Unlimited usage of mobile technologies has opened the innovative ways to enhanced healthcare through different medical apps. Mobile medical apps are software programs that transform a mobile platform into regulated medical device. Sometimes the medical application means the accessory that can be attached to the smartphone, while some applications are the combinations of both the accessories and software programs. These medical applications are used to facilitate patient care and to improve the health and wellness of the consumers. Testing the medical applications in different mobile platforms requires in-depth technological knowledge and expertise, experienced resources and considerable amount of time.

Since the domain of healthcare related mobile application is a comparatively newer and unexplored territory, it requires full-proof planning and well-designed test plan. There are many sensitive and confidential data involved in these kinds of apps. The scope of testing medical applications in mobile platforms is much extended with the new opportunities in various aspects, like data display, storage and transmission. Security is certainly the major issue for testing, while reliability and performance come next. The testing professionals should plan to conduct end-to-end testing for data integrity, security, performance, display and reliability workflows. This article focuses on the major factors that require in-depth testing plan for analyzing medical applications on mobile devices.

Security: The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) for data integrity and protection is mandatory for all medical applications. This is to protect the confidentiality of patients’ medical information. The Medical Records Institute (MRI) has enlisted the priority of data integrity, which is necessary for the test plan of healthcare applications on mobile platforms. The data should be consistent, accurate, interoperable, accessible and auditable for proper patient care.

Medical application security on mobile devices include multiple layers. The testing team should cover the user interface, hardware, infrastructure, operating system and functionality of the application. Many of the popular health care applications offer interoperability between medical devices and auxiliary systems through messaging. Security testing is a must for the connecting systems to medical application, including access to the database.

Reliability: The Electronic Health Record/ Electronic Medical Record system is based on reliability. Generally, the testing is conducted so fast that there is a possibility to miss the minute details of user interface display. Even in automated tests, there is a chance of overlooking the errors, causing the annoyance for the end users, resulting in the erosion of respect and trust.

In order to maintain the reliability, it is imperative to test mobile applications in real-time situations. The testers should also check how a medical application behaves when the mobile device is out of the secure network connection.

Performance: This is closely related to reliability. Faster performance is the most desirable aspect to every user while using a particular application. The developers of integrated health care application should emphasize on accuracy of performance. Automated performance tests can be conducted to stimulate connectivity issues in different ways. An end-to-end testing is necessary to verify the application performance for the scope of future improvement.

Display: Because of the variable screen size of mobile devices, display is a common issue with many of the medical applications. It is important to ensure that the screen display does not change a lot when opened from different devices. The user should be able to see all the options and fields in the display. Proper testing is required for protecting the medical applications against loss of any display information.

The testers should aim at providing the customers with the best users experience. The end users of health care applications require safety, reliability and accuracy above anything. In order to establish proper workflow, testing medical applications is critical to ensure customers satisfaction.

Summary: Security, reliability, performance and display are four important aspects of testing medical applications on mobile platforms. The test team manager should aim at maintaining proper workflow with suitable test plans for mobile healthcare apps.


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