How To Build a Telemedicine App: An Ultimate Guide in 2023

In the era of the COVID-19 pandemic, where face-to-face interactions become risky, people prefer using telemedicine to visiting hospitals. As a result, telemedicine has been used widely in every part of the world and has benefited a large number of patients, doctors and staff. It brings faster and usually cheaper healthcare services to patients while preventing the spread of the diseases and reducing the workload for many hospitals. Thanks to telemedicine apps, you can schedule an appointment with a doctor, receive a consultation, get a receipt and even pay for such a service. Gradually, telemedicine application development has become a vital part of practice for many healthcare organisations. 

1. Overview of Telemedicine App

In “Introduction to the practice of telemedicine” J.Craig and V. Patterson, according to The World Health Organisation (WHO) defines telemedicine as 

“The practice of medical care using interactive audiovisual and data communications. This includes the delivery of medical care services, diagnosis, consultation, treatment, as well as health education and the transfer of medical data”

There are various ways of applying technology in telemedicine, and telemedicine mobile app is one of them. It has witnessed a growing number of mobile device users, internet penetration and awareness of maintaining both physical and mental health in the past few years.

>>> Read more: Top 5 Trends in Healthcare Technology

In addition, telemedicine apps are the way of doing all the above on a digital platform via video calling, conferencing or instant messaging. 

Let’s take a closer look at some of the trends in the telemedicine industry in present time.

“The global mHealth apps market size was valued at USD 43.5 billion in 2022 and is expected to expand at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 11.6% from 2023 to 2030.”

Grand View Research

A recent post by Statista, recently published in February 2023, depicts that adoption of telemedicine is on the rise. All trends of telemedicine have witnessed an increase since 2021, indicating that doctors, patients and staff in the medical industry are becoming more and more familiar with the use of telemedicine software. It is also observed that the increase sectors in 2022 includes:

  • Live photo consults
  • Live video consults
  • Health app or website consults
telemedicine app

2. How does Telemedicine App work?

Each telemedicine app has its own working process, however, they follow a common process below:

  • Firstly, a patient logs in to the system and creates an account, then describes their symptoms
  • Secondly, the app analyses user’s health condition to suggest the most suitable clinics or hospitals nearby
  • After receiving a recommended doctors list, the user then can choose a doctor they find appropriate and schedule a live call (video or audio) or messaging (exchanging photo, video, voice messages), using a built-in calendar.
  • During online consultation, a doctor would ask about the patient’s health conditions, recommend treatment, assign any lab tests and so on. 
  • When online consultation ends, the patient receives prescription and doctor’s recommendation and pays for the healthcare service using various payment methods

3. Benefits of Building a Telemedicine App

DoctorsPatientsBusinesses/ Clinics/ Hospitals
– Ability to treat more patients simultaneously
– Fewer cancellations and missed appointment
– Convenient access to EHR (Electronic Health Record) and expand network of professionals
– Easier access to Healthcare
+, On-demand access to healthcare specialists
+, No need to travel to clinic or hospitals
+, Ease of use (accessible on any device)
– Reduce Healthcare cost
– Broader consultant
– Cost reduction
– Expand customer base
– Lower turnover
– Higher patient care quality
Both Doctors & Patients
– Time-efficient treatment
– Safety
– Improve effectiveness of treatment

4. Types of Telemedicine Apps

There are 3 different types of telemedicine services that you can provide. Take consideration of these types to decide what services you are able to provide when making a telemedicine app.

TypeDescription
1Store-and-forwardThis app will help patients send images, photos, forms, records, etc. to describe their medical conditions to doctors. Consequently, medical staffs and patients do not need to be available at the same time
2Remote monitoring/ IoT-based telemedicineThis app allows healthcare providers to track health conditions of their remote patients.
There are special devices used for measuring heart rate, blood pressure, levels of sugar, etc. These obtained information are automatically added to the medical records of the app to help doctors keep track of any changes in patients suffering.
3Real-time interactive servicesThe type that includes phone and video calls for consultation, or call a medical specialists to visit patient at home, including:
– Follow-up consultations after the patients is released from the hospital
– Mental health therapy and neuropsychology
– Pharmaceutical advice
– Remote nursing consultations
– Monitoring post-injury rehabilitation process

5. Essential Features

5.1. Patients

  • Registration/ Sign-in:

With a personal account, the app can track a patient’s health condition, schedule in-app calendars and notify the customer, it is more convenient than letting the user keep them in mind.  Patients can sign in via email, phone number or with the help of third-party tools, like Facebook or Twitter. Don’t forget to take two-step authentication via SMS or email. 

