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Telemedicine App Development: Challenges, Features & Innovations [2020]

30 min read
Telemedicine App Development: Challenges, Features & Innovations [2020]
Telemedicine app development is a promising area today, as the healthcare system needs innovative solutions.

A telemedicine program is currently present in almost half of all U.S hospitals. Such solutions offer a lot of benefits, allowing medical facilities to streamline operations, reduce costs and doctors workload, and improve healthcare services.

According to a report by Statista, the telemedicine market size will reach $41.2 billion by 2020.

If you are looking in the direction of telemedicine app development, this guide will provide you with in-depth insights. The article covers a number of important points, allowing to explore the sphere of telehealth applications.

Here’s is what you will find in this guide:

  • market state of telemedicine platforms
  • differences between the main types of telemedicine apps
  • benefits that telemedicine app development can bring
  • technologies and features of a telemedicine app
  • how to build a telemedicine software
  • key challenges of telemedicine app development
  • the cost to create a telemedicine app 
  • revenue streams for telemedicine applications
Continue reading to learn how to turn a telemedicine app idea into a prospering business.

Why Invest in Telemedicine App Development Today

If you have any doubts regarding the financial gains, statistics will dispel any of your doubts. Here are a few points that you should know about the market of telemedicine software platforms.

The outbreak of COVID-19 surged the popularity of telemedicine solutions significantly.

According to research by McKinsey, consumer adoption of telehealth services has jumped to 49% in 2020 from 11% in 2019

Impact of COVID-19 on the State of Telehealth Market

Do you want to create a telemedicine application?

Get in touch with Addevice for a consultation regarding your project, timeline, and cost estimation.

Main Types of Telemedicine Apps

What are the three different types of telemedicine?
Telemedicine Software Types
If you decide to make a telemedicine app, you will have to choose between three types of telemedicine software. The choice should fully depend on the specialization of your clinic and the services that you want to provide through your telemedicine application.

  • Interactive telemedicine app

This is the most popular type of telemedicine solution and the first thing that comes to mind when we talk about such solutions. Applications of this type allow for phone and video calls between patients and doctors for remote doctor consultations. The main benefit of such telemedicine software is the ability to get in contact with a specialist who is not available in your area. Usually, such apps are used with the following aims:

  • Follow-up consultation for newly released patients
  • Neuropsychology and mental therapy
  • Nursing consultations
  • Pharmaceutical consultations

A lot of features can be integrated inside such applications, including the ability to call a doctor for a home visit.

  • IoT telemedicine software

The Internet of Things is a sphere of smart interconnected devices that collect and exchange information. Integrated with telehealth apps, such devices are used for remote patient monitoring. For example, smart devices can measure heart rate, blood pressure, level of sugar, and other clinical parameters used to monitor the state of health. Records are then automatically transferred to a telemedicine app, allowing a patient and a doctor to monitor any changes in the patient’s state of health. Such solutions are especially beneficial for patients with chronic diseases.

  • Store-and-forward telemedicine apps

The use of telemedicine solutions doesn’t always include video conferencing. Patients can record some data on a photo or video and sent it to a doctor for examination. For example, patients can take photos of the results of medical examinations or even take a photo of their wounds, etc. Such telemedicine applications don’t require a patient and a doctor to be available at the same time, increasing the efficiency of such digital products.

Telemedicine App Development Benefits

Key Benefits of Telemedicine App Development

Trying to find out how to start a telehealth business, you are probably wondering about the benefits of building your own telemedicine app. Let’s investigate which benefits telemedicine app development can bring to both patients and medical businesses.  

1. Unlimited access to medical services
The main benefit of telemedicine software is access to healthcare services from any location in the world. The problem is especially persistent in distant rural areas where you can witness the lack of healthcare personnel. With a telemedicine app, anyone can get access to doctors regardless of the physical location.  

2. Reduced cost
Telemedicine software brings along another important benefit: cost saving. As patients get medical assistance remotely and without personal hospital visits, you can save money on the rent and run of working space. Thus, doctors can consult their patients from homes.  

