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As technology advances, it continues to transform the industries and make them more customer-oriented, at the same time, bringing valuable benefits to the professionals as well. Telemedicine is one of such new trends and it sparks interest among the companies worldwide.
In short, telemedicine is the process of distributing healthcare services via telecommunication technologies and within the digital environment. Online appointment via a mobile device is a perfect example of a telemedicine product. Considering the valuable benefits that such products bring to both the medical specialists and the patients, the development companies now face a high demand for the telemedicine app development. In this article, we will have a look at the essential features that every telemedicine app should have.
The benefits that telemedicine applications bring to the doctors and patients
Before dissecting the telemedicine app’s functionality, it is first important to understand what exactly makes these apps so popular and in demand. As an example, we shall use an average mobile phone application with an option to remotely communicate with a doctor, make online appointments and receive recommendations on further treatment.
The flexibility of making an appointment
In physical medical centers, patients typically have to wait in long queues for hours in order to get to the doctor’s office. Or they have to book an appointment and wait for weeks (if not months) until the doctor is available.
The telemedicine app takes away this inconvenience and offers a win-win option instead. By using such an app, the patient can simply choose the desired time and date of appointment and wait for the doctor to approve it. In this way, both the patient and the doctor get to choose the most convenient time and adjust their schedule correspondingly.
A telemedicine app eliminates the need to go to the medical center, call, wait for the appointment and for the results. Instead, it allows an almost immediate connection with the available and required specialist and automates many processes. In this way, the app significantly saves time for the patients and doctors and facilitates the process of diagnosing.
Better access to medical records
Due to secure cloud storage, the app keeps the patient’s medical records organized and in one place. What is more important is that these records can be easily accessed by the patient himself and by the doctor. If we compare it to the legacy record keeping when the patient could hardly access his own data and the doctors had to go through numerous papers in order to find the needed one, the cloud storage can be called a revolutionary approach towards medical record management.
These are the biggest benefits of telemedicine mobile applications. As you can see, they are mostly centered around time-saving and automation of processes. The thing is, the biggest issue with current medical services is that many patients do not actually need a physical visit to a doctor’s cabinet in order to receive advice or professional help. We are talking about such common issues as flu, nausea, headaches, allergies, etc. In these cases, the patients only need to describe the symptoms to a doctor and get advice on the corresponding treatment. Hence, a telemedicine app becomes a perfect solution for such situations.
Now that we are clear about the benefits of telemedicine applications, we can overview the basic and essential features that must be considered when developing a telemedicine app.
An option to create a profile
Though seemingly easy, this option is critical for every telemedicine application. The main idea behind it is that the patient’s profile organizes, centralizes and stores all the information about the patient: medical records, scheduled appointments, medical prescriptions. In this way, the patient can manage his data and share it with the doctors. As for the doctor, he can track and analyze the patient’s historical data and better examine the current state of the patient.
Multiple communication options
A good telemedicine app should offer the following communication options to the users:
- In-built live chat
- Video calling
- Audio calling
It goes without saying that all these options should be highly secured in order to prevent any possible external threats and possible data leaks. As well, because the consultations happen in real-time, the app should display seamless performance in different conditions (Wi-Fi, 3G, poor Internet connection, etc.).
An option to share files
A telemedicine application implies that users will share files of different formats – images, documents, videos, etc. For example, a patient can take a photo of a body area (with acne or other skin condition) and send it to the doctor for a diagnosis. Therefore, it is important that the app supports different file formats and allows users to easily accept and open them.
Same as with messaging, the process of sharing files should be highly secured in order to guarantee the safety of the patients’ sensitive data. It is recommended to obtain highly secure and reliable cloud storage in order to keep all the data safeguarded and with an option to manage it from any place and any time.
Geolocation and an integrated map
One more obligatory feature that every telemedicine app needs to have is geolocation and an integrated map.
First, such apps often show nearby pharmacies where patients can buy the medications, prescribed by the doctor. Second, the apps also show nearby doctors or needed hospitals, create the shortest routes and recommend where to find the needed specialists. Thus, this is a very user-friendly feature that adds value to app usage and facilitates the user’s search.
Convenient and secure payment options
There are many options of monetization in a telemedicine app:
- A fixed fee per consultation,
- Subscription like a monthly or annual fee,
- SaaS model,
- Distribution of a product as a franchise.
It is safe to assume that there are hundreds (if not thousands) of financial operations going through the application on a daily basis. Therefore, when developing a telemedicine application, it is important to include multiple payment options and design a secure and reliable payment gateway.
A quick case from SoftTeco: the E-Health platform
In relation to the above mentioned features, we can mention one of our projects – the E-Health platform.
The solution is aimed at providing patients with secondary medical opinions from professionals worldwide. All the patient has to do is to upload his or her medical records and vaccination records in the app and describe the symptoms. After that, the patient submits the information and receives professional advice and consultation from certified medics. As well, the specialists recommend the most suitable course of treatment and provide other useful recommendations.
When developing this solution, we made sure to include all the basic functionality and make the app as user-friendly as possible. The E-Health platform allows users to easily manage their documents and share them directly with medical specialists. As well, we equipped the product with a secure payment gateway and implemented seamless integration with the requested third-party services.
As an outcome, the SoftTeco team developed a highly efficient platform for connecting patients and medics worldwide. Judging from our experience, we can say that the development of telemedicine applications requires a high level of expertise and a deep level of understanding of the users’ needs. Thus, if you have a similar project in mind, do not hesitate to contact us – we will happily discuss your project and offer you a suitable solution in alignment with your business goals.