The creation of telemedicine apps has begun to transform the healthcare sector landscape and has shown that creative technologies are in desperate need of our healthcare system.
The COVID-19 pandemic has turned the healthcare sector world upside down. The creation of a telemedicine app is now the primary aim of healthcare organizations seeking to provide patients from afar with healthcare services.
Before the pandemic, Statista projected that by 2021 the size of the telemedicine industry would rise to $41.2 billion.
Today is the best time to invest in the creation of the telehealth app, as this market is still unoccupied, the demand for such services is rising and will continue to increase.
This article will provide extensive details on the advancement of telehealth and will clarify how to start your own project. This is what lies ahead of you:
- Six key advantages the creation of telemedicine apps would create for your business
- Must-have telemedicine apps [for physicians and patients]
- Technical dimensions of designing Telehealth Apps
- Calculation of the costs of creating telemedicine applications
- Challenges over the growth of telehealth + how to resolve them
- How to make money with your telehealth application + 5 examples of a telemedicine network
If you have read this post, you’ll have a complete understanding of the best approaches for creating telemedicine applications.
Advantages of creating Telemedicine App
First and foremost everyone needs to preserve a safe society. It is among the top human goals that Maslow’s hierarchy of needs represents. As of May 2020, the need for health-related goods driven by the coronavirus pandemic and the global lockout has been strong.
Telemedicine can help improve the health-care system through patients, doctors, and medical institutions. Telehealth systems are mainly designed to provide remote doctor visits, improve the reliability of medical care, and track health conditions from a distance.
Let’s now outline the major advantages of creating telemedicine devices.
1. Health Care Availability
To begin with, a telemedicine app will provide healthcare services without access to hospitals for remote areas. NRHA states that health-care staff shortage is a concern. It is particularly seen in rural areas (39.8 doctors per 100,000 residents, compared with 53.3 doctors per 100,000 in urban areas). Telemedicine applications can conveniently access medical facilities for veterans, the disabled, school kids, etc.
2. Pleasant and Prompt Medical Treatment
Any additional time should be spent visiting a hospital and waiting in line to have an appointment with a preliminary doctor.
And if you decide to meet a couple of other specialists? It could take ages to complete.
Telemedicine software can be used to arrange a remote medical assistance rendezvous. At the earliest convenience, patients and doctors can communicate. So, the care needed begins quickly and more efficiently. Applications for telemedicine may also have significant applicability in emergency treatment.
Based on the Research2Guidance questionnaire, most patients (53 percent) are or have already taken part in remote doctor visits.
3. Medical History
Telemedicine systems allow patients to easily access and store medical data. Otherwise, obtaining these documents can be very complicated these days and handing them on to other physicians for proper referrals for treatment.
4. Unified Patient Care and Surveillance Program
Design strategies for telemedicine applications will assist with follow-up appointments, drug reminders, and chronic condition tracking, and so on.
5. Efficient Time Management for Health Care Workers
Healthcare professionals can more easily manage their workloads. Which ensures that there is a chance of adequately testing further patients.
The Doctor on Demand research also states that about 15 percent of doctors suffer burnouts and depression. Another explanation for this is the heavy workloads of 60-80 hours a week. Telemedicine solutions will allow doctors to strike a better balance between life and work.
6. Made Daily Tasks Simpler
With the help of telemedicine apps, the actual activities can be devoted more time. Specific forms and internal reports should not be filled out, because most paperwork can be automated. The reduction of this inefficiency correlates directly with higher earnings.
The creation of telemedicine applications can be used in different medical fields. Dermatology, psychological and mental wellbeing, cardiology, chronic diseases such as diabetes, hypertension, and more are among the most popular fields.
Telemedicine App Development: Technology Implementation
Let’s check out the groundbreaking technology and features relating to the creation of telemedicine apps in this section of the article. We will also look at the major factors driving the cost of creating telemedicine apps.
Until we immerse ourselves in the technical specifics, let’s look at the processes behind telemedicine apps. The method usually consists of the steps shown in the image below.
Technologies used in telemedicine applications
Technologies which find great application in the creation of telemedicine apps include:
- Artificial Intelligence: Most telemedicine applications are gradually implementing AI. The use of language processing, chatbots, speech recognition, and machine learning gives healthcare systems a new perspective.
- Big Data: Much knowledge is created and proceeded in the field of healthcare. EHRs (electronic healthcare records) can be compiled and analyzed by using big data computations. Such knowledge can be used to develop procedures, provide more precise diagnosis, perform medical studies, and ultimately cut costs.
