Tips on Building a Successful Test Automation Strategy in Healthcare

According to Grand View Research, “The global mHealth apps market size is expected to expand at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 11.8% from 2022 to 2030.” 

A rapid rise in the number of smartphone users and people across the world becoming more health-conscious than before – these are the two major factors that have led to this demand for healthcare mobile apps for both iOS and Android.

Developers are offering an app for almost every fitness goal under the sun and the healthcare app market is getting increasingly competitive.

To stay ahead in this stiff competition, it has become a must for app developers/healthcare organizations to ensure that their app continues to deliver a seamless user experience, is secure, and complies with the evolving healthcare standards wherever applicable.

It is to achieve this goal, developers today are moving away from manual app testing processes and embracing test automation – the process of running tests on the app automatically, managing the data generated from these tests efficiently, and using the test results to enhance software quality, all in a continuous process cycle.
Through this article, we will uncover ways to build a reliable test automation framework for your healthcare app to endure the swiftly changing software technologies and volatile healthcare market trends.
We have shared some key insights about how developers must focus on building a well-defined test automation strategy that identifies the right automation tools and technologies for the success of your healthcare app.

Successful Test Automation Needs a Strategy

A strong plan is very important for any project, particularly test automation. A test automation strategy provides clarity and structure to the overall testing process, selecting appropriate tools and frameworks including prewritten scripts.
This allows for seamless continuous testing and reliable reporting of results as well as informed decision-making going forward.
The primary goal of a test automation strategy is to detect risks and defects early in the software life cycle, communicate those effectively, and address them suitably in time.

Common Challenges in the Absence of a Test Automation Strategy

A test automation strategy defines the why, what, when, and where of test automation, and in the absence of this strategy, developers and app testers may face some of these common challenges –
• Aimless Progression
Without a plan, you won’t know what your destination is or the obstacles that await along the way. A plan enables you to map out how to tackle possible issues and reach your goal with greater ease.
• Incorrect Technology/Tool Usage
QA teams might use new technology that they think will work great without really understanding why it is good. Without a plan, the app might not work as expected.
• Inefficient Testing

Your healthcare app may have been built around a superb concept, but its success depends on how it can continue to remain bug-free in the long run. All apps, especially healthcare apps may contain sensitive information, and without a test automation strategy, testing may not be as efficient as expected, leading to a higher app failure rate and even compliance concerns.

Key Considerations in Building a Robust Test Automation Strategy

1. A Result-oriented Testing Approach
The first step of a successful test automation strategy is to define the end objective. With the goal set, strategizing to meet this end goal becomes far more seamless.
2. Automating the Right Testing Processes
It may not be possible to automate every testing process. A smart approach would be to automate tasks that are repetitive, high-risk, time-intensive, prone to failure, or those that need to be tested across multiple browsers and platforms.
3. Picking the Testing Frameworks and Tools Wisely
Many health apps have failed to sustain themselves in the apps market because the developers and their QA teams missed out on a vital point – choosing the right set of frameworks and tools for testing.
Test automation frameworks provide users with a clear set of directions for creating test scripts, running tests, and organizing data. Whether you opt for the library-architecture framework, the hybrid one, or a more traditional data-driven approach, each will offer its advantages and drawbacks to consider.

There are many tools to test mobile apps. You can pick the best one based on your budget, how much testing you need to do, what skills your team has, and what type of app it is. The chosen tool must support the programming languages and test environments (for example: Selenium and Appium are suitable for iOS and Android).

It is best to plan features and licensing costs and seek consultation from DevOps Engineers or other subject matter experts if required as a part of your test automation strategy-building process.
4. Planning Test Implementation
Planning the test execution is an important element of test automation strategy building. A test plan document determines the cost estimates, deliverables, and app delivery time. The test plan also records any additional requirements for testing.
5. Test Report Generation and Analysis
Generating reports after each testing cycle is necessary to log all intermediate activities and the final test result. Analyzing these reports can aid in determining the healthcare app’s readiness to be released in the market. This documentation is a compilation of all tests, risk assessments, and results analysis, detailing the process flow for assigning each test to its respective point-of-contact (POC), to increase efficiency within automated testing.

A Well-defined Test Automation Strategy: What’s in It for You

Test automation brings along a host of advantages, and adding to this a structured approach through a well-built test automation strategy creates an app that is far more efficient, reliable, and sustainable in the long run.
A well-defined test automation strategy helps the QA teams become more agile in delivering high software quality, an improved application release cycle, enhanced customer satisfaction, time and cost savings, and improved productivity. Some of the benefits of test automation paired with a robust test automation strategy include –
• Faster Time to Market
Knowing when to use which tool and framework along with other well-defined outlines and what-to-do-when expedites the development process. The team can tell what needs to be fixed and how it can be fixed. This helps them get the app ready for the market quickly.
• Higher ROI
A well-planned test automation strategy brings down the cost of test automation substantially and ensures a higher ROI for the app builder by eliminating unnecessary testing, prioritizing high-risk testing, and having an overall organized testing approach. Moreover, test automation enables testers to better allocate their time by automating manual work. Because of this, the tester can focus on new features and innovation instead of doing the same tests every day. This optimizes resource utilization.

• Cross-platform/Browser Compatibility

As an app developer, your goal should be to ensure that the application performs well on all targeted platforms and devices. This requires a cross-platform testing process. With test automation in place, conclusive results related to the app’s performance across devices and platforms can be obtained.
• Improved Test Coverage and App Quality
Automation makes it possible to perform more tests, increase code coverage, and improve the overall quality of the application to meet the rising expectations of today’s users.

The Way Forward to Success

Healthcare apps must bridge the gap between the healthcare service provider and the end user efficiently to offer good value. At the same time, the app must actively meet and satisfy regulatory and compliance requirements, including HIPAA, or else face serious penalties.
To ensure everything in the app runs smoothly, data is secure, and all the associated risks are mitigated in time, continuous and automated testing is a must.
There may be some bottlenecks in the process, and one should start a test automation strategy after identifying the technologies, tools, testing environment, available resources, team’s skillset, and potential risks. Also, defining DevSecOps and considering agile tools might be a good idea.
KANINI’s expertise in product engineering and DevOps can help you establish a well-defined test automation strategy to serve as the roadmap for your QA team and make the end-to-end testing process more efficient and fruitful. Get in touch with us to know how we can add value to your app development project.

Robert Claypool

Robert is heading the Product Engineering Practice at KANINI. He has 16 years of experience in software development and spatial data analysis. Since 2012, Robert has been managing our Windows and Linux cloud infrastructure on AWS and Azure. And as the director of applications development, he oversees systems architecture, security, and DevOps practices across the organization.

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