7 Effective Monetization Strategies for Medical Mobile Apps

If the amount of money coming into the business does not ultimately exceed the amount of money going out of the business (a state known as “positive cash flow”) then the business will eventually become insolvent. Learn more about mobile app monetization models in the healthcare sector are discussed in this article.



a year ago | 6 min read

Being an app owner, you want to know how to make money from mobile apps or how to monetize a free app. Medical app monetization strategy is similar to regular models that teach you how to make money from apps.

A medical mobile app should complement the overall business goals of the app’s owners. It’s best to integrate a mobile app monetization strategy at the beginning rather than force one when your app is already built and functioning with an active user base. An app’s optimal monetization model highly depends on its business logic and concept. 

How to make money from medical apps: top 9 monetization models

Not only can medical app development improve healthcare but it can be profitable for the app owner. Let’s go over the nine mobile monetization strategies that are applicable for medical mobile apps. Here we list the most popular mobile app monetization models to answer your question about how to make money in healthcare. 


Freemium is one way to monetize a medical mobile app. This compound of the words free and premium means that you offer two versions of the same application. The free version gives access to basic functionality and the premium version allows users to access additional (more advanced) features not available in the free version. The idea is that users will download the free version and enjoy it so much that they pay for the premium version to get access to enhanced functionality. The freemium model gives users the opportunity to know what they’re paying for before becoming more committed and engaged. This app monetization strategy also creates positive word of mouth, adding more value to the app.

Certified content

Promoting certified content is another monetization strategy that works perfectly for apps that offer peer-to-peer services and focus on selling certified content that is valuable for care providers’ practice rather than features. In a medical app, for instance, doctors might be able to view a fixed amount of content for free. After that, they need to sign up and pay a subscription fee to get access to more content that’s regularly updated. Care providers are likely to pay to stay subscribed to certified content or to simply follow updates and advancements in the medical sector. In the case of subscriptions, payment is recurring. 

You might also like: Healthcare mobile app development for doctors


Localized advertising campaigns

Ads can really frustrate users, especially those using medical apps. Advertisements shouldn’t disrupt the main user experience. The key is to offer relevant advertising. Some mobile advertising partners can localize (or hyper-localize) advertising using beacons, Wi-Fi, and GPS. These technologies allow for real-time targeted mobile ads that connect to on-the-spot user experiences. Users close to a drugstore that has a beacon might get a notification to their mobile device with a coupon for medication they take or for other health items, for instance. People are more likely to click on a mobile ad when they’re close to a store rather than when they’re at home and using an app for its main purpose.


Users should know about this localized advertising and should be able to choose which brands’ notifications they want to receive. Users are more likely to interact with ads if they’re provided options of brands to choose from (in the medical sector, retail sector, etc.). This also makes ad space more valuable and attractive to brand partners.

Registration and subscription fees

If a medical app serves as a platform that connects physicians to patients, then it can charge registration fees for doctors who use it to fill in their free time slots. That’s one of the ways how to monetize a free app. For example, Zocdoc charges doctors, not patients, a monthly fee to remain registered and lets patients schedule appointments with them. In our article about famous medical mobile apps for doctors, we write about what made Zocdoc and two other apps – DDX and Figure 1 – successful.

Medical apps can also have a subscription monetization model. With a subscription model, users choose the subscription plan that suits them and pay a fixed monthly, quarterly, or yearly fee for using the app.

Let’s start a conversation today

Hey there! My name is Igor, and I’m a BDM at Steelkiwi. If you’re planning to outsource developers at Steelkiwi but are hesitating, let’s get to know each other to see if we fit.

Schedule a meeting →


Another way to monetize a medical mobile application is to use the platform for promoting discounts and special offers. For instance, a medical center can offer a discount on the next lab test. App owners can become partners with third parties interested in promoting their products or services. The only thing necessary for such partnerships is to find out what products and services are appealing to app users. This type of promotion can help patients stay loyal to the application.

Monetizing accumulated data

Is data monetization in healthcare possible? There are legal methods to sell the accumulated data that medical applications collect. Under a pledge of anonymity to users, app owners can sell such data to interested parties. For example, if an app tracks the lifestyle of formerly overweight patients who had gastric bypass surgery, the data gathered could be valuable to fitness experts, pharmaceutical companies, or life insurance companies. Data can also serve as statistics for medical reports, magazines, and journals to calculate how a healthcare system is advancing. 

How to monetize an app through gamification

App owners can offer paid gamification elements to engage users. Gamification is another way ofhow to monetize an app. It can be adapted to the medical mobile app environment by creating stories and achievement levels for users. Games can be incorporated to help patients follow prescribed medications, stick to exercise routines, or attend all scheduled visits. A gamification approach can be of particular interest to families with kids. Games can help entertain children who undergo treatment. For instance, a parent can let their kid play a dedicated game about pills when the child is taking medication. For adults, app owners can get creative with rewards that can include free advice, discounts, or bonus points that can be redeemed for prizes or services.


In-app purchases

This is one of the most successful app monetization strategies as it makes up 47% of the total revenue generated from medical apps. So if you are considering developing a free app, in-app purchases are one of the best things you can do for business. 

Broadly speaking, in-app purchases can take various forms: in fitness apps, they are extra workouts, in mobile games — one-time cheats or rewards. What about medical applications? Patients can purchase supplements, pre-pay visits or have their prescriptions refilled.

However, there’s one thing that you need to remember. Your application should be functional even without additional purchases. As a mobile monetization strategy, in-app purchases only enhance the user experience.


How can you integrate sponsorship in your medical mobile app? By integration, we mean placing the sponsor’s logo in the footer or on the splash screen. The logo can be placed as an icon or a pop-up. You also can provide special offers or promote posts from a sponsor.

The trick here is to get in touch with influencers and sponsors from a medical sphere. You don’t need to pay influencers. Instead, you launch the so-called barter system offering services, products, discounts, and experiences depending on the business sphere. 

How exactly does this strategy work for the monetization of apps? In healthcare, this approach is referred to as a goldmine: it makes people way more interested in using a medical app and allows you to gather important user data which is, to some extent, a currency. 

Mobile app monetization strategies in place

In order to decide which monetization strategy works for you and how to make money from mobile apps, you need to analyze the type of application you’re creating and the features you’re including in it. This will help you direct your strategy, which is sure to influence your app’s architecture and its further monetization potential. It’s best to think of possible ways to derive revenue from your app at the inception stage so that you can deliver a digital solution and get your first income from it. 

It’s clear that every strategy can be implemented alone. Or it can be combined with some/all of the strategies from the list above. As for the cases of the most effective monetization, mobile apps should combine several methods. 

At SteelKiwi, we specialize in building secure medical mobile apps. We create meaningful digital solutions for the medical sector. The Thai telemedicine app that we built helps patients receive consultations from certified doctors anywhere.

Read our offer for telemedicine software development to learn how we approach building various medical solutions. Reach out with your app idea and we’ll be more than happy to assist you from inception and past the launch of your medical monetization app.


Created by


A strong team of software engineers, designers, quality assurance specialists, and project managers







Related Articles