The healthcare industry is changing incredibly fast. The adoption of new technologies here is high, and the telemedicine niche is what has been booming for the last few years. Back in 2019, the US telemedicine market amounted to about $50 billion, but by the end of 2023, it’s projected to reach as much as $194 billion. And the market growth will only continue.
In this regard, many investors and startup owners wonder how to make a telemedicine app that will live up to their expectations and bring profit. Let’s find out what telemedicine applications for healthcare are, what features they should have, and what the development steps are.
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Table of contentWhat is a Telemedicine Application?Main Types of Telemedicine ApplicationsFeatures of a Telemedicine App: Patient’s PartFeatures of a Telemedicine App: Doctor’s PartStrategies for Successful Development of a Telemedicine ApplicationPitfalls and How to Avoid Them When Developing a Telemedicine ApplicationCost of Developing a Telemedicine AppDevelop a Telemedicine Application with WeelorumFinal ThoughtsFAQ
What is a Telemedicine Application?
Many confuse telemedicine and telehealth concepts. Let’s learn a bit about both, so we never mix them up:
- Telemedicine. Telemedicine apps are focused exclusively on direct patient care, delivered via the Internet with the help of telemedicine solutions. Telemedicine services are also called remote clinical services.
- Telehealth. In their turn, telehealth apps refer to a much broader range of healthcare-related activities, including educational, administrative, and other non-clinical services.
Telemedicine may be regarded as a subset of telehealth, as it represents a more narrow definition.
Main Types of Telemedicine Applications
Let’s focus more on telemedicine app development solutions and find out what common types of software on the market are.
Live Video Conferencing Apps
These telemedicine app development solutions are 100% focused on remote real-time interactions between providers and patients. From a certain perspective, it’s a regular consultation through which a patient may receive medical advice quickly and at low money expenses.
Asynchronous video or Store-and-Forward Apps
Those apps do not focus on real-time interaction between providers and patients. Instead, a healthcare specialist accesses a recorded medical history, evaluates the case, and provides services without talking to the patient in real time. It’s an excellent option if there is no urgent medical need.
Remote Patient Monitoring (RPM)
With these types of telemedicine software, assigned providers can monitor a patient’s vital signs, conditions, and overall health state. This way, providers can quickly determine any changes and take measures in a timely manner.
Mobile Health (mHealth)
Such solutions allow for self-monitoring of health with the help of fitness trackers and similar devices. They are suitable for tracking outbreaks or managing chronic conditions. mHealth applications are used to make quality healthcare more accessible.
Features of a Telemedicine App: Patient’s Part
Let’s take a look at the patient-centered features of developing a telemedicine app.
Signup and Setting Up a Personal Account
Telemedicine software has to deal with sensitive patient information, so registering and setting up a personal account is due. Customization capabilities may also come in handy here.
Search and Filters
A telemedicine app may have an array of available providers, a library with guidelines, a vast number of functionalities, etc. Also, integrating some navigation, search, and filter options are what would only add to the patient experience.
Video Calling and Audio Consultation
Apparently, most patients download telemedicine apps to get a remote consultation. Video and audio calling is the first feature to include if the software is intended to connect providers and their clients.
Some patients prefer to get consulted via chat. Others may need to ask some questions prior to a consultation. Therefore, the option to contact a provider via chat is another must-have feature.
Of course, some appointment management is due to the high-quality service delivery. Appointment scheduling functionality allows for convenient remote consulting with no fuss.
Payment Management System
Hardly a non-profit telemedicine app exists, so integration of a payment system with multiple payment options included is also due.
Clients have a bad habit of dropping software solutions and even scheduled appointments. Develop a telemedicine app that will send appropriate follow-up notifications and enjoy higher client engagement rates.
Reviews and Ratings
It would be difficult for clients to pick a perfect fit provider without looking at reviews. Leaving the opportunity to rate a medical specialist is always the right call.
Features of a Telemedicine App: Doctor’s Part
The doctor-centered side of a telemedicine app should have some specific functionalities integrated.
Signup and Setting Up a Work Account
Providers must be registered and have the description of their expertise filled out. You may also offer them to indicate their majority, testimonials, services, and more.
A provider should have the option to confirm or reject appointment requests, so there’s no misunderstanding between parties involved in the treatment process.
Search and Filters
In their turn, healthcare providers may have an array of patients they have already consulted. The opportunity to search for a specific client may be incredibly useful for them.
Providers should have the legal right to sign prescriptions for patients, so with this functionality, patients may receive their prescriptions and share them with the pharmacy of their choosing to get medications sold to them.
In order to deliver treatment, a provider should get access to a patient’s electronic health record (EHR). HIPAA compliance requires provider verification to be completed in order to download a particular patient’s EHR.
As a service vendor, a healthcare provider should have access to statistics for consultations delivered, statuses of appointment schedules, the progress of patients’ treatments, and more.
