Build a Mobile Research Study App in 5 minutes using No-code App Development Platformsby Priya Menon
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Is it possible to build a working research study app in five minutes? How advanced are the features? Is there actually zero coding involved? How do you build an app without any coding, anyway? This new mode of app creation comes with a lot of questions.
Low-code / no-code tools let nearly anyone build mobile applications quickly and efficiently. According to the Forrester Research Wave report, “Low-Code Development Platforms, Q2 2016.” the new tools essentially do the hard work developers had to do — from data management and integration to visual configuration of business logic tools, built-in rules for development and delivery, and emphasis on drag-and-drop elements.
The Appbakery platform allows researchers to design, create and deploy their entire mobile study app for clinical trials or research studies using a web interface without needing to write any code. Researchers can specify any pre-screener, consent, surveys and wearables data to be collected. Appbakery compiles all information and bakes an app ready to be downloaded from Apple and Google stores.
Apple’s open source user interface for mobile clinical trial, Researchkit and Applied Informatics’ android library Researchdroid along with TrialX’s HIPAA compliant platform allows a rapid creation and launch of clinical study applications compatible with iOS and Android in accordance with their budget. Depending on the level of complexity of an app, UI etc, time for coding and development can be a decisive factor in a research study.
Using Appbakery, many areas of application development and management are achieved through low- or no-code methods, such as:
- User interface and user experience design and creation
- Surveys and notifications
- Integration with wearables
Appbakery is a web-based no-code app creator that targets iPhone, iPad, and Android devices. Geared for mobile research studies, Appbakery uses the point-and-click tools efficiently to walk the user through each step and decision point at the right time and within context.
DIY permissions, no coding
No-code, rapid application development platforms such as Appbakery offer fine-grained security features that allow users to specify how data can be both accessed and aggregated. Here, it’s not just the app development itself that is code-free. Detailed user permissions can be set in place by an administrator without any requisite knowledge of coding language, allowing users to secure access to the information they own based on functions, individual users, teams, and more. This type of functionality makes it easy to present users with only the data they need and to protect confidential data that they shouldn’t have access to.
What exactly is a no-code/ low-code platform?
Often, it’s the app users who are closest to the problem – not IT – who drive innovation with creative ideas and real solutions to problems. But because they may be limited with a lack of technical skills, they require the help of IT experts. A no-code or low-code platform is an easy-to-use solution that simplifies the application development process by providing tools for designing application interfaces. Because it does not require much coding, a no-code platform can be easily utilized by researchers / health professionals, minimizing the need for IT assistance.
Are all low-code or no-code platforms equal?
As with many pieces of software that fall in the same category, low-code and no-code platforms can vary vastly between one another.
Some low code platforms allow you to do things such as design the app’s workflow and build the front-end without much code required, which can then be delegated to less technical users – but when the time comes to create the back-end, developers must step in. On the other end of the spectrum, some platforms enable citizen developers to create full apps without code, from start to finish. The range of pre-built features include sharing information, integrating common platforms and such. When specific customizations or processes are required, a developer environment is available and that’s when the developers can take part, should the business requirement be there.
Why do low-code/no-code platforms make development easier?
- Simple interface, even for non-technical researchers — most use a drag and drop UI.
- A range of pre-built features, and sometimes whole applications.
- With no-code platforms, minimal code knowledge required.
- Rapid development.
What’s the right approach for you?
- Time. If you’re pressed for time and need to start your study quickly, no-code might be best for you.
- Money. No code platforms tend to be more reasonably priced.
- Industry. If there’s already a no-code platform specifically targeted at your industry, that can be a huge boon for you and your team. You will get the benefit of a range of pre-built mobile app features and use cases that you will have requirements for.