February 22, 2021
Since the state of health dictates the person’s life, we all are trying to put our recovery in good hands. But traditional doctor visits cost patients both money and time, disrupting work and school. Luckily, for most kinds of care, telemedicine apps supplement office visits. For some kinds, they completely substitute traditional consultations. In any way, telemedicine holds a promise of giving some of our time back.
Based on this, How to develop a telemedicine app has become the area of interest for many startups, existing medical businesses, private hospitals, and clinics. Checkout the telehealth software landscape in the USA below.
2021: The Telemedicine Market Condition
Let’s draw a clear line between something that is simply an area of interest, and something valuable for users and income-generating for businesses.
The latest Zion Market Research proves that by 2022 the telemedicine market revenue is going to reach the point of at least 38 billion USD. This means that if you create a telemedicine application that addresses the target audience’s needs, you’ll have your part of that multi-billion market.
But don’t expect that the process will go the easy way. Though in the USA alone there are laws and regulations written to advance telemedicine industry development, there are also privacy and security standards in healthcare protecting medical records.
The Growth of Telemedicine/Telehealth during COVID-19
Telemedicine has been around for years. But its rapid growth was fueled by the outbreak of the pandemic in 2019. The inability to see non-COVID patients in person, made both private and state hospitals accelerate the development of telemedicine tools. The statistics below will provide a better overview of how COVID-19 changed the outlook for telehealth.
With time, the intensity of the pandemic will decrease. People will feel comfortable returning to offices rather than working from home. Does telehealth have a future after COVID-19? Experts believe that even though telehealth visits will see a drop as some patients will return to traditional doctor visits, medical apps will remain vital tools.
Why Choose Telemedicine Apps in 2021
In short, telehealth and telemedicine software bridge gaps between patients and doctors. This software is known for introducing the care-anywhere model. But let’s dive into the details.
Telemedicine apps help doctors enhance their practice most efficiently. Doctors can:
- Improve patient satisfaction
- Ensure an extensive patient reach
- Convey effective monitoring
- Store all medical records in one place
- Increase work efficiency
- Increase revenue
With a telemedicine app, patience can:
- Decrease transportation costs
- Escape long queue lines
- Quickly access required specialists
- Access their lab results
- Get readmitted again and again
It’s absolutely clear why both sides choose telemedicine apps over traditional hospital visits. The users’ trust goes up since mobile or web telemedicine apps make consultations fast, minimize emergency room visits, and help users obtain all doctor’s notes for further emailing or printing.
Must-Have Telemedicine App Features
How to make your medical app stand out against the main competitors? The thing is in the right combination of features that ensure a high-quality user experience.
Features for doctors:
- User profile where doctors provide basic personal information, specify their education and experience.
- Scheduling and rescheduling appointments to keep up with personal timetables and make shifts, accept or reject appointments depending on availability.
- Medical records to store health data and lab test results and access them when necessary.
- Digital prescriptions allow healthcare professionals to make online prescriptions through the app.
- Video/voice calls & built-in chats make remote consultations more precise.
Features for patients:
- User profile where patients provide medical history records and lab results essential to launch the therapy.
- Scheduling and rescheduling visits with an ability to view doctor profiles before asking for an online consultation.
- E-record storage with medical data and chat history. Per request, the records can be printed or shared with a healthcare provider.
- Video conferencing & chat to talk about health issues with a healthcare provider.
- Medication tracker is for keeping all prescriptions in one place and receiving notifications when it’s time to take the medications.
- Payment gateway to pay for consultations.
How to Build a Telemedicine App: The Development Stages
There is a stage in between your idea to create an app and the time when you start developing it. And its name is the discovery phase. It involves the project team to build the product architecture, look through basic requirements (both functional and non-functional), specify the design, choose the technology stack, and calculate the development costs.
Through the discovery phase, you gain a complete understanding of how the final app is going to perform, how to organize human resources, and avoid possible risks.
As an external server is a must to centralize the business logic, backend development follows the discovery phase. Reliable backend development ensures proper encryption and security of sensitive patient data. Plus, it also ensures that the app is compliant with regulations. Then goes the actual native app development. This process also includes QA testing and necessary adjustments.
Benemedic for Online Consultations
Benemedic telemedicine app is one of the telehealth projects that we’ve completed for the Asia and Pacific region. This is a native app that allows both sides to easily get in touch through video and voice call or by chat.
The application includes features like:
- The list of symptoms to be completed before the consultation.
- Doctor profiles that show the cases seen by the doctor and reviews from patients.
- Education tools to learn more about specific conditions.
- Services where doctors specify how they can help.
- Activity feed where patients can upload their medical reports and privately share them with healthcare providers.
- Payment gateway for transferring credit card payments.
If you decide to join the telehealth/telemedicine market, take your time to think over all the functionality and features you want to include in your medical app. And be sure to hire a team with experience and expertise that would be enough to create not just another tool but a telemedicine app that meets the needs of your target audience.
Slava Ponomarov is the CEO of Steelkiwi, a software development company that builds custom healthcare solutions. In our 10 years on the market, we’ve helped many startups, established businesses, and medical practices optimize clinical workflows, improve the customer experience, modernize practice management, and boost brand awareness.