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Strategies for Successful Development of a Telemedicine Application
How do you develop a telemedicine app? Consider following these six phases precisely:
Step 1: Market Research and Ideation
In the first stage, it’s important to conduct solid market, competitor, and target audience research. This will help to select the exact telemedicine application type, its purposes, niche, and more. For example, in the present day, applications that are centered in particular fields, such as psychology, physiology, ophthalmology, etc., are prevalent. They are regarded as more trustworthy compared to general-purpose ones.
Step 2: Planning
In the next stage, you should plan the exact objectives to be achieved, time and money expenses, labor resources required, and more. You may need a vendor’s help for more accurate estimations here.
Step 3: Designing
Then, you create sketches, as well as low-fidelity and high-fidelity design prototypes of the future telemedicine application. It’s important to stick to the standards of UI/UX and carefully plan the way clients will interact with your software and healthcare providers.
Step 4: Development
The design stage is followed by the development of the MVP or a fully-fledged solution. It includes the integration of must-have APIs, payment getaways, etc.
Step 5: Testing and Launching
Then, you should proceed with QA testing to ensure that the software solution being developed functions as expected. The stages end with the deployment of the telemedicine app.
Step 6: Gathering Medical Providers Team and Monitoring Results of their Work
After launching your app, you require staff that will provide app users’ services. You may recruit certified specialists yourself or allow them to register via your app for free. This way, you will get many willing providers for customer choosing. Consider monitoring their work results to avoid letting less reliable specialists spoil your app’s image.
Pitfalls and How to Avoid Them When Developing a Telemedicine Application
Let’s find out what challenges you may face during the development of a telemedicine app.
Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) is the US federal civil law that protects the privacy rights of individuals that use healthcare services. It applies to digital software that serves as an intermediary between providers and patients. HIPAA provisions are pretty strict. They impose requirements for handling, hosting, and managing patient data.
Similar regulations, such as GDPR, are relevant for applications intended for EU citizens, or PIPEDA, applicable for Canadian citizens. Mobile platforms and software marketplaces may have their own platform-specific requirements regarding information handling.
The crucial point is ensuring software compliance with the imposed regulations to avoid penalties for their violations.
Regulations set requirements regarding data handling, but security measures are equally important. Sensitive patient information should be protected against hacker attacks, and developers should prevent any data leaks. It’s crucial to consider ways in which providers access patient history to avoid the disclosure of information that is not related to a particular treatment case.
Video and Audio Quality
After all, telemedicine development is all about establishing clear contact between a provider and a patient. Examination and consultation would not be possible without high-quality conferencing. That’s why video and audio quality that software can support are crucial.
Unfortunately, telemedicine comes with some restrictions that regular medical practices don’t have. A provider cannot make an ultrasound, x-ray, or physical examination. Even if third-party providers can deliver some laboratory services, telemedicine is more appropriate for preventive and maintenance medicine rather than for actual treatment.
Cost of Developing a Telemedicine App
A telemedicine app development project requires the collaborative effort of a team consisting of business analysts, one of whom should specialize in medical app regulatory compliance, designers, project managers, developers, and QA testers.
The average price of an IT specialist is about $40 per hour. Provided a team of five workers, it’s $200 per hour or about $32,000 per month of development. Development of a Minimal Viable Product (MVP) of telemedicine software takes about two to three months, so that the price may fall somewhere between $64,000-96,000. A fully-fledged application will require twice as much time and expense.
Develop a Telemedicine Application with Weelorum
Meet Weelorum — a vendor of various app development solutions. We’ve been on the market for years, constantly delivering impeccable solutions and solid business outcomes. We are well aware of the pitfalls on the way to a successful app creation in this niche, so that you can be confident in the expertise of our telemedicine app development team.
Here are the benefits you should expect by partnering with Weelorum:
- Transparency in the development process.
- The clearness in the communication.
- Careful consideration of your business models.
- Work toward the achievement of your business goals.
- Superior customer support.
- Fair rates with no hidden charges.
Weelorum’s team features the end-to-end process of telemedicine app development. We successfully completed hundreds of projects. Take a look at our portfolio with some detailed case studies.
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Programs to assist healthcare providers and patients are clearly widespread. Yet, the market is not saturated, and there is still room for telemedicine application development. It’s essential to plan the functionalities of your future app carefully so it is both usable and user-friendly. Consider partnering with a dev service provider with niche-specific experts to avoid pitfalls and produce perfectly suitable software.
How do I create a telemedicine app that will succeed on the market?
Carefully plan functionalities to include in telemedicine apps for providers and patients, and deliver the solution to your target audience’s needs.
How do I approach telemedicine app development?
Consider sticking to the fully-fledged development process, starting from extensive market and competitor research, followed by planning, developing, testing, deploying, and gathering staff.
How much does it cost to develop a telemedicine app?
Price estimation may vary depending on the technical requirements and region of living of developers and their expertise. Yet, the end cost often falls within the range of $50,000-200,000.