While standards and needs vary, frequent testing and increased coverage correspond with higher ratings for medical and health app developers

July 20, 2022 — Testlio, the originator of networked testing, has released a comprehensive report that identifies trends and benchmarks in medical and health app software testing. The report examines the release frequency, app store ratings, and testing device coverage practices of health, fitness, and medical apps.

Digital health is expected to grow nearly 20 percent as a sector over the next seven years according to Zion Market Research, and that demand will increase the compounding pressures of speed and quality for the development teams creating these applications.

“Software-powered experiences are driving patient-centered innovation in healthcare,” stated Ryan Vanderkolk, director of health & wellness at Testlio. “At the same time, the pressure to increase release velocity is on the rise, and there are often testing coverage requirements that can make that challenging.”

Some of the most intriguing report findings stem from contrasting the capabilities, needs and ratings of medical apps — which are often created by large, treatment-oriented healthcare companies that have adapted to provide digital services — versus the more digital-first health and fitness applications that are app store peers. Among the top 30 apps in each category, health and fitness apps are consistently rated higher than medical apps on all platforms. They also release new versions of their apps more frequently and cover more languages.

A breakdown of the top 30 Health and Fitness Apps and the Top 30 Medical apps for both iOS and Android.

Medical apps also have a deeper testing bench than many health and wellness apps. In fact, the report highlights a reality in which medical appmakers working with Testlio are utilizing nearly 70 percent more manual testers in their crowdtesting runs than health and wellness apps, along with nearly 80 percent more device types.

Device coverage data from the Testlio report, contrasting Health & Fitness and Medical Apps

The medical and regulatory necessity of testing on numerous software and device types (coverage) is more pronounced among medical apps, which often deal with chronic disease management such as glucose level monitoring or physical therapy, and is likely a contributor to this dynamic. Medical app makers have to be exceptionally thorough before new versions are pushed.

“There is an undercurrent here of digital-native companies having a higher release velocity, both because of less regulation, and ‘tech first’ being a part of their DNA,” said Vanderkolk. “In contrast, many legacy healthcare companies are still working on their transformation into digital incumbents while balancing more rigorous testing needs. No matter the company, after high rates of digital adoption during the pandemic, we’ve reached an inflection point where it’s imperative that health and wellness appmakers focus on exceptional quality and experiences.”

Notably, Testlio health and wellness clients outperform industry averages in both release frequency and ratings — regardless of whether the app is oriented to wellness, or oriented toward medical treatment and use. 

“Our health and wellness clients turn to us for solutions to help them supplement quality assurance and quality engineering talent, expand device coverage, and increase release velocity,” said Summer Weisberg, chief client officer at Testlio. “This report affirms that there is indeed room, and reason, for health and wellness app developers to focus on solving coverage bottlenecks as they work to accelerate development, improve technology investments, and provide better experiences.”

A summary of Testlio Health & Wellness client app ratings and release frequency.

Data for the report was extracted from an examination of mobile health applications on both iOS and Google Play, data from the Testlio software testing platform, and data.ai. The full report is available for download.

About Testlio

Testlio is the originator of networked testing. Our award-winning combination of platform, freelancers, and services enables digital product companies to deliver great customer experiences—fast. In any location. On any device. In any language. The company is distributed by design, with full-time people around the world and part-time freelancers in over 150 countries. Health & wellness clients include athenahealth, Bright Health, Hinge Health, Merck, NeuroFlow, Strava, and many more. Collectively, they have awarded us an industry-leading 4.7 G2 rating and an NPS of 75. To learn more, visit www.testlio.com.

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Media Contact: Marcus Hardy | 801-823-5534

Marcus Hardy is Testlio's former Director of Communications.