How to Create Your Own Meditation App like Calm or Headspace in Canada, USA?

1 year ago

COVID-19 has been inducing a considerable amount of fear, worry, and concern in the population at large. 

Among certain groups such as seniors, caregivers, unemployed youth, single mothers, it has been causing havoc. 

As per Canada’s COVID-19 National Survey Dashboard, 

  • Almost 21% of the population experienced moderate to severe anxiety. 
  • Almost 26% of the population engaged in binge drinking. 
  • Almost 21% of the population felt lonely. 
  • Almost 20% of the population felt depressed. 
  • Almost 51% of the population was very worried about their finances. 

Due to rising mental health cases, therapists have been witnessing unprecedented demand. But not all Canadians are rushing to therapists. They find it affordable and reliable to look after their mental health and improve it with the help of meditation apps. 

According to a report from app store intelligence firm Sensor Tower, the top 10 meditation apps including Calm reported a combined 2 million downloads only in April 2020. More interestingly, these apps are still experiencing the highest-ever installation rate. 

In May 2021, Calm app earned more than $5 million in revenue and led the chart of top 10 healthcare apps in Canada, the USA and many other countries. 

So, if you are also planning to build an app like Calm, we’ll solve all of your technical, business and compliance doubts. 

How much Calm might have invested in its app development?

You must be eager to know how much it costs to build a Calm-like meditation app. But to know it, you first need to know the app development cost of the original Calm app.

Well, Calm was launched in 2012 as an MVP app. (An MVP version of the app has only useful and important features.) 

After testing the market and based on user input, the Calm team continued adding new features for years. 

This way, Calm didn’t make a one-time investment in its app. Instead, it invested in a very safe manner, only after testing the market. 

So, as per our internal calculation, Calm might have invested around $30000-$40000 on its MVP version of the app and so far, invested more than $150,000 for the current version of the app which is armed with several advanced and game-changing features. 

How much does it cost create your own meditation app like Calm? 

You must have already got the idea now. 

If you are planning to build an MVP version of a Calm-like app with useful and basic features only, it would cost you as low as $30000 in the North American market. 

And if you only want to build a full-fledged version of a meditation app, it would cost you at least $45000. 

However, final pricing always depends on hourly charges of developers, your UI/UX needs, development platform, features set, compliance needs etc. 

You should read: 4 ways to save 50% on healthcare app development cost 

Why should you hire only North American developers or a development agency? 

Meditation app development is one of the complex projects, not because of development requirements, but because of users & market it targets and compliance requirements

A North-America-based app development agency is most likely well-aware of the on-ground healthcare challenges, market & user requirements, business model and compliance requirements. 

Whereas, an Asia or Europe-based app agency can’t build an engaging meditation app for American and Canadian users due to their lack of region, user and compliance-specific knowledge.  

They also don’t accommodate dedicated compliance specialists which leaves you with the only choice to hire 3rd party compliance consultants by paying a huge hourly fee. 

This is important to learn: How to hire the best healthcare developers? 

How many days does it take to build an app like Calm? 

Many might have promised you to deliver app-like Calm within a week or 15 days. But it is technically impossible - unless they have readymade app modules. 

To professionally build your meditation app from scratch, it would easily take at least 50-60 days. Why? Because …  

App development isn’t just about coding. You need to design UI/UX. You need to test the app. You need to carry out a compliance audit. You need to pilot it. 

Like these, there are several phases in the app development lifecycle. And all top app agencies follow each and every phase of this lifecycle because there is no shortcut in building the best app. 

How to create your own meditation app like Calm? - The entire process 

We certainly can’t share the process other Canadian app agencies follow to build an app like Calm. But yes, we can surely share the entire process we follow.

Features you should consider adding to your meditation app 

Features play a crucial role in delivering value to users. It also influences the overall budget greatly. Thus, always put extra emphasis on the feature set. 

By listing out our top recommended features, we are easing your task to decide on features. 

  • Social sign up
  • Profile management 
  • Goal setting 
  • Breathing exercise 
  • Sleep stories 
  • Guided meditation with audio-video guide 
  • Reminder 
  • Goal tracking 
  • Add favourite meditation track & sessions 
  • Payment 
  • Gamification 
  • Loyalty program 
  • Feedback, review, ratings
  • Telemedicine or virtual care  

Why is adding telemedicine features vitally important for your app’s success and revenue? 

