Telemedicine App Development: Trends, Predictions, Pitfalls
Telemedicine app development — how promising is the niche? What are the top related technologies and how much does it cost? Learn all about the telemedicine market.
Telemedicine App Development Everything You Need to Know
Telemedicine app development is transforming the healthcare industry’s landscape. But why is it worth taking into account the trends in the field of telemedicine? On top of that, how much does the development cost? And what nuances can slow down the underlying work and affect the level of success in the implementation of the related technologies? Let’s figure out all of that.
What is Telemedicine?
Telemedicine allows providing medical services remotely, via various communication channels. It initially appeared as an efficient means to get professional medical help for those who don’t have access to a regular hospital. Or they do, but it is problematic to reach the physical place. We’re talking about, for instance, people living in remote regions and territories where there is a shortage of health workers or disabled/difficult patients. In today’s reality, telemedicine is also a means of social distancing.
Moreover, telemedicine is a guarantee of improving medical care in accordance with the modern needs of people. According to Global Market Insights, in 2019, the telemedicine market was valued at $45 billion. It is expected to increase by 20% in 2026.
Benefits of Implementing a Telemedicine App
The main purpose of telemedicine services is to improve the efficiency of medical services provided. You can conduct remote consultations and monitor the patient's health at a distance. The benefits of telemedicine applications for healthcare are pretty reasonable.
- High availability of medical services. Patients can get medical help both in large cities and in remote regions where access to clinics is difficult. In US rural areas, there is a shortage of specialists - there are approximately 39 doctors per 100,000 potential patients, while in cities, 100,000 people are served by 53 doctors. Telemedicine apps are also useful for veterans and seniors. They are a real game-changer for people with acute respiratory illnesses or anyone else unable to make a full-time visit to a doctor.
- Convenient and fast medical assistance. You don’t need to waste time on the way to the medical facility and wait for an appointment in line - the doctor's consultation is available right on your smartphone, in telemedicine applications.
- The solution for patients with chronic diseases. Research has shown that remote health monitoring significantly reduces mortality rates among patients with chronic heart failure.
For medical specialists
- Reducing the burden on the hospital workflow through remote counseling;
- Reducing the risks of spreading infectious diseases;
- The ability to earn money for doctors even if they are physically outside the clinic - in case of a pandemic or sick leaves and so on;
- Boosting the total number of patients without increasing the workload. Correct composition of the telemedicine business plan will allow to increase the number of patients served without affecting the overall workload.
- Simpler management of medical records and efficient, secure storage of patient data.
- Efficient time management of healthcare professionals. The Doctor on Demand study found that 15% of doctors regularly experience burnout and depression. One reason is the workload of 60-80 hours per week. The introduction of innovative technologies will allow health workers to allocate their time to improve work-life balance.
Market of Telemedicine Applications Trends and Predictions
According to the Research2Guidance survey, 53% of patients are interested in receiving medical services remotely. How do you create an app that will be used by different target audiences? You should make it as simple as possible to handle for representatives of all age-old groups (adolescents, adults, elderly people), as well as introduce innovative technologies.
Covering a wide range of services
In terms of their functionality, the best telemedicine apps go far beyond remote consultations with a family therapist. They may help you easily cover services for dermatology, psychiatry, and self-diagnosis - the options are numerous and all are facilitated with the remote approach.
Federal Medical Insurance Medicare for people aged 65 and over and those with disabilities already provides coverage for remote monitoring services. You can integrate insurance services with your application to gain an edge for the clinic and healthcare professionals.
For the simplest regular use of telemedicine services, Req experts recommend integrating online payments: make sure to provide support for Apple and Google pay, payments via bank cards, and through several popular payment services.
Chatbots are an efficient alternative to the referral service, as well as a tool for autonomously sorting patients based on their case. The heavy dose of automation that chatbots bring to the table helps speed things up and achieve a higher level of service quality all-around.
Relevant Technologies for a Telehealth App
Telemedicine is among the fastest-growing professional areas right now. There are many ways to expand the functionality of a healthcare product, improve the user experience, and boost the quality of services provided. The following integration should certainly help.
Telemedicine apps collect a lot of information, and the support of big data allows you to rapidly, autonomously analyze patient health data from electronic health records (EHR). This is really helpful in making more accurate diagnoses. On top of that, managing electronic accounts prevents many data loss risks.
Artificial Intelligence (AI)
AI helps reinforce the accuracy of predictions about the condition of patients, which results in a more efficient treatment plan. The technology is also used in the development of chatbots that can replace a doctor when a patient needs emergency help. For example, outside working hours or during the period of the maximum workload of the clinic.
