“Provide virtual care to your patients anytime anywhere” this concept has delivered greater measurable value more than ever after the COVID-19 pandemic.
Post the corona outbreak, Telemedicine app has become the lifeblood of many governments, hospitals, ePharmacies and even corporates.
The surge in telemedicine app development amid the pandemic has given Doctors and healthcare organizations a well-suited platform in their employee wellness strategy.
From the many benefits the telemedicine app provides, the remote consultation is the Holy Grail protecting the patients and doctors from the virus transmission, while not disrupting the lockdown measures.
Telemedicine is a readily available solution bridging the gap between patients, physicians and health systems, enabling everyone especially symptomatic patients to stay at home and connect to the care providers virtually through online video calls, EMR/EHR, ePrescriptions, and medical data sharing.
The Urgent Need to Develop Telemedicine Apps
If at any point of time you think, consumer-friendly platforms like Skype, FaceTime and Whatsapp can help you take the video visits, then drop the idea now. These tools might be great for quick, one-off visits but they don’t integrate well with the health system’s telemedicine infrastructure and are bit cumbersome to provide remote care operationally.
Looking ahead, if the federal authorities passes any emergency with old rules and regulations, there likely won’t be any option remaining other than adopting it.
Furthermore, looking at the momentum at which telehealth is tackling the virus and chronic care management, other health and ancillary services are pushed aside.
What we as a telemedicine app development company are learning is the face of healthcare is changing permanently.
Study says, 72% of healthcare providers have adopted the use of telemedicine after the coronavirus hit and are now taking it as a new normal. There’s no going back.
Also, from a recent survey conducted of U.S patients, it was found that 84% of patients are more likely to select a provider that offers telemedicine over one that doesn’t.
‘WE … JUMPED FORWARD 10 YEARS ON THE ADOPTION CURVE’
It can be clearly concluded, healthcare practitioners have to deploy telemedicine quickly and see it as a long-term investment to provide urgent-care treatment and a better patient experience.
Source: BI intelligence
The Capabilities of A Telemedicine App
Telemedicine has been a key pillar of technology-enabled care delivery that is helping healthcare organizations deliver quality care remotely and gain following efficiencies:
- Lowered costs
- Improved access to care
- Convenient and time efficient
- Slows down the spread of infection
For Healthcare Providers:
- Reduced overhead expenses
- Additional revenue streams
- Improves the quality of care delivery
- Less exposure to illness and infection
- Improves patient engagement and satisfaction
- Unified patient monitoring system
A recent study showed that with telemedicine, patients had:
- 38% fewer hospital admissions
- 31% fewer hospital re-admissions
- 63% more likely to spend fewer days in the hospital
Want to Explore the Use Cases/Functionalities of a Telemedicine App?
The Benefits Provided By Telemedicine Functionalities
- Store and forward facility helps in pre-screening patients living remotely
- Organize and collect patient data
- Identifying and tracking public health issues
- Some systems can improve data management through network databases and Electronic record keeping
- Enables the transfer of images as attachments
How to Develop A Telemedicine App?
Key Features of Patient App
A patient can sign up via mobile number, email and social media channel for quick login. However, we would recommend a two-factor authentication which requires SMS, voice or phone verification. Since, the app carries private and sensitive healthcare data records.
Patients can create their profile by inserting information like name, age, gender, photo, past medical history, etc.
- Search Doctors
Patient can search doctors by filters like specializations, country and state, consultation fee, ratings, etc. They can also apply filters to sort doctors by fees i.e. (low to high and high to low).
- View Doctors Profile
Patients can view Doctors profile with details like photo, specialization, address, consultation fees, email, phone, available appointment slots.
- Book Appointment
Patients can book appointments as per Doctor’s availability. The appointment can be canceled or rescheduled. You can also ask your software vendor to segment the types of appointments on basis of priority like normal appointment for chronic care, instant appointment for urgent care.
- Communication Mode
The communication can be carried out via video or audio call, video conferencing, via chat or messaging and it can also be real-time or in-person consultation.
- Upload Medical Record
Patients can upload medical records like past medical history, prescriptions, lab tests, etc.
Patients can make secured online payments through multiple payment gateway integrations like cards, mwallet, net banking, etc.
- Leave Review
Post treatment patients can leave review and rating of the doctor.
- Patient Insurance
This is an advanced feature that allow patients to take in-app insurance. At Codiant, we use PokitDot insurance as it readily gets approved and enable patients to get real time benefits.
The app can remind patients of their upcoming appointments, bills, etc. via notifications which can be email notification, SMS notification and push notifications.
Key Features of Doctor App
- Easy Onboarding
Doctors can securely signup/login in the app through email, phone verification.
- Create a Schedule
Doctors can create a schedule by selecting a date range, days, start and end time, duration of the appointment. They can also manage the calendar as per availability.
- Set Availability
Doctors can set availability status to online/offline.
- Appointment Management
Doctor can receive appointment request, accept/reject an appointment and view upcoming appointments.
- Communication Mode
Doctor should be able to set type of consultation like video, audio and in-person for patient interaction. Doctor should also be enabled to take urgent type of appointment immediately.