3. Time-efficient medical care
Situations, when you need to visit a few medical specialists, might turn into countless hours spent in waiting rooms. With telemedicine applications for healthcare, it is possible to get a consultation without leaving your home or in the middle of your lunch break.  

4. Progressive EHR
Telemedicine software can be used for electronic healthcare records management. Medical staff can access data without the need to find paper records.  

5. Patient management and monitoring
With telemedicine applications, it’s possible to organize efficient management of patients, control of consultations, prescriptions, and so on.  

7. Time management for doctors
With super busy schedules, doctors can be overwhelmed by the number of patients. Telemedicine app development can help address the problem by allowing the administrative staff to control the workload of doctors. On the other hand, push notifications and in-app schedules don’t allow doctors to miss an appointment.  

8. Streamlining administrative tasks
Telemedicine solutions can be used for the efficient administration of medical establishments. Without a need to fill out forms and documentation, doctors can spend more time working directly with patients.

The list above clearly demonstrates the benefits of telemedicine app development for patients and doctors. Thus, investment if such a solution is a profitable affair for any medical institution.

Do you want to create a telemedicine application?

Get in touch with Addevice for a consultation regarding your project, timeline, and cost estimation.

Technologies Used in Telemedicine App Development

 Innovative Technologies Used Build a Telemedicine App
Telemedicine software development includes a number of technologies that are used for building great solutions. The list below demonstrates the most popular technological solutions used today in telemedicine app development.
  • Artificial intelligence – robust chatbots are the main use of AI in a telemedicine app. Since doctors can’t always be online, chatbots based on artificial intelligence can take on a part of essential work, like building the doctor’s schedule, answering basic questions, etc. Other possible areas of AI implementation are language processing, voice recognition, and machine learning, which combined create a supercharged experience in healthcare services.
  • Big Data – the industry of telehealth apps generates a lot of data that can be further used in healthcare. The implementation of big data allows to process the gathered information to optimize services, provide better treatment and diagnostics, for medical research, etc.
  • IoT – the Internet of Things is another technology widely used by telehealth mobile apps. This technology unites the use of different gadgets and solutions, including but not limited to tablets, smart watches, cameras, medical trackers, etc. These can be used to monitor vital medical conditions for a more precise diagnosis and treatment.
  • Blockchain – the main use of this technology is the prevention of data loss and its protection. The data is stored in distributed ledgers that prevent data tampering.
When you create a telemedicine app, you need to have a full understanding of your product, how it will work, and which problems it will address. Don’t try to implement all of the above technologies. Choose wisely to provide a great user experience and don’t overfill your solution with excessive technologies.
Take a look at the image below demonstrating the work behind a telemedicine app.
How Telemedicine Solutions Work

Telemedicine Platform Features for Patients

Telemedicine app development can include the following features for patients:

  • Registration – patients should be able to sign up and sign in via mobile number, email, or social network. Since telemedicine solutions deal with a lot of sensitive and confidential information, it’s important to provide a high level of protection. One of the possible solutions is the use of two-factor authentication via phone, SMS, etc.
  • Patient account – since patients need to provide their personal information, a user account should allow them to quickly fill out all the necessary forms. Just remember that users don’t like to spend a lot of time on such tasks, therefore, it might be a good idea to limit the number of compulsory fields.
  • Search – robust search system should help patients to find specialists. You can implement the search by keywords and main criteria like specialization, location, rating, etc.
  • Appointments and calendar – this feature is directly related to the similar feature for doctors. Patients need to have the ability to create appointments with doctors based on doctor availability. You need to provide them with functionality that also helps to edit, postpone or cancel appointments and to view the calendar with all planned doctor consultations.
  • Communication tools – since telemedicine software provides remote consultations with medical specialists, patients should have the ability to communicate with them. Based on the type of telemedicine app you are going to develop, you can add a built-in chat, video and voice calls, photo-based consultations, etc.
  • Geolocation – patients should be able to connect with practitioners based on their location. This feature can be implemented with the help of Google Maps or similar technologies.
  • In-app payment – integration of payment gateways like Braintree, Stripe, PayPal will allow patients to pay for consultations inside your telehealth app. As a bonus feature, you can provide them with access to the whole history of their transactions within your application.
  • Notifications – this is a must-have feature that you should definitely include in telemedicine app development. With the help of push notifications, you can remind patients about appointments and notify about any changes in their schedules.
  • Ratings & reviews – this feature is important for ensuring a high level of telemedicine services. Patients need to have the ability to rate doctors and provide their reviews. This information will help other patients to choose doctors with the best reputation.
  Telemedicine app development is an area with extensive possibilities of features implementation. Aside from basic features, you can provide some advanced ones:

