company transformed from a startup into a full-fledged enterprise. As the company’s structure evolved, it demanded a more advanced approach, which we successfully executed.

    Background 

    Our client offers a comprehensive ecosystem of digital health services with expert guidance and a user-friendly application. 

    The client sought our assistance following a disappointing experience with an unprofessional development team. The client is certified under HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act), which implies the stringent requirements for designing digital health products under data privacy standards. Therefore, as software developers, we prioritized safeguarding patients’ personal information. 

    Throughout our partnership, our team has been with the client every step of the way, supporting their transformation from a small startup that secured an investment round to achieving unicorn status. As the company grew, we proactively identified and resolved structural issues on the client’s end.

    Challenges of the Digital Health Project

    1. Creating a Minimum Viable Product (MVP)  within a short time 

    At the outset, our goal was to swiftly craft an MVP for the app, with plans for future enhancements. The initial deadline was challenging yet feasible. We successfully found a middle ground between code quality and development speed.

    • Insufficiently detailed technical requirements and documentation 

    We overcame this hurdle by intensifying our communication with the client and expanding upon the specifications.

    • Minimal time for application architecture and testing 

    We promptly integrated testing procedures. Our team exerted its utmost effort to implement the app’s architectural design within time constraints.

    Work timeline

    The entire project lasted four years and is ongoing. In the third month, our team commenced the development of both the mobile and web applications.

    We completed the MVP version of the mobile app within six months, followed by an additional four months to launch the fully prepared web application. 

    Development of the digital health project during 2020-2021

    Our development efforts were primarily concentrated on three key areas: the mobile user app, a CRM system for employees, and the backend infrastructure.

    Methodology: Our chosen methodology was Scrum, which proved highly suitable for frequent-release projects. This approach ensured transparency and allowed us to deliver features to production within clearly defined timeframes.

    Team composition: During this phase, we were responsible for assembling a team of specialists, thus sparing the client from day-to-day involvement in the development process. Although the client had a few actively engaged developers, most of the development process was overseen and managed by our team. 

    Data privacy regulations: We encountered certain constraints imposed by data privacy standards, particularly in compliance with HIPAA regulations. These regulations stipulated that developers could not conduct testing of their modifications within a production environment. Consequently, whenever an issue arose, we dedicated extra time to indirectly investigate the causes of the incident through the product owner.

    Development of the digital health project during 2022-2023

    Adopting TypeScript: Our methodologies and practices prompted changes and evolution as the client transitioned from a startup to an enterprise. In 2023, we undertook a significant redesign, implementing TypeScript for 50% of the application. This adoption significantly reduced errors during the development phase.

    Enhancing code quality: Our team implemented architectural enhancements and rewrote sections of legacy code to adhere to contemporary standards. We also rigorously tested every new line of code, emphasizing test coverage. Additionally, we placed greater emphasis on log recording management.

    User insights: We initiated data collection efforts on our and the client’s ends, enabling data-driven solutions to enhance the user experience.

    Accessibility assurance: We devoted considerable effort to ensuring the application’s accessibility for individuals with disabilities. Screen readers were optimized to interpret on-screen information for visually impaired users correctly. Error handling was also improved to enhance the overall user experience.

    Adaptation and continuous improvement: Our internal processes adapt to our clients’ evolving needs and realities. In the current development phase, we focus on maturing and refining the application, its codebase, and our overall approach.

    Tools

    Choice of development tools: We leveraged React Native. This framework enables the development of cross-platform applications using a shared codebase and UI components for the mobile app and React.js for the web application.

    Data exchange enhancement: We encountered the challenge of handling large volumes of data that constantly flowed between the server and users. It became evident that not all of this data was always required. Consequently, we decided to transition to GraphQL, a relatively less popular data query language. This strategic move addressed several technical issues and facilitated smoother collaboration between our front-end and back-end teams.

    The team

    Altogether, the project’s team engaged 15 – 50 employees of our agency at different stages throughout the entire timeline. 

    We concurrently worked on three distinct applications: a desktop application, an Android app, and an iOS app. In the initial development phase, our primary focus was on the mobile app, while we simultaneously began developing the web application.

    Given the close relationship between User Experience (UX) and User Interface (UI), both aspects were handled by the same frontend team. This squad comprised a senior developer who served as the team lead and mid-level and junior developers. Other engineers executed backend development, and testers supported Quality Assurance (QA). Two or three project managers were involved at different stages to ensure its successful execution.

    Impact

    Digital Health before after

    The primary outcome of our collaboration with the client has been the successful launch of a high-quality health tech product aligned with the client’s specific requirements and strategic objectives. Additionally, our team has gained invaluable experience in developing top-tier healthcare products and in training engineers to adeptly address the intricate challenges and evolving demands of the expanding industrial sector.

     

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