How to Develop a Telemedicine App : Step By Step Guide

Updated 25 Apr 2024
Published 18 Oct 2021
Satyam Chaturvedi 3179 Views
Telemedicine App Development

In today’s world, healthcare services have gained greater significance. While there is an intrinsic demand for qualified medical staff, it is their availability that is critical nowadays.

Now, the major question is this: Are qualified experts accessible at the time of an emergency?

While individuals are hesitant to seek medical help or treatment due to a lack of appropriate services and assistance, telemedicine app development businesses have stepped in to help.

With such a market that continues to grow in popularity on a regular basis, investing in telemedicine application development may be the best method to build the healthcare business.

What is Telemedicine App?

Telehealth apps connect healthcare practitioners and patients in a digital environment, facilitating access to treatment. It enables patients to communicate with clinicians from any location and at any time.

Physicians are capable of assessing, diagnosing, and treating patients through a variety of appointment types, including follow-up procedures and conferences.

3 minutes is the typical wait time for a patient accessing a telemedicine app to interact with a doctor.

As a result, people no longer need to spend hours in waiting rooms to see a doctor.

Telemedicine apps come in a variety of options:

1. Interaction in Real-Time

With the use of video and audio chatting, healthcare practitioners and patients may communicate directly. Doctors and patients can see and speak to each other using the telemedicine app for real-time conversations.

2. Virtual Monitoring

On-demand teleconsultation apps could also be used to handle high-risk patients, allowing healthcare practitioners to monitor their activities and vital signs remotely using wearable devices and Internet of Things-enabled wearable sensors.

3. Store-and-forward

Telemedicine applications with store-and-forward functionality enable healthcare professionals to exchange a patient’s medical records, including blood and urine tests, laboratory results, and photos, with a surgeon, psychiatrist, or other specialist.

How does a Telemedicine Application work?

Telemedicine applications are easy to interface with and operate. It is modeled around the typical medical consultation but takes place in a digital environment.

How do a Telemedicine Application work?

  • To schedule a doctor visit, patients register on the app, discuss their concerns, and share their medical records.
  • They select an appropriate specialist from a list of available physicians and arrange an appointment.
  • Based on their timetable, the clinician may accept or decline the consultation. The patient will be informed of this and given instructions on how to proceed.
  • Once an appointment is made, the session takes place through video or phone call on the specified day and time.
  • The doctor examines the person, analyzes them, and offers appropriate therapies or tests during the session.
  • The doctor provides medications virtually through e-prescriptions, instructs the patient on proper medication administration, and schedules the patient’s next appointment if required.

Why is Telemedicine App Development gathering momentum?

1. Ease of Use

Arranging consultations in advance, traveling to the hospital, and standing in a large queue is hardly the most convenient way to obtain medical help. According to a Cisco survey, 85% of patients choose telehealth services over face-to-face contact with healthcare practitioners.

Patients no longer have to wait in lengthy rows to see several specialists when they use a telehealth or telemedicine application.

Rather than that, patients can book a virtual doctor’s appointment and connect as soon as possible. It enables essential therapy to begin swiftly and efficiently.

2. Maintaining Medical Records

Telemedicine apps enable doctors and patients to easily access one another’s medical records. It resolves the interoperability issue by enabling several clinicians to easily access a patient’s past information.

As a consequence, doctors may treat patients considerably more effectively when they consult their prior medical data.

Also, patients have the option of sharing their medical history with relatives, friends, and physicians. They are no longer required to store paper medical records or papers in their closets or cabinets.

3. Easy Time Management

Healthcare practitioners can more efficiently schedule their activities with the help of a telemedicine application.

Due to the fact that doctors may treat patients and give consultations from the convenience of their living room, they will be able to advise a larger number of patients simultaneously.

These solutions are designed to help physicians have a healthier work-life balance.

Hire a telehealth app developer

How are Telehealth and Telemedicine Apps different?

The words “telehealth” and “telemedicine” are considered synonymous in most healthcare sectors. Indeed, the ATA regards the words as identical.