  • Medications reminders – the telemedicine app can remind patients about the need to take medications or to make timely refills of pills.
  • Navigation – you can help patients to find your hospital by providing route direction inside your application.
  • Insurance plan – it is possible to integrate telemedicine software with insurance providers so that patients could use their insurance for medical consultations.
  • Cloud data storage – this feature can be used to store and manage EHRs, view attacked images, import, and export digital files.
We’ve covered the main features that you can include in a telemedicine app for patients.

Telemedicine Apps Features for Doctors

Let’s proceed to the overview of the features for doctors that can be implemented during telemedicine app development

  • Doctor profile – doctors need to specify their specialization, provide information regarding experience, education, add their licenses, and even set up working hours.
  • Scheduling and calendar – at this section of telemedicine applications, doctors should be able to set their availability, view requests for medical consultation, and have access to the schedule of all appointments.
  • Communication – based on the type of app, you need to implement features for direct patient-doctor communication. Possible solutions include one-to-one messages, voice and video calls.
  • HER access – during consultations, doctors need to check patients’ healthcare records stored within an app or hospital database.
  • Medical prescriptions – doctors should be able to place prescriptions within your application. This feature is great for patients with chronic diseases who need to regularly buy some medicine. Thanks to its implementation during telemedicine app development, they could get the prescribed medications without physical hospital visits.
Telemedicine software can also include some advanced features:

  • Sessions recording – the recording of audio and video consultations might be very helpful for psychiatrists and other doctors. Such records can be viewed in the future to track the progress of treatment.
  • Dashboard and analytics – there are a number of ways in which you can implement this feature.
  • Pharmacy information – integration with the database of drug stores to provide doctors with information on available medications, etc.

How to Build Telemedicine Software

At Addevice, the process of telemedicine app development is divided into 7 main steps. Each stem has its own substages with specialists responsible for each.

Telemedicine App Development Process Breakdown

Let’s take a look at a detailed breakdown of each stage.  

1. Analysis and planning

We start telemedicine app development with project analysis and planning. This stage involved close cooperation of our team with the client, during which we identify the following points:

  • Challenges of our client
  • The best solutions for the challenges
  • The best timeline and budget for the project

The main goal of this stage is to create a basic telemedicine app development project plan. Our clients get an overview of all works and resources that will be involved in the development and make the decision regarding future work with our company.

Key deliverables: plans alignment, project timeline, cost estimation  

2. Project requirements

After our client decides to work with Addevice, our team moves on to the next stage of telemedicine app development. During this stage, we work on the identification of the following points:

  • The target audience for the future telemedicine app
  • Which problems the telemedicine software will solve
  • Technical specifications and possible APIs integrations
  • Security and privacy issues

The main goal of this stage is to get a full overview of the project that our team will be working on together with the client and the alignment of the assigned team with project requirements.

Key deliverables: contract agreement with details like timing, cost, and requirements.  

3. Prototyping and design

At this stage, the actual work on your telemedicine project starts.  During this stage, designers draft wireframes that define in-app user flow and interactions. The main goal is to create a prototype that will provide a great user experience. After the interface layout is finalized with our client, designers move on to the creation of an app’s user interface. At the end of this stage, we deliver an app design concept.

Key deliverables: UX wireframes, UI design, telemedicine app concept  

4. Development

This is the main stage of telemedicine app development, during which our developers are working on the functionality of your telemedicine software. Based on the agreement with our client, it is either possible to develop the first version of a telehealth app to test the idea or to create a platform with robust functionality.