Health data can be transferred between patients and physicians, and that’s why safe storage is crucial. Blockchain technology practically eliminates the risks of unauthorized changes to user information and prevents data theft.
Beside these efficiency-boosting, trendy technologies, a good app should feature:
- A UX-friendly interface;
- High-quality audio and video connection capabilities;
- Secure payment methods;
- Transparent rating system for searching for proper specialists.
Cost of Telemedicine App Development
How much does telemedicine cost? We calculate the costs based on the usual cycle of the application development, which should allow for: choosing a doctor, arranging online consultations, having chats, making audio and video calls, etc. The major development stages here include:
- Business analysis and design outline. First, business analysts study the main required app features, analyze the market demand and competitor solutions, and work through the TA needs. The designer creates the user interface (UI) and implements the principles of interaction with app users(UX). The first stage would cost around $12,000-24,000 over the course of two months. This is usually the time it takes to study the application, analyze the market and competitors, as well as implement the UI/UX.
- Software development and support. This stage includes: implementation of personal profile capabilities; consultation arrangement features; integration of online payment gateways and configuration of transactions; creation of chats; implementation of audio and video communication; and handling of the post-launch application maintenance.
The development of a telehealth app with the listed functions takes 4-6 months, and costs about $100,000+.
- Marketing. This involves promoting the application, increasing the number of downloads, and boosting profits as a result. The usual costs are $2,000-3,000 for 30 days in the first months after launch.
When developing telemedicine mobile apps, it is necessary to comply with healthcare legislation and ensure account security and high-quality communication. Try to avoid the following common mistakes when handling all that.
Consider regulatory standards when developing medical software. Mobile applications or telehealth platforms must comply with the legislation of the specific country of use. In the USA, these are HIPAA standards, in Canada - PIPEDA. Data Protection Directive 1995/46 / EC and e-Privacy Directive 2002/58/EC/IEC 62304 apply in the European Union.
Telemedicine applications for healthcare must maintain a high level of security for accounts, especially when it comes to storing personal patient information. When developing an application, implement multi-factor or biometric authentication, as well as high-level encryption protocols for data exchange.
To reinforce the overall security, you should not use Skype for connection instead of a specialized application. The video calling application is not HIPAA-compliant (standards in US law) and poses a good threat of stealing patient personal information.
Video quality is important if users need to show the sights of trauma, oral health, etc. In such cases, poor video quality can lead to misdiagnosis and ineffective treatment. It is important to understand that quality is not only determined by the camera on the user device. It should be enabled by well-coded software. Req specialists develop applications with a 100% guarantee of high-quality video calls.
Monetization of a telemedicine app for doctors
The major monetization strategies for telehealth software include:
- Payments for consultation. For example, the Norwegian MAP-tele Doctoral program charges a user $0.08 per minute for a consultation.
- Paid features. Introduce free features and extra add-ons. The latter can be acquired by users after paying for the premium version.
- Subscription. The subscription model generates a steady income for entrepreneurs. May include monthly or annual payments. The business model is well-tried-and-tested by the likes of Netflix, Spotify, Apple Music, Adobe, and others.
- Transaction fees. A popular income model for a telehealth app. The app charges a commission on every transaction the user makes. This business model has made Teladoc one of the most profitable telemedicine companies.
- Franchising. You can try to distribute the software product abroad. This model is most often used when there is high competition in the local market. A striking example of franchising in telemedicine is the SkyHealth Emergency Medical Center. The company is transferring product use rights for $3,000.
Successful examples of telemedicine apps
Here are some of the vivid examples of telemedicine applications you can draw inspiration from.
This prominent app is available both on mobile devices and PCs. It is also included in the top medical 20 apps according to the App Annie rating. The startup raised an investment of $86.75 million from Google and Richard Branson. The main feature of the application is integrated laboratory diagnostics.
According to Crunchbase, the startup is transforming the healthcare industry. Initially, it raised $46.6 million in venture investments. The app provides fast and secure consultation with healthcare professionals via video or text messages.
The app employs machine learning technology to deliver accurate prescriptions via a chatbot. Thus, patients receive clear recommendations 24/7 without having to wait online for the right doctor. The startup is based in London and has already managed to attract $85 million worth of investments.
Are you ready to hit the market with the innovative telemedicine app for doctors of your own? Contact us to discuss the development of an application with high-quality audio and video communication, group conferences, high data security, and blockchain, AI, and other integrations. Start earning where others are just testing the waters right now!