Fitness App Development
Plan, Architecture, Costs
In mobile app development and healthcare IT since 2005, ScienceSoft builds world-class wellness apps with resilient architecture and engaging UX.
Fitness Apps: The Essence
The key goal of fitness app development is to meet the ever-growing demand for easy-to-use, accessible apps that help people maintain physical and mental wellness. Varying from fitness tracking, workout guidance, and nutrition planning to mindfulness solutions, fitness apps make a big difference in their users' everyday lives.
- Key steps: business analysis, requirements engineering and planning, UX/UI design, development and testing, release and maintenance, continuous evolution.
- Team: project manager, business analyst, solution architect, developers, QA specialists, DevOps engineer, regulatory compliance expert (optional).
- Costs: from $50,000 for an MVP and up to $600,000 for a full-featured product, depending on the chosen feature set and development method (native, cross-platform).
With a passionate team of experienced mobile developers and healthcare IT consultants, ScienceSoft provides end-to-end development of fitness apps. We offer business analysis, design, coding, testing, support, and evolution of fitness apps of any complexity.
The Fitness App Market
The global fitness app market was estimated at $1.1 billion in 2021 and is expected to grow sixfold within the following decade, reaching a valuation of $8.1 billion by 2032. The surge in demand for fitness apps is associated with the COVID-19 pandemic that raised public awareness of healthy lifestyle and affected brick-and-mortar fitness businesses.
Key Features of a Winning Fitness App
Having delivered over 350 successful mobile apps we fully understand the value of thought-out functionality. Below, ScienceSoft's consultants outline the most demanded fitness app features in 2023:
- Manual and automated activity logging: e.g., steps taken, heart rate, calories burned.
- GPS tracking (mapping out the route, calculating the pace and the distance traveled).
- Nutrition logging and calculating the calorie intake by entering the meals manually, choosing foods from the in-app list, or scanning food barcodes.
- Sleep tracking.
- Period and pregnancy tracking.
- Mood logging and journaling.
- Lifestyle tracking (e.g., physical and mental rest, habits, sexual activity, and more).
Personalized user experience
- User profile personalization (logging in age, height, weight, preferred activities to create a tailored fitness plan).
- Goal setting and progress tracking with daily/weekly/monthly reports.
- Custom workout and nutrition plans tailored to a user's fitness level, preferences, and goals (e.g., weight loss/gain, muscle building, regular physical activity).
- Push notifications and reminders to log in your daily activities and compensate for the missed ones.
Training and education
- Pre-recorded, animated, or illustrated workout sessions for an activity of choice (e.g., yoga, workout using gym equipment, stretching).
- Meditation, breathing, and other mental health exercises in a video, audio, or written format.
- Real-time one-on-one video sessions with trainers, meditation teachers, or nutritionists.
- Articles, FAQ guides on a healthy lifestyle.
- AI chatbot providing recommendations based on users' goals, logged-in activities, etc.
- Information on nearby healthcare and fitness organizations.
- Synchronization with social media (e.g., for sharing fitness achievements with friends, logging in via social media accounts).
- Gamification: in-app competitions with daily/weekly/monthly challenges, progress levels, and unlockable rewards like profile badges, discounts, free access to premium content, etc.
- Information about and notifications of a user's friends' recent activity and fitness achievements, peer support.
Billing and payment
- Secure payment gateways to accept in-app payments (for premium functionality, individual training sessions, etc.) through different channels (e.g., a card, Google Pay, Apple Pay).
- User invoicing and automated sales tax handling.
- Handling payment failures.
Sample Fitness App Architecture
Below, ScienceSoft's mobile app experts outline the key building blocks of a microservices-based fitness app architecture and describe its key components.
- Presentation layer is the app’s UI, the central point of user interaction. For fitness apps that accommodate different user roles (e.g., trainee, trainer, admin), different UIs with corresponding user access rights are created.
- Routing layer serves as an intermediary between the front end and the back end, ensuring a smooth and secure exchange of data.
- Container ecosystem is the app's back end that consists of several microservices and their respective databases, one for each primary module of the app.
LEARN MORE ABOUT EACH MICROSERVICE
Microservices in detail
- User's profile microservice collects and stores user data. Communicating with the payment microservice, it verifies a user's payment status (if applicable) and enables access to premium content or paid app features.
- Nutrition microservice helps log daily food and water intake, calculating the nutritional value of meals by choosing foods from the nutrition database or scanning a food item's barcode, etc.
- Training microservice contains the workout sessions and mental health exercises provided by the app. It allows users to choose their preferred activities and workout difficulty level, log their training sessions, track fitness progress, and more.
- Education microservice is designed to encourage the users' interest in fitness-related topics and provide comprehensive information about a healthy lifestyle in an easy-to-digest format.
- Goals microservice helps users keep up with their fitness goals, reminds them about missed activities, and encourages new accomplishments with push notifications.