Key deliverables: the first working version of an app or full-fledged telemedicine platform.  

5. Testing and QA

This is a mandatory stage of the development process. Quality assurance engineers thoroughly test the whole functionality of an app to ensure a high quality of code, performance, and smooth user experience.

Key deliverables: telemedicine app ready for deployment  

6. Deployment

Once the telemedicine app development stage is finalized, it is time to launch a new product to the market. Based on project requirements, our team can provide the client with the app’s source code or manage the entire process and publish your telemedicine app on relevant app stores.

Key deliverables:  telemedicine software on app stores  

7. Ongoing development and support

Once your app had been successfully launched to the market, the process of telemedicine app development continues. The main requirement for staying competitive is to provide regular app updates and improvements in functionality. Based on the analytics data that you collect after the app launch, together with our client, we plan for further updates and releases.

Key deliverables: app updates, guaranteed performance, and timely functionality improvements.

Do you want to create a telemedicine application?

Get in touch with Addevice for a consultation regarding your project, timeline, and cost estimation.

Telemedicine App Development Project: Challenges & Considerations

Challenges of Telemedicine App Creation
Telemedicine products are subjected to different data protection regulations and local requirements. There are a lot of challenges and pitfalls that you should be aware of before you start the telemedicine app development.
Note: You can circumvent any challenges with the help of an experienced healthcare mobile app development company.
Let’s investigate the main possible problems and identify the best solutions.

  • Security

Telemedicine applications deal with personal and confidential information. As a result, such applications should take care of the security and protection of the stored and processed healthcare records. An important stage of telemedicine app development should be dedicated to security matters and finding ways of how to provide data protection.

  • Local legislations

Regulatory standards make telehealth a very challenging sphere. In the USA, all mobile applications that deal that patient information must be HIPAA compliant. Each country has its own set of regulations and legislations. For example, in the USA you need to abide by the requirements of HIPAA, HITECH Act, CCPA, and NIST. Canada has PIPEDA. The European Union has GDPR and NIS.

Interested in knowing how healthcare app development deals with regulations?

Our team prepared an article uncovering the secrets behind successful healthcare mobile app development. You will learn the main steps of medical app development, key features, and technical aspects. Check the guide: Healthcare Mobile App Development: Step-by-Step Guide with Business & Technical Insights
  • Technical infrastructure

Because of the specifications of the telehealth sphere, you should be very careful with the integration of third-party services. Before you integrate something into your telemedicine software, study their documentation to ensure their compliance with regulations.

  • Lack of trust

Lack of patient trust might become another huge challenge in telemedicine app development. To ensure patients that they can entrust their health into the hands of your doctors, you need to provide the guarantee of their professionalism, social evidence in the forms of reviews, etc.

  • Hiring a reliable telemedicine app development company

Finding a company that will help with the creation of your telemedicine app is as important as the features and tech stack. There are a few possible options that you can choose: hire an in-house development team, hire freelancers, or find an app development outsourcing company with the needed specialization.   

Working with an outsourcing company is more advantageous for a business thanks to the lower development cost, access to a wide pool of talents, no bureaucracy of the hiring process, and much more. You can start your research with such platforms as Clutch, the Manifest, GoogleFirms, etc., that list the best telemedicine software companies.

Working with an outsourcing company is more advantageous for a business thanks to the lower development cost, access to a wide pool of talents, no bureaucracy of the hiring process, and much more.

You can start your research with such platforms as Clutch, the Manifest, GoogleFirms, etc., that list the best telemedicine software companies.

When you analyze the companies, pay attention to the following factors:

  • Number of years on the market
  • Availability of required talent
  • Relevant experience in telemedicine app development
  • Clients reviews and ratings

Interested in knowing how to outsource telemedicine app development?

Our team prepared a detailed guide explaining the benefits of mobile app development outsourcing in 2020, how to find the best vendor, and circumvent possible challenges. Check the guide: Outsource App Development in 2020: How to Make It Work

Telemedicine App Development Cost

So, how much does it cost to develop a telemedicine app?
Let’s answer the most important question on telemedicine app development.