- Blockchain: This technology removes data loss from health care compared with paper records. Blockchain provides the possibility to securely store and share medical data.
- IoT: Telemedicine equipment covers smartphones, smartwatches, mobile kiosks, video cameras, etc. The Internet of Things helps with critical monitoring, diagnosis, care recommendations, adherence to medication, built-in emergency response systems, and more. The fusion of medical hardware and software eventually leads to improved patient care through the solution for developing telemedicine apps.
- Cloud storage: If you imagine storing all the data collected, you have two options: cloud vs. on-premise. You’ll need to rent a place for servers with an on-premise model, buy the hardware, and create a fault-tolerant network. Ultimately, you get storage that you can control and scale as you want. The costs are much bigger than they would be with cloud storage, though.
For Amazon S3, you can get $0.022 a month for a gigabyte of room. Although the price depends on your area and how much room you need, it’s still significantly cheaper than renting and maintaining your own servers. Plus, there’s no need to build a security system from scratch. Amazon made it possible
Recommendation: It’s important to get a long-term view of how the product will develop.
Having identified the big developments, you will obtain a clear understanding of which of these can be implemented in the creation of your telemedicine app.
Seek to think ahead until it begins to meet consumer demand!Now we can move forward to the functionality used in telemedicine app development to connect doctors with patients. This belongs to the app type that is categorized as an on-demand service.
A typical telemedicine app development solution consists of three distinct but interconnected parts – patient app, doctor app, and a complex admin panel.
Technical Stack for Developing Telemedicine App
We’re specific about innovations that can boost your app even further. But what about the tools used in telehealth technology? During the creation of the telemedicine app, various programming languages, frameworks, third-party tools, cloud storage, are used.
Below are the instruments that can be used in telehealth projects:
- Kotlin, Java (Android)
- Swift (iOS)
- Programming language: js
- Videoconferencing: RTMP, Twilio, WebRTC
- Chat: Twilio, Socket.io
- Database: MySQL
- APIs and frameworks: Stripe, EC2, S3
- Search & filters: Elastic search
- Mailing: Elastic Emails
- Geolocation: Google Maps Platform
- Notifications: Firebase Cloud Messaging
Patient’s Telemedicine App Features
Patient App features can include:
Registration- a patient can register via the mobile phone number, social network, or email. Considering that the app deals with confidential data, a higher degree of security is needed. The suggestion is to use two-factor authentication which may require verification of SMS, speech, and mobile.
Patient profile- a patient must enter required health records and mandatory information. Keep it as fast and as quickly as possible. No-one requires long forms to fill out.
Search- a patient can search for a specialist based on one or more criteria (specialization, proximity, doctor’s rating, etc.). The general advice for the first edition of the App is to restrict search entities.
Appointments and scheduling- patient needs to have a list of appropriate doctor-based appointments, as well as the option of updating or canceling them.
Communication- The procedure can be carried out for real-time consultation through audio or video conferencing. It is wise to introduce the simplest format (e.g., photo-based dermatologist consultation) for the first version of telemedicine app creation.
Geolocation- the patient in a specific U.S. state can communicate with practitioners with a valid license. The app will use Google Maps or similar services to assemble their location.
Payment- monetization of the telemedicine app can be achieved by adding a payment gateway program (e.g. Stripe, Braintree, PayPal). The patient will also be able to access the history of their transactions.
Alerts- email notifications and related updates help keep track of nominations.
Review and ratings- in case there is a doctor-patient aggregator this is a must-have feature. This task ensures the proper quality of service based on the feedback gathered.Telemedicine application development for patients would take account of user interface and functional relevance. The patient app also has some extra features such as:
Personalized dashboard- a complicated function, but useful for monitoring the progress of care or something similar.
Medication monitoring- the application will remind a patient to take the requisite medications and get refills.
Secure chats- The one-to-one messenger is a perfect means of contact between a physician and patient. This function can be quickly introduced and included in the first version of the app. Notice that it is harder to build a more advanced messenger with a multi-user chat system; it takes a considerable amount of effort and time, particularly in the healthcare sector. For example, the Signal Messaging app uses encrypted end-to-end messaging protocols (Curve25519, AES-256, and HMAC-SHA256) to secure communication and ensure that there are no MITM (man-in-the-middle) attacks.
In-app calls- can involve emergency calls inside the app.