- Recommendations microservice collects comprehensive data about a user's goals and activities from all the microservices to generate personalized recommendations and a tailored fitness program. Relevant tips might be provided with an AI chatbot that sends notifications to the user.
Independent modules are easy to deploy, scale, and modify, making microservices a perfect option for complex fitness apps that are likely to evolve with new features in the future.
Fitness App Development Roadmap
Below, ScienceSoft's experts share the key steps common for most fitness app development projects. This plan can be easily adapted to fitness app types, unique feature sets, etc.
- Setting business goals to be achieved with the future app (e.g., filling a market niche, promoting fitness products or services, etc.), define the expected goals to conceptualize the fitness product.
- Examining the target market segment and the competitors' offerings.
- Identifying the target audience and creating empathy maps to pinpoint potential users' pains.
- Identifying the app's compliance needs (e.g., HIPAA, GDPR).
- Developing a business case for the app, including the development cost and ROI estimations.
In most cases, fitness apps fall under the FDA requirements for low-risk devices as they are designed for general wellness use only, have no relation to diagnosing, curing, or preventing diseases and pose no risk to users’ safety. If your app fits this description, it will not require FDA submission.
Requirements engineering and architecture design
- Creating a high-level vision of the fitness app by outlining:
- The app's purpose (e.g., an exercise guide, a fitness tracker, a nutrition advisor) and its competitive edge.
- The core feature set and integrations (if applicable).
- Functional and non-functional requirements, including security and compliance requirements.
- App monetization model (a paid app, in-app purchases, ads, etc.).
- Choosing the mobile platform (iOS, Android, both).
- Designing the optimal mobile app architecture.
- Selecting the best-suited back end technology stack.
- Creating a detailed software requirements specification (SRS).
UX and UI design
- Conducting UX research to understand behavior of potential users and prioritize the development steps.
- Creating user personas and user scenarios (the patterns of how each persona interacts with the fitness app).
- Building UX wireframes or mockups that illustrate the interaction flows.
- Conducting multi-round UX testing to eliminate any potential issues and make the navigation intuitive.
- Creating a distinctive visual identity and fitness app design concept.
- Turning mockups into UI prototypes.
- Presenting UI prototypes to the project stakeholders, making the needed adjustments until the prototypes receive the stakeholders' approval.
Development and testing (iterative)
- Setting up the development and delivery automation environments (CI/CD, container orchestration, etc.).
- Developing the server side of the system and the APIs, using secure coding practices.
- Developing the client side of the system: creating a full-fledged UI based on UI prototypes, setting up network communication, integration with databases.
- Implementing security features (e.g., data encryption, MFA, etc.).
- Integrating the app with third-party wearable devices, social media platforms, payment gateways, etc. (if applicable).
- Conducting end-to-end testing in parallel with development, including functional, performance, security and compliance, compatibility, and accessibility testing.
- For apps that collect PHI: Conducting a HIPAA compliance assessment.
Release and maintenance
- Uploading the fitness app to the chosen mobile store(s).
- Selecting monitoring tools and setting up performance alerts to immediately detect and resolve availability and performance issues.
- Establishing support and maintenance procedures to ensure smooth operation of the fitness app: releasing updates to ensure full compatibility with new OS versions, addressing user issues, optimizing cloud resource consumption to reduce cloud fees, etc.
Adjusting the solution to meet the evolving business needs:
- Rolling out new app features (including those powered by advanced techs like AR, IoT, AI/ML, etc.).
- Developing new integrations with other apps and services.
- Refining the UX/UI according to user feedback and new trends in the fitness industry.
- Implementing the most recent security measures and more.
Consider Professional Fitness App Development Services
ScienceSoft can design, develop, and support a highly engaging fitness app or assist you at any stage of your mobile development project.
Why Your Fitness App Project Is Bound for Success with ScienceSoft
- In mobile app development and healthcare IT since 2005.
- 350+ successful mobile projects, including the Android version of Rakuten Viber, apps that power global brands (MTV, T-Mobile, KFC, Fox Entertainment), and Deloitte-approved banking apps.
- Hands-on experience with HIPAA, GDPR regulations.
- Strong Agile and DevOps culture.
- ISO 9001 and ISO 27001-certified to guarantee a robust quality management system and ensure the security of the customers' data.
- Quality management system for medical device software proven by ISO 13485.
- For the second straight year, ScienceSoft USA Corporation is listed among The Americas’ Fastest-Growing Companies by the Financial Times.
Mobile App for Heart Rate Tracking
- End-to-end implementation of a native iOS app that helps assess users' physical state before, during, and after a fitness session.
- Immediate interpretation of heartbeat data from the heart monitor, displaying the results on a handy three-colored chart.
- Widely used by US healthcare and military organizations to improve patients' well-being and monitor the training progress.