- View Patient’s Profile
Doctors can view patients’ profile, manage their reason for visit, and view past appointments along with other details like appointment time & date, fees, reason for visit, status of appointment- completed/ not accepted.
This feature allow doctors to send online prescription to patients which will be saved to either databases.
Doctors can receive notifications of their schedules or upcoming appointments with patients, payments received and more through email, SMS, and push notifications.
- Profile Management
Doctors can manage their profile by adding their professional details, uploading picture, and updating fees.
- Dashboard and Analytics
In this feature, Doctors should be able to view their dashboard where they can see their no. of patients, total earnings, prescriptions and more. This should be kept personalized as per your specific requirement.
Key Features of Admin Panel
- Dashboard to view total no. of doctors and patients
- Ability to manage doctors (add/update/delete)
- Manage patients (view/edit/update/delete)
- Ratings and review management
- View reports and analytics
Technical Architecture of Telemedicine App Development
- Programming languages: Kotlin, Java (Android), Swift (iOS)
- Insurance verification: PokitDok
- ePrescription: EazyScript
- Video Conferencing: WebRTC
- Chat: Twilio, Socket.io
- Database: MySQL
- APIs and frameworks: Stripe, EC2, S3
Advanced Technologies Used in Telemedicine
Health technologies integrated with novel uses of data are transforming virtual care to the next level. Let’s look how we can leverage it for improving outcomes and achieving quality goals.
The many potential use cases of blockchain in healthcare has only enhanced healthcare operations. Blockchain technology is helping in securing patient healthcare records, optimizing health supply chain for pharmaceutical products, clinical trial management and making claim process easier.
2. Artificial Intelligence
Data-driven technology AI and Machine Learning has broad applicability in the healthcare industry. The potential effects of AI in healthcare includes managing medical data, tracing patient history, remote patient monitoring through health trackers, medical imaging diagnosis and decision making through predictive analytics. Click here to explore in detail.
3. Big Data
Big data is helping healthcare organizations in collecting, analyzing and leveraging patient’s and clinical data. The data analytics helps to make strategic decisions and improve care personalization and efficiency at a greater extent.
Chatbots are assisting in physical patient care with medical queries, medication guidance, symptom checks, nutrition coaching, etc. The various healthcare apps using chatbots applications are Safedrugbot, Florence, Forksy, Izzy, Babylon Health and more.
5. Internet Of Things (IoT)
IoT enables healthcare professionals to be more watchful and connect with the patients proactively. It can track if patients are taking treatment plans properly and can also sense if they need urgent care or immediate medical attention.
How Do Telemedicine App Make Money?
Given the operational costs for healthcare in traditional settings rockets faster than its revenue, creating a telehealth app with sustainable business model is always a great idea. One time investment in the telemedicine app development and you take the advantage of revenue sources without going broke.
After discovering the revenue models of leading healthcare apps, we have funnel down 5 effective monetization strategies that can help hospitals, healthcare organizations and care providers generate money through the app.
- Flat Fee Per Visit
Patients connecting to physicians using video visits can be charged a fee for a time period say 15-minute appointment. If the call goes over the allotted time, patients have to repay the same amount for another 15 minutes slot. App owners can earn money by fixing a commission of each visit from the care provider. Like Doctor on Demand takes 25% of the cost of each visit.
- Per Employee Per Month (PEPM)
If you’re anyway thinking to charge employers through “Per Employee, Per Month” or say monthly subscription fee, you can earn a good figure annually. Like for example, a company of 100,000 employees, charges $1 from an employee per month, this rounds up to $1.2 million annual cost.
80% of the revenue of legacy telemedicine providers is generated by PEPM revenue model only and the rest accounts from providing patient care.
- Insurance Reimbursements
App owners can make money through insurance reimbursements and also giving flexibility to users to use the app platform without insurance by giving pocket money.
- Providing Software To Health Systems (SaaS)
A newer line of business could be providing developed software to other health systems at a low per provider fee.
- Selling Franchisee
This strategy can help you to popularize, scale and expand the platform to larger customer base in a short span of time. Speed of growth and early stage capitalization is yet another benefit you can avail.
Top Telemedicine Applications
6 Successful Telehealth Apps Known for Their Exclusive Business Models
The drive of innovative telehealth app development constructed over advanced technologies have powered thousands of hospitals and health plan partners with over millions of employers and care providers.
Let’s take a short trip to the success stories of some of the best telemedicine apps that have delivered a unified patient experience in normal as well as uncertain times like COVID-19 pandemic.
1. Doctor On Demand
A simple, secured and safe telemedicine app for online doctor consultation is easy to use with its apps available on the app store and play store.
The app has 24/7 availability of licensed physicians, psychiatrists, psychologists, and master-level therapists. It covers the A-Z needs of patients ranging from urgent care to chronic care and behavioral health to preventive health.
The working is simple patient lists past medical records and symptoms before connecting with the doctor online through video conferencing and posts the virtual consultation gets an online prescription.