Before you start looking for a development vendor, you need to understand an approximate budget that might be required for telemedicine app development.

The cost of app development depends on the number of factors, including the location to which you outsource app development, the functionality you want to include, and the business model you are accustomed to working with.

Working with an offshore development company might be the most cost-effective approach to telemedicine app development.

After you decide to create telemedicine software, be ready to spend $60,000-$110,000+ for the first version of your application (single platform – iOS or Android).

If you decide to add even more features or expand to new platforms, the cost of the telemedicine system will rise accordingly. The development of a complex telemedicine app will cost $240,000 for a single app version.

Do you want to know how software development companies calculate the cost of app development?

We have an article explaining the main processes that underly development, how app features influence timeline and cost, and how you can calculate the price of app creation yourself. Check it out: How Much Does It Cost to Build an App? [2020 Cost Calculation]

Monetization Strategies for Telemedicine Apps

How Telemedicine Software Makes Money
The development of any application has the main goal – getting financial gain. A number of approaches can be used to get revenue from telemedicine mobile apps. You need to decide on the monetization strategy before you start the development process to include all the necessary features into your digital product.
Usually, you can use the following approaches to telemedicine app development monetization:

  • Consultation payment – this model can be implemented in different ways with a payment for a consultation, payment based on the consultation duration, etc.
  • Membership/subscription – doctors and/or patients can pay a monthly subscription fee to have access to your solution.
  • Franchising – you can offer your solution on a foreign market by selling a franchise.
  • SaaS – it is possible to offer your telemedicine platform to other medical institutions for payment.

Do you want to know how free apps make money?

We created an article explaining the main monetization approaches in detail. Be sure to check for in-depth insight into the best approaches to mobile app monetization: How do Free Apps Make Money? [Best Strategies for 2020]

Addevice’s Experience in Telemedicine App Development

Addevice is an experienced telemedicine app development company with a successful and relevant experience in the sphere.
Sentinel Health is an app idea that turned into a successful mobile application. Together with our client, we created a robust solution that allows patients to track their health 24/7 with FDA-approved wearables and to communicate with their medical care teams.
To create a robust telemedicine app for iOS and Android, the following solution were applied:

  • Artificial Intelligence – analyzes patient information and generates predictions and possible diagnosis.
  • FDI approval the app collects data from thermometers, blood pressure monitors, glucometers, etc.
  • AI messaging – sends useful information and recommendations to patients automatically.
On the image below, you can see the key deliverables that the developed solution brought to business:
Addevice’s Experience in Telemedicine App Development: Sentinel Health
To sum up everything said above, let’s review the telemedicine app development process again: 

  1. Start with identifying your target audience – companies or patients who will be interested in your application.
  2. Come up with a unique selling proposition – how your telemedicine software will be different from competitors.
  3. Decide on the basic and advanced functionality – come up with features that will help the app meet all your business requirements.
  4. Find a reliable software development vendor – choose a company based on client reviews, relevant experience, availability of needed specialists, etc.
  5. Allocate resources – decide how much money you will need to spend on development, promotions, and app support.
  6. Create business objectives – decide on key metrics to track and measure the results of your work.

Do you want to create a telemedicine application?

Get in touch with Addevice for a consultation regarding your project, timeline, and cost estimation.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are telemedicine apps?
Telemedicine app connects doctors and patients who need remote doctor consultation. Such applications can include different solutions for communication, including AI messaging, voice, and video calls.
What is the cost of telemedicine app development in 2020?
The cost of a telemedicine system depends on the number of supported platforms, tech integrations, and the complexity of features. Basic telemedicine app costs $60,000-$110,000+ for a single app version (iOS or Android). The development of a telemedicine app with advanced features costs $240,000+ for a single app version.
What technologies are used to create telemedicine apps?
Aside from a standard technology stack used to create mobile applications, telemedicine products are usually based on the following technologies: Artificial Intelligence, Big Data, IoT, Blockchain.

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