Navigation- extra information about the facility can be added to the path to the hospital.
Data storage in the cloud- possibility to retain and handle EHRs. Some choices include displaying the attached pictures & records (laboratory tests, X-rays, etc.). The functionality may also assist in exporting or importing information in pdf format.
Insurance coverage for patients- Integrating with insurance providers and incorporating the policies for patients is a valuable feature.
Now that we have covered the features of the patient app, let’s go ahead with the feature set that is most useful to patients.
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Doctor’s Telemedicine App Features
As for the physicians’ telemedicine app, some of the features coincide with the patient’s app. On the other hand, there are other particular features that can only be introduced in this aspect of a telemedicine solution.
The main features of the Physician app are:
Doctor profile- practitioners should fill out detailed details about their training, experience, employment, etc. Patients may want to test their license and evidence of medical skills.
Calendar and scheduling- the physician will be able to assess their availability, accept requests for consultation, and maintain a schedule loaded with appointments.
Communication- the relationship between patient and doctor should be equal. It is easier to use the one-to-one messenger or photo-based consultation in the first product edition. When you have a bigger budget, the safest option for more comprehensive medical tests is to incorporate video conferencing. Remember that this is a very expensive feature to create.
EHR verification- doctors must verify the history of a patient either from their histories, draft questionnaires, hospital database, or by other methods.
Medical prescription- the doctors will digitally place their prescriptions. The patient will then get the prescription drug from a pharmacist’s store or from the appropriate healthcare service. That approach is even more beneficial for chronic illness patients and for continuing prescriptions.
Other useful features that doctors may find in the telemedicine app include:
Video or audio recording of the session- ability to save or share the consultations. Such files can be useful for monitoring the progress of the treatment and for accurate reference over time.
Dashboard and analytics- to make the required changes to their medications and procedures, physicians may have different dashboards.
Pharmacy databases-The software can be integrated with drug stores to deliver the required medication to patients and physicians on time.
The creation of logical and trouble-free management of patient and doctor data via an admin panel is important.
The following example illustrates the intersections of the modules within the creation of the telemedicine device.
How to Develop a Telemedicine Platform
The development process for the telemedicine app is split into two main stages – the Exploration and Development phases. Each phase has processes associated with it and involves involvement from different specialists.
Let’s break down every level.
The telemedicine app development process includes:
1. Business analysis- this may include optional services such as industry research and competition analysis. The mandatory part of this stage is to build a software backlog with a detailed summary of the features of the device and the system logic.
A business model canvas is a useful tool to plan a telemedicine business. The tool has nine areas for customer insight, value proposition and operations, sales, money, and costs.
The flow to begin within the production of telemedicine apps can be the following:
- Define the target market correctly
- Determine the intent of the device
- Build a project business plan (including income streams)
- Build relevant content for the app and organize the data
- Plan a budget for the production of telemedicine apps and marketing expenses
- Investment Demand
- Design and execute a product with an experienced app developer team
The idea of telemedicine will concentrate on one or more market actors such as healthcare providers, government healthcare agencies, patients, healthcare professionals, healthcare organizations, etc.
The idea of telemedicine will concentrate on one or more market actors such as healthcare providers, government healthcare agencies, patients, healthcare professionals, healthcare organizations, etc.
Alternatively, a telemedicine project can concentrate on a particular treatment for health care or demographic clients (e.g. infants, elderly people, etc.). The type of project you select affects the process of creating telemedicine applications.
2. Software architecture preparation- this is designed by the System Architect based on the project requirements gathered and business goals.
3. UX / UI design- User interface, layout, and navigation is created based on a product backlog and functional specification of the telemedicine user model.
4. Project management- The Project Manager directs and organizes the entire project during all phases of the creation of telemedicine devices.
Monetization of Telemedicine App Solution
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The monetization of apps can be achieved in a wide variety of ways. Those include ads, in-app purchases, subscription models, sponsorship, crowdfunding, and more.
Telemedicine app monetization would benefit from the definition and target consumer. This strategic decision will be well thought out beforehand.
One of the most popular ways for telemedicine apps to create revenue sources is through fees. Similar to the Uber business model, it is possible to earn any percentage from a company.
For instance, the Doctor-on-Demand app charges a patient a 25 percent fee. The rate may be changed based on the appointment details, doctor specialty, appointment length, or other indicators.