  • Profile management

After registration, users will receive a form to register, the form will ask them about general information like name, gender, age and special health information like previous treatment history, health conditions… The app will set up patients’ personal profiles based on received information, cooperating with their daily health conditions to help doctors access their patients’ health conditions and take an appropriate treatment.  Remember that this information is private and should be available only to patients and their doctors.

  • Health track dashboard

The dashboard includes patient information in the form of charts, diagrams, bars. Both patients and doctors can use it to monitor patients’ status, identify positive or negative signs, patient alerts and many other types of medical data. 

  • Search & filters

These features can help users a lot in finding the best-suited doctors, according to medical specialty, language, reviews and ratings, etc.

  • Video calls

In most health examinations, the doctors need to see the patients’ symptoms to exactly diagnose them. A video call can be better than just voice-or-text-only conversations. 

  • Messages

When there is no need to make a video call, users can send a text message to doctors. This is a best option for those having minor issues, because it allows doctors to answer in their free time. Photo and file attachments could be a great addition to the text chat. 

  • Calendar

In-app calendars allow users to monitor and manage their appointments with medical staff. If the patients need to reschedule the appointment, they can make changes right in the calendar and wait for doctors’ approval. The users can also receive notifications from the apps to remind them the time of their appointments.

  • Payment details

You can choose between a custom payment service or a third-party payment, but mind security matters. Third-party payments can meet all the business requirements, but if you choose to develop your own payment system, it’s better to hire a reliable software development company. 

  • Doctor Reviews and Ratings

After the medical treatment from a doctor, the patient can leave reviews and leave a comment about the experience and rate the doctor. This feature will help many other patients in finding a trustworthy doctor. 

  • Push notifications

As we mentioned above, you need to develop push notifications for your app to remind users about appointments and keep track of their health conditions, as well as app updates. 

5.2. Doctors

  • Profile

First and foremost, doctors have to update their profile and specify their specialisation, medical competency, experience and more to make them more reliable in patients’ eyes. 

  • Calendar management

It will be easier for doctors to place the appointment in their schedules. And in case customers want to postpone the appointment, they could leave a request for the doctor and wait for the doctor’s reply. 

  • Viewing EHRs

Doctors should be able to access clients’ health conditions, including EHRs to decide the prescriptions and treatment based on the patient’s medical data. 

  • In-app messages and video calls

The doctors also need to have these features to connect and interact with clients more efficiently due to two-sided communication between patient and doctor. Doctors should be able to text or call patients to track their treatment process and health conditions.

  • Patient Ratings

Clients can also get reviews and ratings from doctors. They can grade and leave a complaint about their clients’ absence in the appointment.

6. Tech Stack

Here, we give you a rough list of technology for telehealth app development, depending on your choice of what features you want to implement, the tech stack might change to meet your needs. 

  • Front-end development: ReactJS, Angular, 
  • Back-end development: Node.js, Phyton, PHP, ; database – Postgres, MongoDB, MySQL, 
  • Mobile development:  iOS – Swift, Android – Java,
  • Web development: Javascript, HTML, CSS, Vue.js, React.js
  • Databases: Firebase, MySQL, MongoDB, 
  • Multiple payment modes:  PayPal, Braintree, Stripe
  • User location tracking and map integration: MapKit, Google Maps API,  CoreLocation
  • Push notifications: Twilio, Push.io
  • In-app messaging and calling: Twilio
  • Audio/ Video call: Web RTC, RTMP
  • Calendar: Google Calendar API
  • Cloud environment: Amazon Web Services (AWS), Google, Microsoft Azure.

