Seeking Tech Advice for Medical Reference Application


Hi all:

I appreciate Kirupa’s lengthy answer to my question here

… you should build both a PWA and a React Native solution and architect your app in a way to re-use as much logic between the PWA, React Native-Android, and React Native-iOS projects as possible. The PWA gets you the widest reach where any device with a browser can view your app. The React Native app gets you richness/depth where you get to take advantage of a device’s native UI controls for maximum performance and familiarity for users.

Having read this article a few times, I’m curious to get some suggestions for how one might go about building a medical reference application which will be available across the widest possible spectrum of desktop and mobile devices. The project involves transforming a book to an application. The UI will offer a Table of Contents and also Google-like search capabilities which will return a list of articles with snippets.

The app will serve up a structured data repository of articles.
The data will be added by a back-end tech, so the app will not need a UI for front-end authoring.

The articles will be housed in a structured repo. Properties of each article will include title, author, last-update …, all of which will be styled.

It will be subscription based with a few free pages. Subscription types include:

  • Individuals
  • Institutional
  • Integrated into Electronic Medical Records (EMR), so we’ll need a secure, invisible method to open the app in a browser from within an EMR application.

TIA for any advice :computer_mouse: :desktop_computer: :thumb2:


This is an important detail that makes me want to suggest just building a web app (aka a PWA). I am also assuming your app won’t need access to any native device capabilities. Also, since your app will primarily be used for accessing/viewing content, which is something the web is really REALLY good at :stuck_out_tongue:


Thanks Kirupa:
If we built this as a web app and wanted to also make it available as a “mobile app”, would we build the mobile app to load the web app? Could we add a “favorites/bookmarks” capability in both cases?
The app will be used clinically, so some providers might want to have quick access to sections they need often.


You can do favorites/bookmarks from the web app itself. If you wanted to also make it available as a mobile app, you would do exactly what you suggest - just have the mobile app load the web app via a webview. Something like Phonegap/Cordova can help if you need something really quick:

(Alternatively, if you are thinking of using the “Share” functionality, browser support is pretty weak right now. Only Chrome supports it on mobile and desktop, so this may require an additional mobile app piece!)