My idea for creating the dental phobia app came after watching an episode of the TV entrepreur series, The Apprentice, where the task to was create an application and get as many downloads as possible.
A member from the team who had the fewest sales… well, you know the rest… someone got fired!
The iTunes store is full of apps that have been created over the past few years and rumour is that there are nearly half a million out there.
This is obviously a very crowded market place, but after careful analysis, I concluded that it lacked a really good dental application on dental sedation.
Having previously undertaken some postgraduate training at the Eastman dental hospital in providing conscious sedation, I felt I could offer something unique.
So began my journey to develop a dental app, one that took me beyond the walls of the dental practice.
Putting together all the relevant text and pictures for the app took a total of about three weeks.
The idea was to provide clear and concise information for dental patients who are too phobic to attend the dentist to find out their options.
Within the app, I created categories on each aspect of sedation, with pictures of relevant equipment and materials. The app also contains a dedicated email address whereby users can send their questions to be answered by a real life dentist.
When designing the logo and colour scheme, the plan was to keep the logo as simple as possible. Looking at some of the most successful apps such as Facebook, Google and Twitter, their icons all have a single colour scheme with just the beginning letter of the title… simple, yes… but very recognisable!
Although, I designed the logo myself and the layout, I needed the help of a local computer programming company, to create some of the binary code that would allow the app to animate into life.
Several beta versions were sent to me that I could test on my iPhone and then provide feedback about any changes necessary.
The company had previous experience of app creations for the iPhone and iPad and helped me to submit the finished product to Apple via their development centre.
Once the application was submitted to Apple, it took just over a week for their approval before it was able to be ready for general release.
This was probably the worst part of the process, as I was constantly checking my email every five minutes inbetween patients to see if there were any status updates.
I decided to offer the app for sale at a price of 59p – ideally I would have liked to offer it free of charge, but the setting up costs were quite high.
I don’t expect to make much of a profit from the app (if any), but I learned a great deal during the process and I think, as a dentist, it is important to keep trying new things and be looking to keep yourself up to date and modern.
Ultimately, dentistry is a service-based industry and anything that puts you one step ahead of your competitors is good for patients and business.
The brilliant thing about the creation of the app has been the fact that it is presented to a worldwide audience, unlike normal dental practice where you are mainly going to be serving only the local community.
Also, there has been some very positive feedback from users saying how the app has helped them and given them confidence to overcome some of their dental fears.
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