This is due to the fact that the telehealth and telemedicine descriptions cover many of the same services, including medical training, e-health patient monitoring, virtual patient consulting, mobile health apps, and the distribution of e-medical documents.

Telemedicine App Development

To be more precise, telemedicine is a subcategory of telehealth. While telehealth is a comprehensive term that alludes to any health treatments delivered via internet technologies, telemedicine is more specialized.

Telehealth may refer to more general services, such as global health, but telemedicine is a subset of telehealth in which a clinician provides medical treatments.

Why build a Telemedicine App?

1. Cost-Effective for Healthcare

Virtual healthcare services eliminate the need for enterprises to hire office space. As a result, more independent and skilled physicians may provide their expertise.

They previously worked for a corporation, but the feature of telemedicine apps enables them to become self-employed and deliver services according to their own comfort.

Clinics benefit from increased consumer flow as a result of the elimination of queues, and the whole consultation procedure becomes quicker.

As a result, hospitals may generate more income in a shorter period of time. Furthermore, research revealed that the average cost of healthcare equipment maintenance decreased by 90% when telehealth or telemedicine apps were used.

2. Healthcare Solution that is Time-Efficient

In a traditional hospital, some physicians work while others take the day off. A comprehensive health screening may take many weeks and several hours of commute time.

However, this is not the case with telehealth apps. The time required for a person to obtain health treatments using telemedicine applications decreased by 60%.

Telemedicine applications enable users to schedule a doctor’s appointment at a time suitable for them without leaving their homes.

3. Access to Healthcare Made Simple

Telemedicine app development can be quite beneficial for those who reside in remote, rural locations.

When there are no local healthcare services, having an application and access to the internet are sufficient. Moreover, residents of nations with a low standard of healthcare can interact with international doctors.

4. Effective Time Management for Doctors

Approximately 25% of doctors, according to studies, struggle with exhaustion and despair. Both self-employed physicians and hospital and clinic workers may manage their time properly with telemedicine apps.

Doctors will never miss an appointment again with the assistance of in-app notification alerts.

Businesses may integrate CRMs with the application during the development lifecycle. This functionality enhances administrative staff and physician efficiency.

Administrators can monitor physicians’ workloads to ensure they maintain a healthy work-life balance, while physicians may request sick leaves and schedule changes via the application.

5. Easy Access to Health Documents 

Telemedicine apps securely retain patient health records, making them available to clinicians on demand. A centralized repository for a patient’s healthcare records saves the physician time.

Patients can also stay informed about changes made to their medical files.

Top Telemedicine Apps Of 2024

Top Telemedicine Apps

1. Teladoc 

Teladoc had been a market leader even before COVID-19 shocked the globe. Since 2006, the app has held more than 20 million virtual consultations, ranking it among the sector’s largest number of telehealth appointments.

The fees vary depending on the specific specialist’s demand. It often takes up to 24 hours to schedule and connect you with doctors.

2. AmWell 

It has been a critical player in providing comprehensive HIPAA-compliant and secure telemedicine services. At a modest fee, this application offers 24/7 healthcare help for emergency treatment, psychotherapy, and other problems.

Patients can make appropriate physician selections depending on their availability. Well, we can record all interactions between patients and healthcare professionals and make them easily available to both parties.

3. Doctor On Demand 

This startup is always working to improve medical services in the United States. Doctor On Demand app is riding high on organization-level and consumer-centric solutions following a recent $80 million investment.

Due to the epidemic, the firm has witnessed increased traffic, and its appointment volume surpassed 4 million in the first quarter of 2020.

4. PlushCare 

PlushCare physicians treat a broad variety of ailments, from routine care to chronic medical concerns. Moreover, with same-day consultations accessible on a consistent basis, it is feasible to receive a diagnosis in as quick as 10 minutes.

It provides digital appointments from doctors who have graduated from the finest medical institutions.

5. MDLive 

MDLive connects patients with psychiatrists, dermatologists, and counselors via an online platform. Cost-effectively, this application has continued to provide doctors with seamless and secure consultations.