To summarize, telemedicine app creation should include the following monetization models:
Pay per consultation (can relate to consultation length, professional, etc.). The Tele Doctoral program by the Norwegian Telenor Company uses this model and charges $0.08 per minute.
Membership (or membership program-e.g. monthly charge for physicians and/or patients). Myca Nutrition utilizes this strategy and distributes the drug in other countries.
Franchising (a commodity may be sold as a franchise). It is possible to sell a software product overseas if the local market has a lot of competition). An example is SkyHealth, which sells the franchise for $3,000.
Software as a service (provide the software product in the form of service to medical establishments). Doctor-on-demand SaaS, for example, costs around $1 per employee per month.
5 Successful Use Cases in Telemedicine App Development
Let’s now briefly review the success stories of some of the best telemedicine apps in 2019.
This is one of the popular applications for online doctor consultations. The app connects patients with doctors within three minutes using video conferencing. The software is available on smartphones, tablets, and laptops. The patient lists their symptoms, then explains their medical history, gets connected with a doctor, and eventually gets the required prescriptions. These days, the app is ranked in the top 20 inside the medical category according to App Annie, the global smartphone industry data provider.
Founded in San Francisco, the company raised as much as $86.75 M in contributions from Google and Richard Branson.
Compared to other similar providers the service price is marginally higher but is provided by a few insurance firms. Integrated laboratory treatments are a special technology offering.
This latest Medici telemedicine startup is remodeling the industry, as reported by Crunchbase. The company raised $46.6 M in an angel round and intends to link individuals to all their current physicians. Described the “WhatsApp of Healthcare, ”the app enables practitioners to communicate directly and securely through video or texting.
3. American Good (AmWell)
This telemedicine app has been used by healthcare workers, suppliers, and the government since 2009. American Well provides the SaaS platform for medical institutions. Around the same time, the AmWell app concentrates on customers. The cost of the facility ranges from $59 for urgent care to $95 for online counseling.
Telemedicine app with a desire to provide medical care all over the world. The Babylon app uses machine learning to deliver correct prescriptions in the form of a chatbot, ensuring you can get medication without the presence of a doctor. This London-based startup got an investment of $85M.
This telemedicine app offers treatments for most common medical fields, as well as behavioral medical issues, with total funding of $73.6M. The average cost for the service is about $40-$ 50 per consultation with a remote doctor.
Essential Telehealth considerations
The telemedicine industry is certainly transforming the healthcare landscape so it’s time to continue with the development of telemedicine apps.
You can choose from the following choices, you can choose:
- Collaborate with health care providers, patients, or other parties
- Provide secure and highly encrypted communication and video conferencing services
- Provide in-home monitoring (e.g. cardiovascular activity) or self-monitoring solutions for patients
- Provide applications of medical data for general and prophylactic procedures (the use of big data technology)
- Providing a platform for secure transmission and store of medical information (use of security protocols, cloud service solutions, blockchain technology)
- Remotely have preliminary healthcare consultation (use of by AI technology-e.g. chatbots)
Also, here is a list of industry behaviors to consider prior to the development of telemedicine apps:
Common laws and regulations- 32 US states have already incorporated common laws to facilitate the use of telemedicine services. In the telemedicine sector, the UK and Canada are about to follow the same trend in supporting parity.
Medical care decentralization- Medical offerings are becoming more widespread worldwide. At the very same time, the industry attracts more professionals in health care, especially from the younger generation.
Rising use of remote healthcare services- convenience and ease of telemedicine apps decrease costs and time resources in medical treatments; hence, more people will be willing to use the services.
Technologies become more public- technical progress results in the execution of public, secure, and cost-effective software. Telemedicine solutions can be used via public safe networks across most medical devices ( e.g. WebRTC technology).
Try reviewing target market laws and ensuring compliance of the goods with HIPAA or related regulations. Safety should be among the top priorities for the creation of telemedicine devices. Ensure the system ‘s proper data encryption, penetration, and vulnerability testing.
How to Start Developing a Telehealth App
You need to describe how to develop a telemedicine app, which will make you money before you start. You need to choose the appropriate business model for that, which will depend on the following blocks:
- Define segments of your clients-businesses or individuals that will pay for your telemedicine application.
- Defines your customer value proposition-what customers can offer and which pain points your solution will resolve.
- Highlight key features of telemedicine software-unique and user-friendly features that will highlight your solution from a competitor-filled background.
- To develop your telehealth solution, allocate key resources – technologies, infrastructure, features, human resources, etc.
