Among many industries, the COVID-19 outbreak also affected the healthcare & fitness app market – but in a good way. The imposed lockdown encouraged people to follow their workout routines from home and live a healthier lifestyle.
The fitness apps & wearables replaced personal trainers and became the new healthcare companion for individuals across the globe. Even today, when gyms and healthcare centers have started to reopen, many people prefer in-home workouts over going to a gym.
Due to this new fitness trend, the usage of feature-packed healthcare & fitness apps has increased rapidly. As per verified market research, the industry generated global revenue of USD 5.7 Billion in 2020. What’s more interesting is that this revenue is expected to reach USD 25.2 Billion by 2028, resulting in a CAGR growth of 20.15% in seven years.
If you also belong to the healthcare & fitness market, investing in mobile app development will help you take a slice of this exponentially growing industry. With your exclusive fitness app, you’ll be able to share diet plans, workouts, and several fitness tips with your clients remotely and help them shed those extra pounds more conveniently.
But, before hiring an app development company, you must be familiar with the features that need to be integrated into your fitness tracking. In this guide, we’ll unveil a few essential features that’ll help you build a customer-centric mHealth app.
Why It’s Necessary to Choose the Right Features for Your Fitness App?
In 2020, global users downloaded fitness & healthcare apps at least a million times. While that’s a promising figure for any healthcare & fitness business owner, the increased popularity of fitness apps is continuously spiking the competition.
As of now, you can find thousands of fitness, nutrition, healthcare apps on both Google Play Store and Apple’s App Store. With the rise in competition, it’s crucial that new app publishers must focus on building stand-out products.
If your fitness app doesn’t have distinctive features, people will most likely abandon it after using it only 2-3 times. To avoid this scenario, you must perform a market analysis to evaluate the most suitable features that’ll help you retain the existing customers and get more downloads at the same time.
Another reason why you must focus on integrating the best features into your application is the extensive diversity in the fitness app market. The Healthcare & Fitness industry has a wide variety of mobile apps such as nutrition apps, calorie trackers, step counters, personal trainers, workout guides, etc.
While some of the fitness apps are designed for a specific purpose only (e.g. step counters), others offer a multitude of services (e.g. FitBit), Based on the type of app you want to develop, you’ll have to choose the right features so that it keeps the users engaged.
11 Essential Features of a Healthcare/Fitness App
So, now that you know the importance of cherry-picking the right features for your fitness app, let’s take a look at a few common features that’ll remain common in all fitness apps. Whether you want to develop a full-scale fitness tracker or a simple workout assistant, integrating the following features will help you enhance the overall customer engagement rate.
1. Social Media Integration
Every fitness app requires a dedicated user account to collect personal information (name, age, height, weight, etc.) and help users set up individual fitness goals. However, the account setup process is so time-consuming that many users abandon the app during the first stage itself. This is probably the reason why many fitness tracking apps have a high abandonment rate.
The good news is you can avoid this situation by simply integrating social media APIs. Social media integration will allow customers to set up their accounts within a few seconds. The app will automatically fetch the users’ personal information from their social media profiles, allowing them to complete the signup process right away.
In addition to this, social media integration will also enhance your app’s user experience. Users will be able to share their accomplishments across all their social media profiles. Apart from encouraging their friends, these regular “social media shares” will create a promotional channel for your brand and you’ll get more downloads via word-of-mouth.
2. Push Notifications
As a professional mobile app development company, we are well familiar with the importance of push notifications in a fitness app. While following a rigorous workout routine, people would not want to miss out on their meals and workout sessions. However, with the hectic lifestyle that many individuals follow, working out may slip from their minds occasionally.
This is where Push notifications will prove to be beneficial. Users could set reminders for their daily workouts, and get instant alerts on their smartphones. With push notifications, you could also configure your app to remind people about their daily calorie intake, and encourage them to eat healthily.
But, keep in mind that Push Notifications can also backfire in some cases. Sending too many notifications can easily irritate the users, and they may end up uninstalling the app as well. So, discuss with your app development partner and devise a well-planned strategy to send alerts via push notifications without damaging the user experience.
One of the primary reasons why people download a fitness tracker app is to record their workouts and physical activities. You can achieve this goal by integrating geolocation APIs into your fitness app. Geolocation integration would allow users to record their walking/running/cycling routes and track their daily physical performance more conveniently.
Apart from this, geolocation support will also help users find nearby running/cycling tracks – so that they don’t have to skip their workouts, even if they are in a different city. As of 2021, there are many geolocation APIs that you can integrate into your fitness app. However, choosing the right one will mainly depend on the exclusive features you want in the app.