Although MDLIVE has consistently increased its yearly visitation by over 56 percent since 2016, COVID-19 has been a catalyst for a substantial increase in revenue.

Pros and Cons of Telehealth App

1. Telemedicine Benefits for Patients:

Accessibility

Telemedicine eliminates the need for patients to commute and see a doctor in person. This saves considerable time and money, and patients have early access to superior healthcare regardless of their location.

Security and Confidentiality

Numerous telehealth or telemedicine applications adhere to HIPAA regulations and place a premium on patient privacy via encrypted channels, one-on-one communication, and dependable medical software services.

There is No Risk of Epidemic

When used on a wide scale or in scenarios such as a global pandemic, the use of teleconsultation apps helps patients decrease the danger of transmission of any virus, therefore minimizing the transmission of contagious diseases.

More Accessible and Affordable Healthcare

This strategy eliminates geographical obstacles and ensures that everyone has access to quick, cost-effective, and superior medical care.

Telemedicine is extremely useful for individuals who have transport difficulties or who have chronic conditions that require frequent monitoring, as they may receive medical services without leaving their homes.

2. Telemedicine Benefits for Physicians:

Improved Outcomes and Superior Healthcare

It enables clinicians and doctors to offer better healthcare by allowing people to communicate more regularly with their advisors and address any issue.

They can quickly track patients’ progress, resulting in a more efficient, effective, and accessible healthcare system.

Enhanced Physician-Patient Engagement

Today’s patients expect better treatment faster as a result of technological advancements and an interconnected world, which telemedicine delivers.

Healthcare practitioners and patients may communicate more frequently and ask and answer numerous questions, leading to an improved relationship.

Providers with Job Satisfaction

With the use of telehealth, providers may maintain a healthy work-life balance and invest extra time in providing the finest services.

Cons of Telemedicine App

Technical Difficulties

Due to its reliance on technology, it might generate complications and cause therapy to be interrupted in conditions such as adverse weather, a lack of power, or technical constraints.

Not All Treatments are Appropriate

The telemedicine app is excellent for routine checks and main consultations, but in some instances, such as a physical examination, an injury or throat illness, or anything else that requires primary real observation, telemedicine is insufficient. In such instances, you should consult a physician.

Technical and Equipment Education

All doctors, medical personnel, healthcare workers, and professionals must undergo training on new techniques, technology, and telecommunications needs.

The cost of recruiting IT workers and acquiring equipment will grow.

Monetization Strategies for Telemedicine App Development 

1. Freemium Business Model

This telehealth app development category includes both free and premium versions of the app. The free version often only includes basic functions, but the premium edition includes extra features such as advanced capabilities.

The primary goal of this strategy is to get consumers to download the app for free in order to evaluate its usefulness.

Once the app successfully engages consumers and meets their demands, the free consumers will almost certainly convert to premium customers in order to access additional features.

2. Paid

This strategy incorporates billing users for app downloads and is appropriate for specialist applications with a small target audience.

Users may download the application for free from the app marketplace, but in order to use it, users must activate a plan from the app.

3. Subscriptions

Apart from freemium and paid strategies, there is another approach that provides a telemedicine application owner with additional revenue streams.

The subscription model is mostly utilized by health and fitness facilities, where consumers are notified when their membership is about to expire and they need to renew it to keep access to additional features.

Read More: How Do Free Apps Make Money in 2024?

How to Develop a Telemedicine App: Step-by-Step?

Step 1: Choosing a Development Platform

Selecting a platform for your application is the initial step in developing a telemedicine application. The decision must be influenced by your requirements as well as your financial and time constraints.

Conducting thorough research will assist you in determining which development platforms are most suited for your product.

Thus, if your audience prefers Android, you may create an MVP first and then go on to the iOS platform. It is usually prudent to launch your application on both platforms.

Even though it will cost twice as much as the plan for a specific platform, you will be able to reach a far larger audience.

