Vladimir Makeew CEO of Surf

    Medical App Development with Flutter: How SDK Helps Boost Business Results

    As Flutter pioneers, the Surf team has been always interested in the medical apps global market, where the remote patient monitoring system share is expanding: in 2021, it was valued at $1,282.0 million and is expected to reach a CAGR (Compound Annual Growth Rate) of 20.2% from 2022 to 2030. For those businesses who have decided to create patient monitoring software, it’s great news: modern healthcare technology can become a key to the hearts of a vast audience.  

    In the fast progressing niche of medical software, time to market is critically important. The earlier you make a release, the easier it is to predict the position of your product and earn users’ trust before competitors do it. As a result, you use resources more effectively and get more benefits from your app, making treatment more effective and saving time your staff spends on each patient.

    But how to reduce time to market without losing the product quality?

    At Surf, we have been creating products for large-scale businesses, including medical ones, since 2011 and know numerous ways of how to add time- and cost-efficiency to the development process. Flutter is a technology that has won our and our clients’ trust: we choose the framework for frontend development in the most serious and time-limited projects. Having read the article, you’ll learn 6 reasons behind using Flutter in medical app development.  

    Why are Flutter medical apps a perfect combination?

    A Flutter medical application designed for patient monitoring can solve numerous tasks: remote health monitoring, consulting doctors online, or sending appointments to help a patient take a medicine in time. The exact set of features depends on your business purposes and the role of the app within your system. But whatever you choose, you’ll have to implement the idea in the best possible way: the patient’s health depends on the solutions you apply.

    Why Flutter? Reason 1.

    The framework has been created by Google that uses it in their own projects, and other top companies follow their example, achieving amazing results with the framework.

    So, there’s no reason to worry about the near future of technology. In addition, according to the JetBrains 2021 State of Developer Ecosystem survey and Statista, Flutter is the most popular cross-platform framework. The community is actively growing, and they make the framework more and more competitive day by day.

    The programmers contribute to the technology development to make it unrivaled for complicated tasks, and by today the community has achieved excellent results. The Surf team is no exception: our experts dedicate time and efforts to making Flutter development easier for everyone in the community. 

    We created SurfGear, a set of libraries and tools to optimize Flutter development. Our IT specialists gathered solutions we use most often, established strict requirements, and brought each of our packages into compliance with those. We approached the solution in terms of community requests to make it useful. As we strive to be open, our coding standards are accessible on GitHub and used by the whole community.  

    Read our case studies to see how the Surf team helps clients achieve their business goals with Flutter

    Read it

    Reason 2. High performance is necessary for patient monitoring software

    Users don’t like to wait long, especially when they suffer from sudden acute pain or chronic condition flare-up and need urgent help. Remote patient monitoring apps are created as a modern cure for these things: with health monitoring devices integrated to an app, doctors immediately know if their patients’ health is in danger. Thus, a doctor can at least call the patient via an application and send some instructions about what to do while waiting for a paramedics visit. If the application fails to perform well, a patient can become confused while using it and, what’s worth, miss an opportunity to get timely medical help.

    This cross-platform technology is a perfect match when you need high performance. Images change at a speed of up to 60 FPS, which is more than enough for most services and it’s possible to create user experiences for 120 Hz ProMotion displays. Besides, with Dart, a programming language used by Flutter, programmers don’t have to rebuild an app to review changes. After release, the program delivers high performance thanks to AOT compilation. 

    To tell you more, at Surf, we used the framework while creating a mobile video streaming platform able to handle 50.000 requests per second. In this project, we also provided the Client with the smooth UI and animation in screen transitions to help users fast-forward or rewind an HLS-video. 

    Read the full case study to learn how we achieved impressive results and helped save up to 40% of development costs. Now our Client has a popular Youtube-like video streaming platform with a convenient mobile app.

    Reason 3. Smart UX/UI to help users navigate easily

    Graphic and functional design means much: it’s a tool that helps doctors and patients easily navigate within the application and find whatever they need fast. Remote patient monitoring app design shouldn’t be too catchy or surprising—it makes the app complicated to use. Before creating it, consider whether you need a pre-project research to understand your target audience needs and preferences. 

    With the technology, a developer can implement the design ideas and adopt them for any screen with native look and feel. Moreover, with the Flutter 3.0 release, it became possible to use one codebase not only for mobile platforms (iOS and Android), but for web, desktop, and embedded devices as well. It means that you can bring to life laconic designs, saving much time and money. 