4. Personalized Fitness Goals
Every individual has a different fitness goal. While some people want to shed off extra pounds, others need diet plans that would help them sustain their muscle mass. Considering these varying expectations, a fitness app must allow users to set personalized fitness goals and get custom diet plans, fitness tips, and workout charts accordingly.
Whether you want to develop a fitness tracker or a ‘diet & nutrition’ app, you must give users the liberty to set up their own personalized goals and track their daily progress to ensure they are sailing in the right direction.
5. Wearable Devices Support
In 2021, wearable fitness trackers are not only limited to athletes and sportspersons. Even regular weekend warriors and your average Joe wears a fitness tracker to monitor their daily step count and other physical activities. In fact, the fitness wearable market has garnered so much popularity that nearly 444.7 million units of smartwatches were sold in 2020 across the globe.
But, since wearables do not have high system configurations, they usually rely on smartphones (and fitness apps) to share data with the users. So, if you are working on a fitness app, don’t forget to make it compatible with various wearable devices – including smartwatches and fitness bands. Again, you’ll have to choose the right API from a pool of available options to make your fitness app compatible with different wearable devices.
6. Calorie Tracker
A calorie tracker is another essential feature that can enhance the overall usability of your fitness app. With this feature, your app will allow users to track their daily calorie intake and ensure they consume the right amount of calories as per their body weight and fitness goals.
Based on the user’s calorie requirements, you could also share dedicated recipes and nutrition plans to help him eat healthily. You could also share the weekly calorie management report with users to gain a competitive edge over other fitness apps in the market.
7. Sleep Tracker
There is no arguing that we are living in a chaotic world where 9-hours of sleep has become a distant dream for many individuals. Today, sleep deprivation has become the primary reason behind many chronic illnesses – including diabetes, obesity, and high blood pressure. That’s why healthcare experts always encourage their patients to get at least 6-8 hours of shut-eye.
You can either ask your mobile app development company to integrate a dedicated sleep tracking feature or build a standalone solution to track users’ daily sleep patterns. Integrating a dedicated sleep tracker will allow users to monitor their sleep and ensure they get the required deep sleep.
8. Audio/Video Workout Guides
As we mentioned earlier, fitness apps are slowly replacing personal trainers in people’s lives. However, a fitness app cannot offer the same excellence as a personal trainer – unless it educates people on how to perform different exercises the right way.
To achieve this goal, you can add dedicated audio/video workout guides so that users can find the best exercise routines to achieve their fitness goals. The guides will also help users improve their form and avoid sustaining long-term muscle injuries.
9. Chat Support
Even though the reliance on fitness apps has increased rapidly, many individuals still prefer consulting a professional trainer to get fitness-related advice.
If you want to launch an exclusive fitness app for your gym or healthcare center, you must integrate a ‘chat API’ to allow clients to get in touch with the trainer anytime they want. The built-in messenger will also allow the users to contact other users and share their workout routines, diet plans, and progress.
10. Fitness Challenges
Finally, if you want to build a full-scale fitness app, you can also add a dedicated ‘Feed’ section where users could upload new challenges or complete challenges published by others. Strava is a great example of a fitness app that uses fitness challenges to sustain its existing clientele and attract new customers at the same time.
After completing each challenge, users would receive rewards. Apart from keeping them motivated, these rewards will also help you encourage people to keep using your app as their fitness partner.
Gamification is one of the useful features that could make your fitness app more engaging. If you’re not familiar with the concept, here’s what you should know. Gamification refers to the process of implementing video-game principles into a non-game.
For instance, you can set up a few fitness tasks and reward users when they complete these tasks. Similarly, you can set up different fitness levels and encourage users to follow their workout routines to unlock higher levels. Another way to implement gamification is to allow users to challenge their friends and unlock exclusive rewards.
When it comes to gamification, the options are endless. All you have to do is analyze your target audience and integrate the most suitable gaming elements to make your fitness app more engaging.
The growing popularity of fitness apps proves that people have become more concerned about their health in the last few years. Whether you are a personal healthcare coach or own a gym, launching your own healthcare mobile app will help you expand your clientele and lead the industry. To do this, all you have to do is hire a professional app development company like RV Technologies and let skilled developers build a personalized healthcare app for your clients.
Book a consultation call and our team will get back to you instantly. Based on your individual business requirements, we’ll devise a custom development plan and build a feature-packed fitness app that’ll help you step into the billion-dollar industry and generate more revenue.