- Find reliable partners-a software firm that knows how to develop a telemedicine app, for example.
- Follow software and health regulations-develop your telemedicine app based on legislation and local standards to ensure that authorities and municipalities don’t prohibit your solution.
- Define key App Development and Support costs-how much you ‘ll need to invest in the first version, and where you’ll get money for that and future App Support.
- Develop a financial plan that will help you to calculate your successes and to pay off your savings in record time.
If you want to introduce your concept with less risk, it is a good option to start the development of your telemedicine app with the first, simpler version of the software. Prioritize the features of the app, and start with core functionality.
The product will grow into a robust and feature-rich application with the further ongoing growth of the telemedicine app. Alternatively, you can start by building a complete product.
To meet your business and technical plans you definitely need a reliable development partner to provide the right quality for the development of telemedicine apps.
Here’s how to find a:
- Decide which technologies you need to implement in your app based on the appropriate telemedicine software features, and find experts in that field.
- Look for a company that knows how to build telehealth solutions that comply with HIPAA.
- Find a company situated within a suitable time zone.
- To prevent contact issues in the future, check how well the development team knows English.
- Set up a strict process right from the outset, clearly identify your priorities, and share your vision of the company with the team.
- Sign a contract and an NDA to protect the idea and yourself.
Telemedicine app development cost
And how much does creating a telemedicine device cost?
The cost of the telemedicine software itself must be measured, as well as the budget allocated for the promotion and delivery of software.
The cost of developing telemedicine apps depends heavily on their definition, functionality, development strategy, and the vendor chosen for development. You may expect to spend about $60,000-$ 100,000 on the first working version for one device (iOS, Android, or Web) when collaborating with an offshore mobile app development agency.
When you are looking to add more features or build a more complicated app, be prepared to spend more money. The cost of the telemedicine app can go beyond $240,000 per platform even if you choose to work on a highly complex and feature-rich solution.
Please notice that this cost includes a patient app, a doctor app, and a single application (iOS or Android) admin panel at an hourly rate of $40 (Ukraine’s average rate of development). The timetable for this product ranges from approximately three to five months.
Pro Advice: At its heart, the telemedicine system requires a creative service. Only the telemedicine app concept is supported by hardware and software. So, quite a lot of your capital that innovative solutions should be spent on defining it.
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Advantages with Dynamic Methods
- 15+ Years rich experience of providing value-based software solutions
- 8+ Years in the field of Healthcare Industries
- The Dedication, reliability, knowledge, and imagination of a strong pool of resources
- The capability of delivering efficient business solutions for focused verticals
- The global Infrastructure and processes delivering results in a transparent manner
- The company where every moment is a relentless pursuit of perfection
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Frequently Asked Questions
Statista estimates that by 2021 the size of the market in telemedicine would rise to $41.2 billion. It's not shocking that telemedicine apps are gaining popularity among patients, medical institutions, and investors. Considering the crisis with coronavirus now is the perfect time to invest in the creation of telehealth devices.
The design of telemedicine apps can use loads of distinct technologies, API use, and 3rd party application frameworks. The use of emerging technology such as Artificial Intelligence, Big Data, Blockchain, and the Internet of Things would help the healthcare and medical services industries.
The perfect flow to begin with the creation of telemedicine apps is to evaluate the market, identify your consumer segments and outline your specific sales proposal. You will make a list of features to create a telemedicine app. Then, along with the software development company, you decide on the cost of developing technologies and applications. Besides that, don't forget to proceed with any telehealth regulations.
Telemedicine applications will usually be monetized by providing pay per appointment, which applies to the length of the appointment, individual professional, etc. Another alternative is a subscription or membership model that means monthly payment for doctor visits. A telehealth product can be delivered as a service by franchising or software.
Telemedicine is a method of remotely delivering patients healthcare services.
The cost of developing telemedicine apps depends on a set of features that you need for your software. A fully featured telemedicine app takes around 1,500 hours of development time and costs $75,000 with a $50 / hour development rate.
The most important features for telehealth app are:
- Profile management (both for doctors and patients)
- Video conferencing (for remote health consultations)
- Calendar (for arranging meetings)
- Notifications (reminders about consultations)
You'll need to find an experienced team to build a Telemedicine app. Here are its key members:
- Business analysts (for analysis, and app price estimation)
- Designers (to make a stunning design of every button in your app)
- Back end developers (to build the app's fault-tolerant logic)
- HIPAA experts trained (to avoid violations of the HIPAA)