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Background

This page is intended to help Emory faculty, researchers, and physicians interested in implementing mobile apps in support of Emory's educational, research, and healthcare missions.

Emory University and Emory Healthcare have developed over twenty-five mobile apps since 2013. The number of apps and their complexity is expected to increase given the popularity of mobile apps and trends in higher education, research, healthcare, and information technology. Emory has implemented key policies, mobile app infrastructure, foundation components, and identified consulting resources to prepare to meet the increasing demand for mobile app development.

Estimating Effort and Cost of Mobile Apps

Mobile apps are more costly to develop, test, and maintain than many think. There are many reasons for this, but the basics are:

  1. Most mobile apps require both a front-end user interface (what you see and interact with) as well as back-end services for logic, storage, and integration with other applications. Few mobile apps turn out to be stand-alone apps. Even basic content apps often require an integration with a content management system to maintain the content efficiently and effectively.
  2. Mobile app platforms are complex constantly evolving, requiring frequent testing and often rework of apps to work on new releases of mobile operating systems and devices.
  3. The mobile app development tools and developer ecosystems are constantly evolving and changing. This means that mobile app developers and deployers really need to stay on top of things.
  4. Often administrative mobile or web features are required that may not be foreseen in the functional design goals.
  5. Security is paramount for apps with a back-end exposed to the internet, and at Emory if the data is subject to compliance policies this may prescribed very specific security measures and audit requirements that must be implemented.

It is not uncommon for a simple mobile app for iOS and Android to cost $50,000 to develop and $20,000 per year to maintain and operate. A complex application can easily range in hundred of thousands to implement and maintain annually. For this reason it is imperative to get meaningful estimates for your project from the beginning. Useful estimates help in preparing budgets for grant proposals or allocating institutional funds for the project.

Mobile App Development Resources

Emory has identified and vetted several consulting companies

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