7. How to build a telemedicine app?

Once you need to build a telemedicine app, you first need to decide who will actually do this. There are 2 common options for you:

  • The first option is hiring an in-house team, which may cost a lot of money and time to find the developers with the right skills. But it allows you to completely control the project, decreases the data leaks and self-reliance.
  • The second way is hiring a dedicated software development team, either onshore or offshore. It could be cheaper and easier to connect to qualified and skilled IT professionals, and capitalise on the experience of the vendors. However, if you choose to outsource from an unreliable vendor, it will take more time, over-budget and difficult interaction.

As you can see, each option has its pros and cons, you can choose the most suitable one or even combine the two based on your demands and budget. The two ways will follow a basic process:

7.1. Research & Analytics

The first thing you should do is to identify your project that meets demands. You should conduct research about your target customer, market and competitor to make sure that your idea is worth implementing. This stage is a basic step to let you know which problems you are facing and how to solve them quickly and effectively. When researching your rivals in the telehealth industry, pay attention to their prices, platforms and user reviews to know exactly their strengths and weaknesses.

7.2. Prototyping

There are many prototypes in the process of telemedicine app development. They are all necessary to ensure your app development. Firstly, creating a sketch of the fundamental functionality first to ensure your developers know what should be done. Then, the UI/UX designers will add more details and functionality to fulfil the prototypes. 

7.3. Test

You need to test almost everything before you launch the app for users, from the design to the features. After each test, the developers will receive feedback, make changes and improvements, and finally fix bugs.

7.4. MVP Development

After creating a Minimum Viable Product (MVP) which only has necessary features with barely UI Design, you will gather user feedback and conduct the final test. Having more user feedback, fewer bugs are fixed and redesigned at later stages.

7.5. Deployment & Maintenance

When all the features are implemented, remember to run the final product and give your app the project-related data. After all, your mobile app with all the features available is ready to launch on app marketplaces.

Finally, don’t forget to keep a maintenance team that monitors system health and provides necessary updates.

8. How much does it cost to Build a Telemedicine App?

The cost and time of developing a Telemedicine App will depend on many factors like:

  • Tech stack
  • Platform choices (iOS, Android, website…)
  • Functionality
  • Design
  • Team size
  • Hourly rates
  • Developer’s qualifications

We’ll look at the telemedicine app development cost by location of the development team, it varies from $45,000 to $280,000. It can be seen that choosing a dedicated team from South Asia would help you reduce a lot in building your telemedicine app.

LocationAverage Cost (unit: US dollars)
Australia160,000
The US280,000
The UK180,000
Western Europe150,000
Eastern Europe75,000
South Asia45,000

>>> Read more: 10 Great Advantages of Software Outsourcing to Vietnam

9. How does Telemedicine App make money?

Regardless of the business model, Telemedicine App can have a variety of monetisation options, such as

  • Subscription: A subscription model allows access to the full content of a given app. They can be either available on a monthly, quarterly or yearly basis.
  • One-time purchases: This work best for intermittent services or urgent support
  • In-app advertisement: Ads are an excellent way to generate revenue. It could be a full-screen banner or just a widget. The widget can be put in the sidebars or footers.
  • Freemium: A standard offer allows customers to use limited services with no fee, if your customers want more, offer them with freemium to make them pay for extra services.
  • External links: Apps can provide links to services and products in any format, such as a book, an MP3 file or a podcast.

Conclusion

Telemedicine is a valuable technology in linking hospitals, clinics and medical businesses with patients to prove beneficial to them, such as, minimising the doctors’ and patients’ travel time, increasing the quality of healthcare facilities, expanding access to remote areas, etc. The market trends indicate that the need for telemedicine apps is increasing in the global market. So, it’s the right time to create a telemedicine app now! Become one of the first to benefit from telemedicine app development!

If you want to choose a reliable technology partner in Asia to build your telemedicine app, contact us to start together today! AgileTech is an experienced technology outsourcing company that has intense experience in this market, so we can help you with building web and mobile products and creating a clear picture for your business to succeed. Maybe your product will be outstanding in the telemedicine app  industry.

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