Step 2: User Experience/User Interface Design

UI and UX are critical components of building a telemedicine app and should be planned out before you begin development. To create an amazing experience, the designer should take the following into account:

Quick boarding 

Effective enrollment of users not only reduces abandonment rates but also contributes to long-term success indicators such as customer lifetime value and engagement.

Given that not all clients of the telemedicine app are technologically competent, developing a registration process that guides users through the app’s features and functionality enhances the user experience.

Usability 

Usability refers to the arrangement of layout, content, visuals, and other components inside an app that enables users to accomplish their objectives.

Assist your users by highlighting if icons are tappable, selectable, or swipeable. Always maintain consistency with gestures throughout the application to improve usability.

Reducing Search Effort 

Facilitate your customers quick location of what they need in order to attract more customers and meet their demands.

There are several search methods that you may incorporate into your application, including search queries and barcode scanners.

Restricting User Input 

This refers to the information that users are needed to submit during enrollment or checkout, like their credit card and payment information.

On portable devices, user input must always be limited and must be auto-filled, as consumers may become annoyed by the limited screen size.

Personalization 

Personalization enables the user to have a more distinctive and related experience. Customize the user experience wherever feasible by utilizing user data to provide valuable content and information within the application.

The more closely an application’s experience matches a user’s wants and interests, the more inclined they will be to use it.

Step 3: Choosing an API

The following are some common third-party APIs that you can integrate into your application:

Vidyo 

With this telemedicine API, professionals may communicate with patients in real time. It does not need a text chat API because it includes one. Furthermore, users may share the screen and conduct group video conversations. 

VSee SDK 

It enables you to incorporate end-to-end encrypted video conversations into your iOS and Android healthcare application. Because the service conforms with HIPAA rules and comes with its own backend, no additional service is required to set it up.

Twilio 

It is a configurable video API that is compatible with all major desktop and mobile platforms. It includes APIs for text messages, voice communications, mail, and faxing that you can integrate into your telehealth application.

Read Also: 10 Tips to Select 3rd Party API for your App Development

Step 4: Development

The app development step entails creating the application in accordance with the accepted specifications. Telemedicine app development can be challenging due to the increased regulatory requirements.

A skilled development company that specializes in the healthcare sector and has extensive experience developing telemedicine apps can assist you with the complexities involved.

It guarantees that the product is developed with consideration and subjected to thorough testing to verify that it complies with all applicable legal and regulatory standards.

Step 5: Quality Assurance

Analysis and Quality Assurance are critical aspects of the SDLC. Prior to final deployment, the telemedicine application must undergo stringent testing throughout each sprint, user acceptability testing, and bug fixing.

Moreover, it should be subjected to stress testing to guarantee that it is capable of handling a massive flood of users enrolling and functioning efficiently.

Step 6: Deployment and Support

After completing the preceding steps, the telemedicine app is deployed to the servers and made available for download and testing via the app store.

Consumer Feedback must be gathered following the app’s deployment and must be implemented into the administration stage to make sure that the user experience is seamless.

Features of Telemedicine App

1. Basic Features of Telemedicine App

Doctor’s App

  • Telemedicine Doctor’s App enables doctors to,
  • List and Profile Doctors,
  • Authenticate Services,
  • Schedule Appointments, Share Prescriptions,
  • Record Video Sessions,
  • Instant Payment Collection and more.

Patient’s App

  • Telemedicine Patient’s App enables and aids your patients to/with,
  • Easy Registration
  • Filter Medical Issues,
  • Browse Doctors’ Catalog,
  • Schedule Appointment,
  • Get video, audio, or text consultation.
  • Cloud Storage for storing reports, recording communications, and more.

Admin’s Panel

  • Through the admin panel, healthcare professional can perform the following activities:
  • Manage Users,
  • Access Analytics Dashboard,
  • Overview of Patients’ Medical Records,
  • Review User Management,
  • Get Detailed User-Based insights and more.

Hire a telemedicine app development company

2. Must-Have Features for Telehealth Application Development

For Patients:

Registration

Anyone interested in using a telehealth application must first enroll and set up an account. Don’t ask for many details from the user in the registration process.