The consultation fee of the medical doctors’ ranges from $75 for a 15-minute consultation and for Psychology goes as high as $129 for a 25-minute consultation.
Teladoc can also be called a digital powerhouse of healthcare and telemedicine apps prevalent in the USA. Known for providing “everyday care”, chronic care and cure to normal healthcare issues Teladoc relies on independent contractor physicians to provide telehealth services.
The app’s earnings can be attributed to the subscription access fees charged by the app to employers and insurers so employees and members can connect with doctors; right now in 2002 during COVID-19 times more than 70 million people in the U.S. have access to its platform.
Compared to other apps, TelaDoc’s affordable care plan that covers anyone without insurance helps the app sales soar year over year.
Fueled by the proposition of providing safe, timely access to care in normal days as well as during pandemic, MDLIVE app meets the growing need of virtual care through its expanded national provider network of board-certified psychiatrists and licensed therapists.
The online consultation app has won hearts of 35 million members with overall satisfaction rating as 92; by treating patients virtually with its comprehensive behavioral health offering.
The app connects patients with care providers within just minutes and simplifies and streamline the telehealth services by leveraging advanced technologies and artificial intelligence.
Emerging as a frontrunner, Amwell is a leading telehealth platform in the USA that drives better healthcare outcomes by an amplified patient and provider digital experience. Led by innovation, the app provides an agile and swift virtual response to communities, COVID-19 pandemic, and screenings through its expanded virtual digital care delivery.
Amwell app is adaptable to the needs of the patient and provider, gives a dynamic environment; and optimized for different scenarios.
Founded in the year 2007, Practo is one of the earliest dawn in the digital healthcare platform that currently offers comprehensive telemedicine app services and online medicine delivery services. Known for providing clinic like experience with video consultations, Practo telemedicine app has emerged as a key player in offering online consultation with doctors, medicine delivery, and pre-booked appointments to the lab or diagnostic centers.
For a quick and simple online consultation, the patient can enter their symptoms and get matched with a qualified doctor of their choice. Practo has recorded about 80 percent, first-time telemedicine users, along with a 67 percent drop in in-person visits during the peak pandemic time of March-May.
Teledocto is a ready-made white-label telemedicine app development solution for Doctors, Clinics and Hospital Organization. The solution enables physician groups, healthcare providers belonging to same or different groups run their own virtual clinic with well-rounded telemedicine capabilities.
The system utilizes cloud-based online video calling, video conferencing or group calling, audio calling, secured messaging, screen sharing, and whiteboards to provide its services. Online appointment booking and scheduling are also used to book consultations.
Crucial Stages in Telehealth Software or Telemedicine App Development
While you hire a telehealth app developers, you have to go through following stages of product development.
1. UI/UX Development
This is the design stage where the UI (User Interface) and UX (User Experience) design is conceived and iterated until there is a final prototype for the developers to be build.
At Codiant, we go through the subsequent steps to generate a final UI/UX design. Which goes in particular order as:
- Wireframing (involves a few feedback cycles with client)
- Visualizing app design concepts (the app screens are send off to client)
- Upon confirmation on the screens we begin with collaborative design process.
- The finalized visual design is combined with the UX flow to create a working prototype.
2. Back-end Development
The technology of the back end is a combination of servers, applications and databases. After the confirmed approval of finalized app or software design, the project rolls down to functionality development. There would be several third-party integration involved in this app that can be customized as per your requirements.
3. EHR Protection
Electronic health records enable you to give only authorized personnel access to patient data. As telemedicine apps contains patient-sensitive information, you have to make sure about the measures and encryption protocols your telehealth app development company follows to keep your confidential patient information secure.
4. Compliance With Healthcare Legislation
The development, distribution and implementation of healthcare and telemedicine apps requires to adhere to laws, regulations and guidelines specific to healthcare app processes. Safeguarding patient privacy and ensuring quality care is the responsibility of healthcare organization.
Telemedicine apps should be HIPAA compliant in the USA for the protection and confidential handling of patient health information.
Cost Estimation to Develop a Telemedicine App
To determine the cost to telemedicine app development, it is necessary to evaluate how the mobile app development company works for the software development process.
Like at Codiant, telemedicine app development is carried out in two different stages:
- Discovery phase
- Development phase
The elements of discovery phase include:
- Software architecture planning
- UI/UX design
- Project Management
Learn in detail how we assess and cover discovery phase at Codiant?
While the elements of development phase include:
- Native app development (iOS, Android)
- Quality assurance and testing
- Project management
- App deployment
- App maintenance
These stages of app development are break down into features and functionalities depending on your organizations goals, needs and budget.
A Ballpark Figure
A telemedicine app generally takes around 1300-1500 hours of development time with hourly rates that vary company to company ranging from $20/hr - $50/hr.
Nonetheless, this price is approximate as it depends upon your requirements, no. of features, third party API integration and the degree of complexity involved in developing it.
So, we would rather recommend to contact the mobile app development company and take an accurate project estimation.
Want to develop a telemedicine application? Discuss your desired app features in detail and get free project consultation and estimate.