Vint Cerf & Bob Kahn, the founding fathers of the Internet, might not have known about the wonders it would do one day; that one day how the Internet would enable, even enhance communication, entertainment, banking, shopping, donation, etc.
Even the healthcare sector has observed its wonders thanks to the internet, one of them being the Telehealth app; it delivers healthcare remotely through electronic information and telecommunications technologies. The pandemic made most people come across the Telehealth app, but it is not new.
The Telehealth app use went from less than 1 percent of visits to 80 percent of them in the areas heavily hit by Covid; it shows the Telehealth app reached more audience during the pandemic only.
The American Psychiatric Association conducted a national public opinion poll and found out that 43% of adults would stick to using the Telehealth app even after the pandemic ends. With such preference given to the Telehealth app, it is necessary to adopt it in your healthcare system.
In this blog, we will tell you not only about telehealth app development; but also about the features it should have.
What is the Telehealth App?
The telehealth app uses telecommunication technologies to provide patients with remote healthcare.
It means patients can get treated at their homes with proper guidance from doctors. Thus, the telehealth app provides patients and doctors the freedom to get in touch anytime and anywhere.
Did you know that the downloads of the telehealth app Teladoc were over 343 thousand times during the peak pandemic period? It made Teladoc the most downloaded telehealth app back then.
It makes it clear how the development of telehealth apps is increasing, thus making it necessary for the healthcare sector to start using them.
Features to add to your Telehealth App
A telehealth app should have features that provide convenience to doctors and patients. The telehealth app is of no use if it fails to include any necessary functionality.
We list some necessary features that your telehealth app should have below.
Secure video calling
The Telehealth app allows patients and doctors to communicate remotely through video calls. It becomes necessary to ensure whatever data patients provide to doctors stays safe and secure.In addition to it, the video quality should be high to let doctors identify the signs of illness correctly.
Your telehealth app should provide a safe medium for video conferencing and have high video quality.
Your telehealth app should provide a means for patients and doctors to send messages. Sometimes a few things are overlooked during interactions which patients can get through written instructions by doctors. Also, there are times when doctors can not answer calls; your patients can send you a message through the telehealth app, which you can reply to later.
If your telehealth app deals with neurology, you need a secure database for storing patient information, medical history, labs, and imaging. It will also take care of user authentication.
Your telehealth app should allow patients to book select doctors and book appointments with them.
Group Chats and Calls
There are times when doctors need to consult other doctors on some issue. This feature will allow them to do it conveniently. Also, while interacting with your patients, you can add other doctors to your video conference for a quick consultation.
Integration with EHR
Patient history is a must-have for any healthcare organization. The information you receive during consultations needs to get stored with the old data of the patient. If your telehealth app can sync this information directly to an EHR system, it can save you a lot of time.
VR for Telepsychiatry
People seek treatment even for mental illnesses. To enhance your mental health sessions, you should provide a virtual setting thought of as trustworthy.
The E-prescription feature increases the prescribing meds process. Your Telehealth app should have this feature as it saves you time.
You should integrate a payment gateway into your app to let patients pay for services before the consultation through the app itself. Numerous telehealth apps add this feature via a web view to bypass Apple/Google commissions.
Integration with Peripheral IoT Devices
Some medical fields get benefitted from connecting a telehealth app to a medical device.
For example, you can use intraoral cameras in teledentistry.
Integration with Healthkit and GoogleFit
The Apple Healthkit and Google GoogleFit can provide patient health data to doctors. Therefore, it is necessary to integrate your telehealth app into these devices.It helps doctors get a complete understanding of a patient's health.
Chatbots are excellent tools for determining which cases need urgent attention. It helps us separate non-serious issues from complicated ones.
Module for Medical Assistants
Your telehealth app should have a separate UI for nurses and other medical assistants. The feature allows them to enter data, notes, and update records relieving doctors from this task.
Steps to develop a Telehealth App
After reading the necessary features to include in your telehealth app, Let us read how to develop telehealth apps.
We present the steps below.
STEP 1: CHOOSE A PLATFORM
First, you need to decide which type of telehealth app you want to develop. Whether it is a fitness app, meditation app, or anything, you need to specify this before hiring designers and coders.
Then you need to make sure which platform it will run on, iOS or Android. These choices depend on the target audience and their geography.Besides mobile platforms, you need to also be clear about it being a web or native app; for desktop.
Then comes the choice between SaaS and custom build solutions. You should know a SaaS solution will just let you change the logo and the name. It will look like the apps of their other customers. But if you want to have your app distinct features and looks, you should go for a custom build app solution.
Both solutions have their pros and cons. Saas solutions might appear cheap at first, but they can cost heavily in the long run. Moreover, the company can change policies and features anytime they want. You do not get to decide it.
On the other hand, custom solutions allow you to make changes whenever you want, whatever you want. Though, they are costly at first.
STEP 2: DESIGN THE PERFECT TELEHEALTH APP
USER EXPERIENCE DESIGN
Your target audience dictates the looks of your telehealth app. It will not work if your app has the right technology and ideas, but it does not look attractive to them. Thus, to make your app work, you need to design the graphics of your telehealth well.
You should design the backend and frontend of your app carefully. Also, ensure that you write all the instructions in simple words. Keep the onboarding process limited to three screens.
Once you complete UX wireframes, you should focus on user testing. After this process, there comes user interface design.
USER INTERFACE DESIGN
The user interface makes your app come alive. It adds colors, buttons, fonts, and other visual aspects.
User behavior changes according to the placements of components and their color. Therefore, you should test every design of your telehealth app.
STEP 3: CHOOSE APIS YOU CAN USE TO INTEGRATE INTO YOUR APP
To quicken the development of telehealth apps, you need to use APIs. It takes three to six months to complete the app. If you go for an API-free development process, it will take around one to two years to develop the app.
You need to carefully see which APIs you can integrate into your telehealth app. A few APIs are VSee SDK, VIDYO, WebRTC, OpenTok, etc.
STEP 4: TEST YOUR TELEMEDICINE APP
It is the most crucial stage of your telehealth app development process. You need to make sure your app works flawlessly and is easy to use. Ask your app developers to execute peer code reviews and instruct the QA team to conduct unit tests on various devices.
Besides this, you need to include regression testing in your final quality assurance round.
We recommend you make sure your app is bug-free before launching it.
STEP 5: DEPLOY AND MAINTAIN YOUR APP
At this time, you move your telehealth app to app stores where customers can download it. Your task does not end here. You should update your app because iOS and Android receive updates annually.It ensures a smooth and easy user experience.
It has become crucial for every healthcare organization to adopt a telehealth app into their system. It is obvious how the pandemic encouraged people to accept these apps. If you want to get a telehealth app for your medical organization, get in touch with AppsRhino. AppsRhino has catered to many clients well.