Keep it simple: a phone number, email, and password.  Additionally, since the user accounts will include sensitive data, it is advised to integrate two-factor authentication to ensure maximum security.

Search

The application should have a search tool that enables patients to easily locate required specialists.

Users may want assistance in locating physicians depending on their expertise, geography, gender, or ranking. A search function will assist them in locating a physician who matches their specific needs.

Communication

This is a critical component of the telehealth app, which connects physicians and patients through the web. Based on their preferences and comfort level, they can communicate through audio or video.

If it is important to demonstrate injuries or effects, a video is required. Developers must exercise caution in order to provide consistent and high-quality video service.

Chat

There may be occasions when audio/video communication is not necessary. In these instances, chats can be employed. Chats are handy for resolving quick issues or sending images/reports.

It does not necessitate additional consultations or divert doctors’ attention from their duties. Chats must allow attachments and it is even better if it is powered by an AI support system.

Appointment Scheduling

Users should be able to schedule consultations with their preferred doctors. They must be allowed to view available time slots for specialists and schedule a consultation at a time suitable for them.

Calendar

To keep track of and schedule their doctor visits, a calendar is essential. Patients should be able to view a record of their sessions and, if necessary, amend or cancel them.

Payments

Users must be able to make secure online payments for their appointments. They should have a variety of payment choices and should be able to view their account activity and perform transactions smoothly and quickly.

Notifications

It alerts patients of future appointments, session rescheduling, and prescription renewals, among other things.

For Doctors:

Doctor panel in telemedicine app

Doctor Profile

Similar to patients, clinicians must create a profile that contains details about them.

Doctors’ profiles should include information on their specialty, education, experiences, and accomplishments. This will assist patients in selecting a specialist.

Schedule Planning

The doctor’s application should have a function that enables practitioners to manage their appointments.

This involves scheduling their available dates and times, organizing their consultations, and scheduling their daily routine. Moreover, doctors should be allowed to accept or decline consultation requests.

EHR Review

After one patient’s consultation has been confirmed, clinicians should have access to their medical information.  Doctors can review patients’ medical histories and early responses.

This provides them with an overview of patients’ problems and enables them to make more accurate and timely diagnoses.

E-Prescriptions

Doctors can create e-prescriptions and deliver them digitally to customers or other divisions so patients can order medicines from online pharmacy apps. This is a very remarkable characteristic of telemedicine apps.

Real-time Monitoring

Telemedicine or telehealth applications should provide a virtual waiting room in which physicians may keep track of their appointments.

They must be able to view information such as the number of successful consultations, the number of outstanding consultations, and the specifics of forthcoming consultations.

Notifications

Just like with patient applications, notifications alerting the doctors about scheduled consultations are a critical feature.

Read Also: E-Prescription Mobile App Development Cost

For Admins:

User Management

The admin should have total control over the app’s users.  They should have the ability to add and delete users, accept or reject profiles, verify consultation, and update user data.

Medical Records Administration

The administrator should be responsible for managing all medical records pertaining to patients, including treatment histories, test results, prescription data, insurance papers, and the medical claim process.

Finance Management

The administrator is in charge of all money transactions made via the telemedicine application. He must be able to keep track of costs and earnings, generate invoices, and collect payments.

Tech Stack of Telemedicine App

  • Front-end development – React Native, ReactJS, VueJS, and NextJS (top frameworks)
  • Deployment – Netlify, Vercel, and AWS S3
  • Design and prototyping – Ant Design and Bootstrap
  • Back-end development – NodeJS, Ruby on Rails, NestJS or ExpressJS
  • Flexible search function – Elastic search and Algolia
  • Geolocation & GPS tracking – Google Maps
  • Cloud-based messaging – Firebase Cloud and Twilio

Cost of Building a Telemedicine Application

The response to this question is not that straight and simple. Numerous factors influence the cost of developing a telemedicine application. However, these are some of the major factors:

  • The app’s functionality and complexity.
  • Development timeframe.
  • Required APIs and other system interfaces.
  • Development team’s abilities and expertise.

