Since the pandemic began in March 2020, telemedicine has expanded exponentially. Even so, acceptance rates for telemedicine apps have been steadily increasing over the past five years. According to Statista, the telemedicine market is projected to increase to around 460 billion USD by 2030. Why is this growth trending upward? There are several reasons. Over the past 1.5 years, the most significant development has been the urgent requirement for a remote health consultation system that enables patients to get care while adhering to COVID standards and lockdowns.
However, there are additional benefits as well, including lower healthcare costs thanks to telemedicine apps, better and quicker access to medical knowledge, doorstep drug delivery, a wide range of tests accessible from the comfort of your home, and a simple portal for managing all of your healthcare requirements.
Features for Doctors
The convenience of scheduling a consultation with a patient and access to critical health information is at the heart of the telemedicine app features for doctors.
Profile in the Workplace
A doctor's profile must include credentials, areas of specialty, years of experience, and availability on the app. According to in-app verification procedures, the app must also show the doctor's rating based on reviews from past clients who have consulted with them via the app. It encourages better medical care and supports medical professionals who regularly give their patients high-quality care.
Patient information and digital medical records (EMR)
The patient's medical history, test results, and past prescriptions must be readily available to the doctor to assess the patient's condition. Individual user health data is becoming available via wearables as more hospitals and clinics transition to Electronic Medical Records (EMR). This data may be incorporated into an app through interaction with such software. For instance, Doctor on Demand uses Apple's Health Kit to integrate patient records access.
Calendar and Appointment Management Integrations
Appointment scheduling is the app's most crucial function for doctors. As a result, the app should have calendar interfaces with Google and Microsoft Calendars and permit "management access" so that someone can make appointment bookings on doctors' behalf. Additionally, there must be a seamless workflow for rescheduling and canceling appointments.
Secure and Personalized Video Calls
The actual consultation at the app's center offers a confidential, secure space for patients to communicate information about their condition with specialists. A confident voice and video calling capability should enable doctors to listen to patients and examine them remotely, much like in an OPD or clinic setting. These calls ought to be secured against hacking attempts by encryption.
The doctor must be able to offer a valid digital prescription that every other hospital and pharmacy recognizes for the in-app consultation to be complete. The drugs should be automatically saved on the cloud to the patient's and the doctor's databases.
Integrations of IoT and remote patient monitoring
Remote patient monitoring and long-term care for chronic patients are two significant demands in the telemedicine sector. This need was furthered by COVID 19, as many people are still experiencing its long-term effects. The app must support real-time integrations with IoT devices like wearables and other medical equipment. These integrations enable doctors to monitor patients' digital biomarkers (such as blood pressure, heart rate, sleep quality, physical activity, and glucose levels) for a premium fee or as an add-on service after consultation.
Features for patients
Patients frequently need the same telemedicine features that doctors do, but for different reasons and with some differences.
All necessary health-related data must be gathered for each patient, including age, gender, recent tests, symptoms, known medical conditions, history of medications, geolocation, etc. A verification system must be in place for security reasons to verify legitimate profiles and prevent scams.
Additionally, there should be selective privacy for patient information, such as determining what information is available to the public and to a healthcare professional the patient is consulting.
The app must have advanced search options to assist a patient in finding the ideal specialist depending on their preferences, price, and the type of expertise they seek. A chatbot powered by AI can also assist the patient in determining the kind of specialist they need to see for their illness.
Scheduling an Appointment
Patients can request an appointment with the doctor of their choice, add it to their calendar using integrations, and reschedule or cancel appointments as necessary, similar to the capabilities of doctors.
A telemedicine app cannot be considered complete without a secure payment gateway and the ability to accept various forms of payment from patients.
Additionally, the app must provide options to credit back the amount made per their payment policies in case of a cancellation or rescheduling.
To integrate payment gateways with mobile and online apps, developer platforms like Paypal APIs (US & global) and Razorpay API (India), among others, are excellent.
Video and Voice Calls
For a patient, a hassle-free, easy video call is crucial to a productive appointment. The patient can save time and money by using a safe, confidential, and feature-rich video calling experience that can make the consultation as beneficial as an in-person appointment.
Chat and messaging within apps
The opportunity for patients to privately text their doctors on an encrypted platform to express concerns or ask questions about their illness or prescription is a much-desired feature. They can avoid many worsened conditions and adverse effects by contacting the medical professional by text or voice message as soon as possible.
Home Delivery of Medication Based on a Prescription
Patients frequently experience difficulty obtaining the medications and other goods recommended after an online consultation. Like a hospital, good telemedicine software also functions as an online pharmacy where patients can quickly order drugs and deliver them promptly to their homes.
Tracking Your Medications and Push Notifications
Following a visit, the most significant issue for patients is continuing their usual medication regimen. The option to add the prescription to a programmable calendar that delivers push alerts reminding you to take medicines at the right time would be a helpful feature in a telemedicine app. Integrations with calendars make this possible.
For a patient to utilize their insurance, they must be able to add it to their account on the telemedicine app. As a result, the telemedicine app should have facilities for settling payments using the selected insurance plan and a secure method of integration and verification of insurance buy records. The user should be able to claim benefits without leaving the app. For instance, the health conditions and services covered by the insurance plan should be updated in the user profile after adding the insurance plan.
Administrators also need the majority of telehealth features needed by Patients and medical professionals. The following are a few different characteristics required by administrators, let's say, at a hospital offering telemedicine services.
Data Storage and Privacy
The most crucial aspects for an administrator of a healthcare service provider, such as a hospital or med-tech firm, are data storage and privacy. The app's storage of user data must adhere to GDPR. Additionally, the app must adhere to HIPAA regulations in the US or international equivalents. The app must include built-in features to guarantee end-to-end encryption and prevent the unintentional leak of user information. The software must support cloud storage, and the administrator must have secure data access to conduct research and provide reports.
Blockchain technology offers a decentralized ledger of data that can be shared based on user preferences. It is a secure method for permitting permission-based sharing of documents.
Offering Supporting Services
Some hospitals might decide to offer extra services like home testing or professional home visits. If necessary, the administrators would need access and integrations to book such services for patients after verifying the prescription. Another feature that would significantly aid in growing the user base and facilitating scheduling is in-app messaging between the doctor and patient.
Healthcare will soon be transformed through telemedicine, making it more inexpensive and available to individuals from all walks of life. It assures prompt attention to health issues and aids in the elimination of prejudices and poor patient or professional behavior. Telemedicine is the future of healthcare delivery in the post-pandemic era, and excellent communication is at the heart of this virtual consultation environment.
It is not just a boon for customers/patients accessing its benefits but also for doctors and the non-medical staff who is savoring the benefits of telemedicine apps.
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