Web or Mobile app: What to Choose for your Digital Product

29 Jun · 9 min read

Web or Mobile app: What to Choose for your Digital Product

According to McKinsey’s report, “a clear strategic direction (74%) is considered the most important success factor when implementing a digital health ecosystem [1]”. This has clearly demonstrated that a consistent and coherent digitalization strategy is a fundamental point of business growth among healthcare providers, big-tech companies, startups, and pharma companies surveyed by McKinsey.

Choosing the right digital solution for your business should be determined by a variety of factors, including the main purpose, target audiences, the available budget, and the scope of the most essential functionalities. In order to get there, it is crucial to understand the difference between web, mobile, and hybrid applications. Acknowledging the core benefits of each solution will ensure making a wise decision that enhances the long-driving business success.

Read more and discover what are the core benefits of web and mobile applications and what to choose for your company to stay ahead of the competition in the healthcare market. 

Web or Mobile for the Medical Industry

The COVID-19 pandemic has undoubtedly accelerated the ongoing digital transformation of healthcare. According to the European Observatory on Health Systems and Policies, the pandemic provided the stimulant for moving many digital health tools from being just an opportunity to a necessity [2]. Both patients and healthcare professionals (HCPs) were forced to adapt to the new online reality through reaching for communication, information, and monitoring tools that increased their access to medical services.

To highlight – the continuing digitalization of healthcare demands accurate and high-precision solutions for software development for the medical industry. Nowadays, given the fierce competition in the healthcare market, development projects have to be backed by highly-detailed analysis. Otherwise, a wrong choice about a particular software – whether web or mobile app will doom your digital solution to failure. What are the core benefits of web and mobile applications, and what is the most profitable choice for your medical business?

Web Apps

web-based application has essentially the website as the interface. Users don’t have to download or install it on their devices, as it is accessed via a desktop or mobile browser (Chrome, Safari, Firefox to name but a few). Therefore, its usability relies on an internet connection (unless it is a progressive web application (PWA)). Besides, a web application's ability to work smoothly strongly depends only on the desktop or mobile browsers. 

In comparison to mobile apps, web apps are usually quicker, less expensive, and easier to build. As it may sound like an ideal set of abilities - they are also much simpler in terms of features. For this reason, businesses running on a budget often stick to web apps due to the lower costs of production. According to Statistica, in the fourth quarter of 2021, “mobile devices (excluding tablets) generated 54.4 percent of the global website traffic compared to 2020 when it hovered at 50.3% [4]”. This increase in web views from mobile users comes with an expectation. Using mobile view, users require any accessibility issues to be eliminated to shift faster across desktop and mobile websites.

Web apps are designed using HTML5, CSS, and JavaScript.

Key benefits:

  • In the case of web apps, there’s nothing to download. Consequently, they might be more widely accessible as long as you take care of your SEO marketing. In addition, users don’t need to update the app via the app store, as the changes are pushed live directly over the web.
  • Given that it is not native to a particular system, there’s no need for platform customization. Consequently, the web app development costs are much lower in comparison to mobile app development.


  • Web applications are ultimately dependent on the browser. Meaning that some functionalities available within one browser do not perform efficiently on another, which may negatively affect the user experience.

Mobile Apps

According to Statista, in the first quarter of 2022, more than 51k mHealth apps were available on the Apple App Store alone, which increased by four percent compared to the previous quarter [5]. 

There is limitless potential in mobile apps for the healthcare industry, just waiting to get untapped. As they can serve as remote patient monitoring, educating about health-related issues, and medication management technology, they are believed to improve patient care and optimize work processes for healthcare staff. 

Mobile applications tend to be much faster and more advanced in terms of performance and features compared to web apps. As the mobile app has to be essentially installed on the device, the accessibility to the device’s built-in functionalities, such as address book, camera, or music player, is much more intuitive and user-friendly.

Native Mobile Apps

Native mobile apps are built for one specific platform or operating system. As they have to be downloaded via an app store, they live and run on a device itself. This means that oftentimes can they work even without an internet connection. Access to the device’s features, such as a GPS or camera, is highly efficient, as natives are dedicated to solely one platform.

Native apps are designed using a range of programming languages, such as Java, Kotlin, or Swift. Compared to the hybrid ones, in the case of native apps, code reusability is minimum.