1. Development of Simple vs Complicated Telemedicine App

A simple telemedicine application development company takes around three to six months to build and launch an app.

Based on the scale and skill of the development team, the cost of building a basic telehealth application that facilitates real-time consultations can range from $50,000 to $75,000.

A feature-rich telehealth application that requires many API interfaces, has more complicated functionality, and connects with other services like an EHR, scheduling appointments, or payment processing can take between eight and eighteen months to create.

The cost of building a complicated telemedicine application might range from $200,000 to $450,000, based on the number of features required and the complexity of the application.

2. Development of an MVP vs Fully Loaded Telemedicine App

The expense of telehealth application development is also dependent on whether you want to build an MVP or a fully-featured solution.

Using an MVP-first strategy enables sustainable development to occur while minimizing project risk, therefore reducing development costs.

Healthcare companies may also include end-user input into the development of an MVP, resulting in a telemedicine application that better satisfies the user’s need.

Developing a full-featured telemedicine application app like-vet on demand is a far more expensive endeavor since the work plan expands significantly.

3. Development of Native vs. Cross-Platform Telemedicine App

Native application development entails the creation of two unique apps for the iOS and Android platforms. The production team’s efforts are multiplied by two, thereby tripling the costs.

When developing cross-platform applications, a common code base is used that is concurrently deployed on both the iOS and Android frameworks.

While native applications provide a high-quality user experience, cross-platform application development helps to keep production costs down.

Furthermore, the cost of building an Android is somewhat greater than the cost of developing an iOS since it involves testing on a larger number of devices to guarantee that the app works flawlessly and delivers an exceptional user experience.

Required Development Team for Telemedicine App

The size of the team  you employ will have a direct impact on the expenses associated with developing a telemedicine application.

The cost is not only determined by the size of the squad, the team’s experience and skills are critical. By collaborating with a project team with extensive expertise in the healthcare sector, the effectiveness of the telemedicine application will be enhanced and regulatory standards will be satisfied.

However, excellence comes at a cost, and collaborating with professional tech workers involves its own cost.

Likewise, if you want to incorporate cutting-edge technology into your application, such as data analytics, machine intelligence, or IoT, the accompanying expenses will grow automatically.

How to Choose the Perfect Telemedicine App Development Company?

Telehealth or telemedicine, has evolved from a distant possibility to a present reality. Investment in telehealth application development is a wise move at the moment, given how it has the potential to becoming the foundation of healthcare in the years ahead.

However, this raises the dilemma of how to pick the correct healthcare firm. Hiring developers for telemedicine applications requires a lot of study and preparation.

You may either build apps in-house or outsource them. Both have their own set of advantages and disadvantages. However, the service should be dependable and trustworthy.

We are a reputable app development company with a track record of building hundreds of efficient telemedicine apps for the healthcare sector.

We have an in-depth understanding of the healthcare industry and its dynamics. Also, our years of experience in developing smartphone apps qualify us as specialists in this field.

FAQs for Creating a TeleHealth App

  • What is a telemedicine app?

    Telemedicine is a technique for providing healthcare services to people across a distance.

  • How to create a telemedicine application?

    To create a telemedicine application, you must first create a feature list. Then, collaborate with an application development firm to determine appropriate technology and app development costs.

  • What characteristics define a successful telehealth application?

    Telehealth application development is a time-consuming process that requires a high degree of precision. Apart from deciding on the functionality that will be included in the application and the tools that will be utilized, you must ensure that the app conforms with the applicable regulations in your target nation or area.

  • What is the cost of a telehealth application?

    The most reliable approach to estimating development costs is to contact the telehealth application development agency with which you are contemplating working and request a quotation based on your project needs.

  • What are the characteristics of a telemedicine application?

    The most critical aspects of a telemedicine application may include profile management, e-prescription, integrated billing, notification alerts, calendar integration, and 24×7 video consultation.

Satyam Chaturvedi

Satyam Chaturvedi is a Digital Marketing Manager at Arka Softwares, a leading app development company dealing in modern and futuristic solutions. He loves to spend his time studying the latest market insights.

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