    Examples of minimalistic UI developed by Surf

    Reason 4. Numerous integrations

    Building a patient monitoring app, you’ll encounter a question of integrations to add. For example, integration with health monitoring devices, smart watches, telehealth software, EHR (Electronic Health Record), calendars, navigation systems, payment gateways, etc. The more features you want to offer your users, the more integrations are needed for your medical app. Flutter allows easy third-party API integration. And as it helps save up to 40% development time, developers can pay more attention to the integrations.

    For example, for one of our banking clients we have created a neobank app from scratch with  numerous SDK integrations. We integrated IDWise for remote onboarding and Zendesk online-chat among others. 

    Read the full case study to learn more about the challenges we met and the solutions we chose.

    Reason 5. Bugs shall have no chances in your patient monitoring app

    Each bug in a patient monitoring or healthcare application can become critical for anyone who needs urgent help and uses an app to get it. So, creating any healthcare app, businesses should pay as much attention as possible to quality assurance. Applying top testing practices is crucial.

    Flutter allows programmers to write clean code and test it easily. At Surf, we have collected the best practices and implemented them in the Elementary solution.

    Our ex tech lead created the library, which allows us to spend less time on development, maintenance, and upgrades. Writing tests also became easier—it guarantees code quality and stability in case the code needs to be modified.

    Choosing Flutter medical app developers for a project has certain pitfalls. To help you avoid common mistakes and hire a skilled developer team, we wrote one more article. Read it to be on top of things while choosing a vendor. 

    Reason 6. Strict security requirements to follow

    Patient monitoring applications, like other health-related products, should comply with the strict security requirements. They process patients’ health data, and must be protected from leakage. Otherwise, it can cost a business its reputation, and, what’s more important, patients’ and staffs’ trust. 

    In different countries, there are different standards of patients’ data security in healthcare apps development. For example, in the USA it’s HIPAA, while Canada has PIPEDA.

    However, following the standards is one side of the coin. Tech stack you choose is the same as crucial: the app security also depends on the programming language and some extra measures your developers take to protect data. 

    The framework uses Dart programming language: the source code is compiled into native, non-human readable code. It makes the reverse rendering process more complex, so Flutter is far more secure than Kotlin, Java, or React Native. 

    Banks and fintechs often use the framework, and Google chose it for Google Pay, having reduced 70% of engineering effort and 35% in lines of code

    Learn about Flutter app development culture at Surf and build secure apps for multiple platforms

    Read more

    Reason 7. Fast and cost-efficient development

    Flutter allows developers to write a single codebase once and use it for several platforms: iOS, Android, Windows, Linux, and MacOS. It is a perfect choice if you’re planning to use as communication channels with your end users not mobile devices only, but also for web and desktop. However, even if you’re creating an app for mobile devices, with the cross-platform framework, your developers won’t have to write a unique codebase twice, for iOS and Android: one codebase is enough. 

    To illustrate how it works, we want to show you one of our recent case studies. The Client, a large pharmacy chain, asked us to develop iOS and Android apps for 3 different brands. 

    To help our Client launch the products faster and save the budget on development, we offered to use Flutter. As a result, our team used a single codebase for 3 apps instead of developing 6 native apps from scratch. The only thing we did to adopt it for each brand style was graphic design. Here is one of the design solutions our Client liked most.  

    Curious to learn Flutter benefits for web development? Read our recent article on this topic and get the most up-to-date information.

    When a business starts the development process, they usually have to form development teams (or ask a vendor to do it). If you choose native development for a patient monitoring app, you’ll have to work with several developers teams for each platform. For example, mobile and web app development can require managing at least 4 teams (iOS, Android, Windows, macOS).

    With Flutter, one developer team is enough for this purpose because you need a single codebase, not depending on the amount of platforms chosen. This means less time for communication, coordination, and management.

    Wrapping up…

    Patient monitoring app development needs a complex approach: the solutions you choose for backend and frontend are critically important because the audience doesn’t forgive mistakes when it’s about their health. Now you are aware why Flutter is the top one for frontend development, so choosing a tech stack for an app, you’ll have one less question.

    At Surf, we have been working with Flutter since 2018 and have 25+ projects. We contribute to the community with toolsets and libraries to optimize the development process. Our experts have cross-industrial experience, and medicine is one of our favourite niches—so try us if you want to get an app that will boost your business results. 

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