A medical mobile app should complement the overall business goals of the app’s owners. It’s best to integrate a monetization model at the beginning rather than force one when your app is already built and functioning with an active user base. An app’s optimal monetization model highly depends on its business logic and concept.
Let’s go over the seven main monetization strategies that are applicable for medical mobile apps.
Freemium is one way to monetize a medical mobile app. This compound of the words free and premium means that you offer two versions of the same application. The free version gives access to basic functionality and the premium version allows users to access additional (more advanced) features not available in the free version. The idea is that users will download the free version and enjoy it so much that they pay for the premium version to get access to enhanced functionality. The freemium model gives users the opportunity to know what they’re paying for before becoming more committed and engaged. This friction-free monetization model also creates positive word of mouth, adding more value to the app.
Promoting certified content is another monetization model that works perfectly for apps that offer peer-to-peer services and focus on selling certified content that is valuable for care providers’ practice rather than features. In a medical app, for instance, doctors might be able to view a fixed amount of content for free. After that, they need to sign up and pay a subscription fee to get access to more content that’s regularly updated. Care providers are likely to pay to stay subscribed to certified content or to simply follow updates and advancements in the medical sector. In the case of subscriptions, payment is recurring.
Ads can really frustrate users, especially those using medical apps. Advertisements shouldn’t disrupt the main user experience. The key is to offer relevant advertising. Some mobile advertising partners can localize (or hyper-localize) advertising using beacons, Wi-Fi, and GPS. These technologies allow for real-time targeted mobile ads that connect to on-the-spot user experiences. Users close to a drugstore that has a beacon might get a notification to their mobile device with a coupon for medication they take or for other health items, for instance. People are more likely to click on a mobile ad when they’re close to a store rather than when they’re at home and using an app for its main purpose.
Users should know about this localized advertising and should be able to choose which brands’ notifications they want to receive. Users are more likely to interact with ads if they’re provided options of brands to choose from (in the medical sector, retail sector, etc.). This also makes ad space more valuable and attractive to brand partners.
If a medical app serves as a platform that connects physicians to patients, then it can charge registration fees for doctors who use it to fill in their free time slots. For example, Zocdoc charges doctors a monthly fee to remain registered and let patients schedule appointments with them. In our article about famous medical mobile apps for doctors, we write about what made Zocdoc and two other apps – DDX and Figure 1 – successful.
Medical apps can also have a subscription monetization model. With a subscription model, users choose the subscription plan that suits them and pay a fixed monthly, quarterly, or yearly fee for using the app.
Another way to monetize a medical mobile application is to use the platform for promoting discounts and special offers. For instance, a medical center can offer a discount on the next lab test. App owners can become partners with third parties interested in promoting their products or services. The only thing necessary for such partnerships is to find out what products and services are appealing to app users. This type of promotion can help patients stay loyal to the application.
There are legal methods to sell the accumulated data that medical applications collect. Under a pledge of anonymity to users, app owners can sell such data to interested parties. For example, if an app tracks the lifestyle of formerly overweight patients who had gastric bypass surgery, the data gathered could be valuable to fitness experts, pharmaceutical companies, or life insurance companies. Data can also serve as statistics for medical reports, magazines, and journals to calculate how a healthcare system is advancing.
App owners can offer paid gamification elements to engage users. Gamification can be adapted to the medical mobile app environment by creating stories and achievement levels for users. Games can be incorporated to help patients follow prescribed medications, stick to exercise routines, or attend all scheduled visits. A gamification approach can be of particular interest to families with kids. Games can help entertain children who undergo treatment. For instance, a parent can let their kid play a dedicated game about pills when the child is taking medication. For adults, app owners can get creative with rewards that can include free advice, discounts, or bonus points that can be redeemed for prizes or services.
In order to decide which monetization strategy works for you, you need to analyze the type of application you’re creating and the features you’re including in it. This will help you direct your strategy, which is sure to influence your app’s architecture and its further monetization potential. It’s best to think of possible ways to derive revenue from your app at the inception stage so that you can deliver a digital solution and get your first income from it.
At SteelKiwi, we specialize in building secure medical mobile apps. We create meaningful digital solutions for the medical sector. The Thai telemedicine app that we built helps patients receive consultations from certified doctors anywhere. Reach out with your app idea and we’ll be more than happy to assist you from inception and past the launch of your application.