Healthy Food Mobile App
- Development of engaging iOS and Android apps that help users accurately assess their food's nutritional value: calories, protein, carbs, fat, cholesterol, sodium, and the glycemic index.
- Actionable recommendations on an optimal diet according to a user's blood type: the app identifies food that is beneficial for intake (indicated green), neutral (yellow), or not good for their blood type (red).
Startup MVP Platform for Patients with Obesity
- End-to-end development of a HIPAA-compliant mobile MVP that helps patients to eat a healthy diet, prepare for and recover from a bariatric surgery.
- Calories counting, generating personalized suggestions with AI engine, instant messaging, gamification.
- Empowering healthcare practitioners with real-time access to patient health data (weight, calorie consumption, physical activity) and progress reports.
Our Customers Say
ScienceSoft designed and developed a native iOS app that offers a quantitative assessment of users’ physical fitness. I've incorporated my idea of a reliable person's physical state analyzer on my PC, and the ScienceSoft’s technical team implemented it to mobile realm. I was impressed with the excellent level of responsibility, communication skills and mobile competences of both the management team and developers. All the tasks were completed accurately, promptly and efficiently.
Founder & CEO
ScienceSoft is a professional and dedicated mobile app development company. Over the past 10 years we've worked on about ten mobile app development projects with them. Their developers performed really well and have rescued us when we were late on delivery. We would certainly recommend ScienceSoft as a highly skilled and reliable service provider.
Talents that Make Up Our Fitness App Development Teams
Devises a project plan and manages the team; ensures full compliance with the SLA; reports to the stakeholders on the project progress.
Researches the fitness app market and competitors; elicits functional and non-functional requirements; outlines the feature set and the required integrations with third-party devices (if any).
Designs the optimal fitness app architecture and the required integrations with third-party devices; chooses the best-suited tech stack.
Investigates the needs and expectations of the fitness app's users; assists the business analyst in preparing the app's requirements specification; creates user personas and interaction patterns; builds UX wireframes and participates in UI creation.
Designs an attractive and intuitive visual interface of a fitness app; cooperates with the UX designer and the developers to ensure easy navigation within the app and high user engagement; participates in discussing the UI prototypes with project stakeholders.
Sets up the fitness app development infrastructure; introduces CI/CD pipelines to automate development and releases; monitors the app's security, performance, availability, etc.
Cooperates with designers to work out sleek GUI elements, codes the app and fixes the defects reported by the QA team.
Builds the server side of the fitness app and establishes secure data exchange among the app's modules; fixes the defects reported by the QA team.
QA engineers and testers
Work out a test strategy and a test plan based on the app requirements; design test scenarios and test cases; set up the testing environment and run the tests; introduce test automation (if feasible); report on the detected issues; validate bug fixes.
Note: Depending on your project specifics, ScienceSoft can involve additional talents. For example, your fitness app collects personal health information and shares it with healthcare providers and insurance companies. In this case, a regulatory consultant will join the team to ensure the app's compliance with HIPAA and prepare the relevant documentation for an OCR audit.
Key Sourcing Models for Fitness App Development
- Full control over the development process.
- Possible lack of relevant tech experts on board and low scalability of the in-house team.
- All managerial efforts are on your side.
Turn to ScienceSoft for expert help with business analysis, project planning, tech stack selection, and more.
- Prompt and cost-effective access to the required skills.
- Reduced workload for the in-house team.
- Establishing smooth coordination between the teams may be challenging.
Turn to ScienceSoft to augment your team with mobile development experts.
- A fully managed team with all required competencies.
- Quick project start.
- Full responsibility for the quality of the deliverables, development processes, timelines, etc. is on the vendor's side.
- The risk of hiring an inept vendor.
Turn to ScienceSoft if you need a reliable and experienced team to carry out your fitness app development project.
Creating Innovation Opportunities With Advanced Techs
We're ready to deliver an app that goes beyond the regular fitness tracking functionality. Turn to ScienceSoft to create a one-of-a-kind product powered by advanced techs:
How Much Does It Cost to Develop a Fitness App?
The total cost of a fitness app development project highly depends on the chosen feature set, the development method (native, hybrid, or cross-platform), and the sourcing model (in-house or outsourced). It may vary as follows:
For a native fitness app MVP with simple features like GPS tracking and diet planning.
For a cross-platform workout app with personalized user experience, goal setting, progress tracking across various modules, etc.
Up to $600,000
For a high-end native fitness app with advanced features like live streaming, AI chatbots, AR, etc.
ScienceSoft is a global IT consulting and software development company headquartered in McKinney, TX. With 18-year experience in mobile development, we design and implement highly engaging fitness apps that users love. In our projects, we employ a robust quality management system and guarantee the security of our customers' data in accordance with ISO 9001 and ISO 27001 requirements.