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How to Build an App

How to Build an App

Eighteen months ago, a Johns Hopkins team received a $50,000 grant from the Johns Hopkins Center for Behavior and Health to build the app My Sleep Script.

Many apps are available to help clinicians diagnose and treat patients. This app was developed to aid providers who are not sleep specialists diagnose and treat these conditions. The process required these seven steps, says software engineer :

1. Determine if you want to use an Apple or Android platform. In the U.S. and Europe, Apple is more popular; in Africa and Asia, Android is predominant. Also decide if you want a native app, meaning that it will not require an Internet connection to function, or a Web-based app, which uses the Internet. My Sleep Script is a native Apple app.

2. If you are an employee, make sure to contact the Technology Transfer Office for guidance and regulations that apply to you.

3. Pick one task or function for the first version and work with a software engineer to map and build it. If you don’t have access to an engineer, consider an app development company. My Sleep Script started with one survey and two videos.

4. Test and verify with your team that the app functions perfectly. The engineer will work out any glitches.

5. Submit the app to the App Store or Google Play (for Android) to ensure it follows particular engineering protocols. Once approved, offer the app to the public.

6. Consider feedback from your app users and then incorporate add-ons so the app can perform additional tasks. After several iterations, My Sleep Script now has 14 surveys, nine videos and eight PDF scripts.

7. Market the app to those it could help. For now, My Sleep Script is being piloted with Johns Hopkins providers, and it will be marketed to appropriate groups in the future.

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