If you haven’t heard, the movie “Everything Everywhere All At Once” won seven Oscars at the Academy Awards. The movie explores how extreme superpowers can cause more problems than solutions, showcasing a central theme of chaos.
Building a minimum viable product for healthcare often mirrors this chaos. With various stakeholders eagerly providing feedback, it’s easy to lose focus and end up with a jumbled mixture, thinking the only viable MVP in healthcare is an all-encompassing solution.
Stakeholders, including patients, practitioners, and healthcare company leaders, all have good intentions, but it’s crucial to prevent a product from becoming just a commercial solution. This is when a well-designed MVP comes into play to change the whole game.
What does MVP mean in software development?
An MVP is a product with just enough features to entice early adopter customers and validate your product idea. It’s meant to gather user feedback to enhance the product. Achieving this requires stripping the idea of non-essential elements while retaining what’s crucial.
While MVP methodology is widespread in contemporary product management, it requires skillful application to be effective. How do we define the components of an MVP, test it, and know when it’s ready for launch? These are common concerns when planning and launching a solution in complex environments like healthcare.
Steps to achieving successful MVPs
Let’s get this straight. Launching an MVP in the market doesn’t mean putting out a product that’s half-baked or hasn’t been tested properly. An MVP needs to be stable, thoroughly tested, and ready for use, with a foundation that allows for more features to be added later.
This primarily applies to healthcare software meant for the average user, such as mobile apps for monitoring health, fitness, and the like. MVPs for professional medical use go through rigorous testing in controlled clinical settings, which is quite distinct from the free-market approach.
Having spent years building health tech startups, we can now identify the crucial steps to help build a successful MVP.
#1 Prioritize both buyers and users
When we are thinking of a product, we often focus on our buyers. It does not matter whether it’s a hospital system, pharmaceutical company, health insurer, or a health tech startup. However, buyers can have diverse groups of users with varying and sometimes conflicting needs.
The balance is set when we start by defining the patient’s journey and, at the same time, considering the buyer’s perspective. For example, if we’re focusing on virtual visits, we must integrate the patient’s need for quick and affordable solutions. However, we should keep in mind what the buyer, such as a hospital or insurer, seeks regarding profit and general business functioning.
However, it’s no less vital to consider the user’s experience as well. Even if the buyer loves the software, the product is doomed if users struggle to use it. Keep the focus on user-friendly interfaces!
#2 Compliance is non-negotiable
In healthcare, security and compliance are paramount, even at the MVP stage. Every stakeholder will ask, “Is this compliant?” as sensitive health and financial data are involved. Ensuring compliance during testing with real users is critical for gaining buyer confidence.
#3 Plan for flexibility and adaptability
Unlike physical architecture, software allows for a nimble start, but it’s vital to ensure that your technical team builds an extensible and adaptable product. This enables multiple changes to reach faster product-market fit and accommodates changes in the business model.
It is no surprise that any project requires long-term planning. You should think of expansion opportunities as well as all possible changes that may occur along the way. This way, you can foresee and provide flexibility in the development of the product to meet all emerging needs.
#4 Perceive User Experience (UX) as a key feature
User experience is your central concern. As with other steps, designing the UX part should be done with both buyers and users in mind. The solutions we make should fit specific audience’s needs and expectations. For example, software for a cardiological clinic should cater to doctors and diverse user bases. There are different age groups and regions to consider when creating solutions for this direction.
How can we validate the MVP? First things first, we can use recording solutions and analytics tools. They can provide insights into user behavior at scale and identify areas that need some improvement.
#5 Avoid shortcuts and strive for specialization
Of course, it is tempting to use readily available tools to test your business model without building anything new. However, it can be really risky. That is why it is essential to build a solution that will fit a specific audience, even at the MVP stage. We should aim to offer a unique product tailored to your target audience.
By following these five steps, you set your MVP on a path to evolve into a full-fledged product loved by both buyers and their users. Moreover, such advancements will generate returning customers, boost ROI, and help expand your business.
Your main task is to find a contractor who knows everything about the development of medical and healthcare products, including MVPs. Make sure that they have profound expertise in designing and creating a series of MVPs and full-cycle products for medical startups and big companies. There are many challenges, processes, and regulations to comply with on the way to building and launching a healthcare MVP. However, with a trusted software partner, it becomes easy and stress-free.