Telemedicine or virtual care has emerged as the prime care delivery model due to the pandemic. 

Today, be it healthcare providers or patients, they prefer to engage in a clinical lifecycle via telemedicine. 

Sensing the opportunity, several healthcare startups have rolled out telemedicine services from their existing healthcare platforms. 

For instance, PocketPills - Canada’s top online pharmacy app - offers telemedicine services from its online pharmacy platform to generate an extra revenue stream while leveraging telemedicine surge. 

Similarly, you can also integrate telemedicine features with your meditation app to let users seek virtual medical consultation from therapists.  

This stands out your app among others and enables you to generate an extra revenue stream

Check out our white-label telemedicine platform for your better understanding. 

Are meditation apps profitable? 

Of course, and that’s why you are planning to build a Calm-like meditation app! Right?

But we believe we should build up your confidence by sharing some real data. 

Calm made $5 million in May 2021, Headspace made $3 million, Simple Habit Sleep Meditation made $90K, Ten Percent Happier Meditation made $300K. 

Are you wondering how these meditation apps make money? Let’s discuss monetization strategies of meditation apps. 

  • Freemium model 

Under the freemium model, meditation apps allow users to access a few features of the app and relaxing music for free of cost. 

And to access all resources and features, users have to pay a fixed amount.

  • Subscription 

Once users download the app, they can explore all features and content for free of cost for a fixed number of weeks. And after their free trial ends, users have to purchase any subscription plan to continue using the app. 

  • Pay-per-visit 

If a meditation app is equipped with telemedicine features, users have to pay a fixed fee for every time he talks to a therapist for personalized mental health treatment. 

  • Ads 

Free meditation apps show 3rd party relevant ads of service or product to users and make money based on either per impression, per click or both. 

  • In-app purchase 

Under this model, app users pay an amount to unlock premium content, meditation guide or music as per their requirements. 

A detailed guide: Healthcare app monetization strategies 

Meditation app compliance requirements 

Building a compliant meditation app must be your priority as a non-compliant meditation app will surely make you liable for a hefty fine and data breach!

Healthcare is a highly regulated industry as it has been a soft target of hackers. So, to govern the way data is being collected, used and shared, authorities have imposed laws. 

Talking specifically about Canada, there is a federal-level data privacy law- PIPEDA - and there are several provincial-level data privacy laws, applicable to healthcare apps that handle data. 

Each of these laws has several technical and administrative regulations around data security and confidentiality. 

For instance, PHIPA (Ontario’s healthcare data privacy law) asks healthcare entities to collect, use and disclose only necessary information of patients if they permit. 

So, to meet this regulation, you have to build your app in such a manner that it only collects, uses and shares necessary information and asks for user permission. 

For each regulation, you have to find out the most efficient way to address it to make your app compliant with that law. 

And once your app is developed, you also need to carry out TRA (threat and risk assessment) to find out if there are any unattended privacy vulnerabilities within your app. 

Thus, it is always advisable to hire an app agency that not only builds a meditation app but also understands the local compliance requirements and technically achieves it.  

How can we help you build a meditation app even better than Calm?  

We're an Ontario-based healthcare-focused app agency - has been successfully delivering healthcare app development projects for 7 years. 

Having healthcare-specific knowledge and expertise means we can easily satisfy our healthcare clients’ requirements much better than others.  

We’re well-aware of the Canadian healthcare ecosystem, compliance requirements, user persona, healthcare challenges, clinical workflows, billing structure etc. 

We accommodate healthcare app developers, designers, business analysts and compliance specialists who all work together to define workflows, prepare documents, design UI/UX, code the app, test it, run a compliance audit, pilot it and launch it in the market.   

Being a Canadian company, we know how important it is to be compliant with data privacy laws. Thus, we only build a meditation app compliant with all laws. 

What we promise to deliver extra is peace of mind by solving all of your technical, business and compliance challenges.  

Because peace of mind is something rare to find while on a development journey!