Key benefits:

  • Native apps are oftentimes faster and more efficient in terms of performance. Since they’re designed to run on one operating system, they tend to be better integrated with the specific platform. Consequently, native applications are more intuitive and interactive with the interface, offering a more optimized end-user experience.
  • As native apps are essentially dedicated to the one operating system, they tend to have an end-user experience defined as a “native feel”. It means that in-app interactions seem to be similar as with other native apps on the user’s device. Consequently, the process of learning how to navigate the app is much faster.
  • Native app development gives much more freedom while integrating functionalities with application programming interfaces (APIs) or third-party libraries designed for mobile use. This results in the overall faster performance of the app in comparison to the hybrid type.


  • Native apps are expensive to build. Given that they are platform-specific, their development demands investing much more resources and time. Not only for each platform but also for the general constant improvement of an app.

Hybrid Apps

The combination of techniques for web and native applications is adopted to build hybrid apps. There’s a single code base for all platforms, written and run by one developer with the use of cross-platform development frameworks, such as Flutter or React Native. What’s more, they can be entered through browsers as well as be installed into a device.

Hybrids give an impression of a native application, but ultimately, outside of the basic frame of the app, they are fueled by an organization’s website. They are fast and have an optimal performance level, albeit significantly lower than native apps in both cases. 

Key benefits:

  • As there’s a single code for all platforms, developers only need to write it once and implement it wherever necessary. This results in time efficiency and lower cost of the development in comparison to native apps.
  • Because they are accessible both through browsers and downloaded on a device, hybrid applications can operate under minimum platform restrictions. Consequently, you have an opportunity to reach a bigger audience through the ubiquity of channels.


  • Hybrid apps share the same user experience across all the platforms. What may be a considerable advantage for some projects, the hybrid approach may not take into account user behavior in different digital environments. As a result, an app can be perfectly tailored neither to the user nor to the particular platform.
  • Even though the hybrid forms can access all of the native device features, they may not be fully compatible with the native plugins. Additionally, solutions with high-caliber graphics, such as 3D or HD games, may not operate consistently in hybrid app forms.

Web or Mobile? - Digital Products for Healthcare

Today’s digital health solutions are designed to help save time, boost accuracy and efficiency, and improve the way healthcare is delivered. Besides adopting these digital innovations, patients expect doctors, clinics, insurers, pharmacies, and other providers to join in on the technological revolution in order to meet their healthcare requirements digitally or online. As patients and doctors are going digital, it is high time to consider the most optimal software development solution for healthcare.

First and foremost, you need to know your business and customers from the inside out. In order to get there, you should ask yourself the key questions about your healthcare target audience and your organization’s capabilities, such as:

Each healthcare project is different and requires special attention to develop a precious asset. Once you collect the objectives of your digital project, match them with the key benefits and risks of each software development solution. For instance, if you want to develop a health app for patient monitoring that employs the device’s camera to take high-quality photos, consider choosing a mobile application. Natives have the ability to send notifications seamlessly, opting to provide more routine care and better operate with the device’s features. As a result, it is more likely that it will ensure a quality experience for the end-user that seeks patient monitoring. Although a native form of the mobile app is more costly, it will guarantee compatibility with high-caliber graphics. 

On the other hand, a real-time patient-doctor communication platform will require a different set of capabilities. Given that this kind of software requires high integrity of Electronic Health Records (EHR), medical staff scheduling, and communication responsiveness systems, the software you choose has to be tailored to the needs of patients and healthcare professionals. Considering the specific circumstances surrounding the use of the platform, the users may need to enter the app both through desktop and mobile, requiring a trustworthy end-user experience. Choosing the hybrid app will keep the high consistency of different formats (browser or mobile) while ensuring the flexibility and efficiency of performance.

Develop a Core Asset

Digital health continues to play an increasingly critical role in improving how healthcare is delivered. As healthcare professionals and patients go digital, you need to build a core asset that ensures your business’s long-driving success. Nonetheless, prior to this, it is essential to choose the digital solution that perfectly delivers your business values and objectives.

To recap, web apps are responsive websites that can be accessed using desktop or mobile browsers. Thus, users don’t need to install them separately into their devices. Native apps work on one specific platform and can be downloaded from app stores. Built with the use of cross-platform frameworks, hybrid apps combine native and web app features.

Finding a reliable partner that understands digital healthcare technologies is crucial to building software that achieves business objectives and meets the needs of both patients and healthcare professionals. By providing your business with this perfect combination, Brandmed can help you seamlessly integrate into the tech-driven healthcare environment.

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