Telemedicine App Development: Trends, Challenges, Features & Cost
Statista predicts that the telemedicine market size will increase to $41.2 billion by 2021. Unsurprisingly, telemedicine apps are gaining popularity among patients, medical establishments, and investors.
The time is right to learn more about developing a telemedicine app and start your own project.
Benefits Provided by Telemedicine App
- Availability of medical services
- Convenient and time-efficient medical care
- Medical record keeping
- Unified patient management and monitoring system
- Efficient time management of healthcare specialists
- Facilitation of administrative operations
Also, new telemedicine app ideas may be utilized across different medical fields. Among the most common areas are dermatology, psychological and behavioral health, cardiology, chronic diseases like diabetes, hypertension, and more.
Tech Implementation and Costs of Telemedicine Apps
Technologies Used in Telemedicine Apps
The technologies that find great application in telemedicine apps include:
- Artificial Intelligence
- Big Data
Advice: In the long run, it is important to have a vision of how the product should evolve. After outlining the major innovations, you can get a better understanding of which of them can be applied in your telemedicine app. Try looking ahead to satisfy the market demand prior to its appearance!
Key Technologies of Telemedicine Apps
A typical telemedicine app solution consists of three distinct but interconnected parts — patient app, doctor app, and a complex admin panel.
Patient-Related Features in Telemedicine Apps
The features of the patient app can include:
- Patient profile
- Appointments and calendar
- Rating and review
Telemedicine app for patients should take into account user experience and relevance of functionality. The patient app can also include some extra features like:
- Personalized dashboard
- Medication tracking
- Secure chats
- In-app calls
- Cloud data storage
- Patient’s insurance plan
Telemedicine App Features for Doctors
The key doctor app features are:
- Doctor profile
- Scheduling and calendar
- EHR review
- Medical prescription
Other useful features that the telemedicine app for doctors could include:
- Video or audio session recording
- Dashboard and analytics
- Pharmacy databases
It is important to develop logical and hassle-free management of patient and doctor data via an admin panel. The illustration below shows the intersections of modules within telemedicine app.
Costs and Resources Required to Build a Telemedicine App
The cost of telemedicine app greatly depends on its concept, functionality, development approach, and chosen development vendor. When working with an offshore mobile app development agency, you can expect to spend around $50,000 — $60,000 for the first working version.
This price includes a patient app, a doctor app, and an admin panel for a single platform (iOS or Android), at an hourly rate of $30 (average development rate in Ukraine). The timeline for this development varies from approximately 3 to 5 months.
If you want to add more functionality or create an app of greater complexity, be ready to spend more money. The telemedicine app cost can go even beyond $100,000 if you choose to work on a very complex and feature-rich solution.
The flow to start with developing a telemedicine app is as follows:
- Define the exact target audience
- Identify the purpose of the app
- Develop a business plan for the project (incl. revenue streams)
- Create reliable app content and organize the data
- Plan the budget for the app development and marketing expenses
- Apply for investments
- Design and implement a product with a team of professional software developers
The app development process consists of the following steps and services:
- Business analysis & software architecture planning
- UX/UI design
- Actual app development
Note: The whole process is guided and organized by the project manager during all app development stages.
Challenges in Developing a Telemedicine App
Please take the following aspects into account during telemedicine project development:
- UX/UI implementation for two distinct apps
- Back-end infrastructure
- Security matters
- Lack of trust
- Compliance with healthcare legislation
Monetization of Telemedicine Apps
Telemedicine app can include the following monetization models:
- Pay per consultation (can relate to consultation duration, specialist, etc.)
- Membership (or subscription model — e.g. monthly payment for doctors and/or patients)
- Franchising (a product can be distributed as a franchise)
- Software as a service (provide the software product in the form of service to medical establishments)
5 Successful Telemedicine Apps
Let’s now briefly review the success stories of some of the best telemedicine apps in 2019.
The app matches patients with doctors within three minutes using video conferencing. These days, the app is ranked in the top 20 within the medical category according to App Annie, the global mobile market data provider.
This recent telemedicine startup is remodeling the industry, as mentioned by Crunchbase. The app raised $46.6M in an angel round and aims to connect individuals to all their existing doctors. Named the “WhatsApp of Healthcare,” the app allows practitioners to connect directly and securely via video or texting.
3. American Well (AmWell)
This telemedicine app has been used by healthcare employees, providers, and the government since 2009. American Well offers the SaaS platform for medical institutions. At the same time, the AmWell app concentrates on consumers. The cost of the service ranges from $59 for urgent care and $95 for online therapy.
Telemedicine app with an ambition to provide medical services worldwide. The app utilizes machine learning to provide accurate prescriptions in the form of a chatbot, meaning you can receive treatment without a doctor present. This London-based startup received an $85M investment.
With a total funding of $73.6M, this telemedicine app provides treatments for most common medical fields, as well as behavioral health concerns. The average service price is around $40 — $50 per digital doctor consultation.
Start Your Own Telemedicine App
The telemedicine industry is definitely changing the healthcare landscape, so the time is just right to start with telemedicine project development. You can choose from the following options:
- Provide collaboration between healthcare providers, users, or other parties
- Provide secure and highly encrypted video conferencing and communication services
- Provide in-home patient monitoring (e.g.cardiovascular activity) or patient self-monitoring solutions
- Provide medical data analytics for general and prophylactic treatments (use of big data technology)
- Provide a platform to transfer and store medical information securely (use of security protocols, cloud service solutions, blockchain technology)
- Provide preliminary healthcare consultation remotely (use of via AI technology — e.g. chatbots)
As well, here is a list of industry tendencies to take into account prior to developing a telemedicine app:
- Common laws and regulations — 32 states in the USA have already adopted the common laws for using telemedicine services.
- Decentralization of medical care — medical offerings become more widespread globally.
- Rise in usage of remote healthcare service — convenience and ease of telemedicine apps decrease costs and time resources in medical treatments.
- Technologies become more public — technical progress results in public, secure, and affordable software implementations.
This is a brief summary of an article published on MLSDev blog. If you would like to learn more detailed information for each point about telemedicine app development, feel free to read the full article.