Last Updated | August 5, 2022
Executive Summary: How to Develop a Telemedicine App in 2022
Healthcare is actively seeking new ways to deliver virtual care to patients. Building a telemedicine app is heavily linked with this new direction. For startups looking to develop an app, we outline cost, features, common errors to avoid, and the right steps to find a development team to get their project well off the ground.
To get the idea of how to develop a Telemedicine App, as you know, the COVID-19 outbreak has turned the healthcare industry upside down.
Providing patients with remote care options has become the primary goal of healthcare companies. This new direction has paved the way for many innovations, and telemedicine app development is one of them.
Telemedicine is the use of technology to deliver healthcare services.
During the early pandemic, the use of telemedicine spiked 38X in comparison to the pre-covid baseline.
This interest was grounded on three factors:
1) increasing consumer interest in the use of telemedicine
2) increasing provider interest in the use of telemedicine
3) the growing need to access care remotely.
Interestingly enough, patients still find it convenient to use virtual care options (in other words, telemedicine), according to a survey by McKinsey.
For patients, telemedicine acts as a bridge to access care remotely, and for healthcare organizations, it reinvents the idea of delivering care to patients virtually and effectively in the comfort of their homes.
Whatever the goal, developing innovative telemedicine applications is the key to better remote care.
In this article, we talk about developing a telemedicine application- along with cost estimation, right features, mistakes to avoid, and selection of the right developer- to help startups or healthcare organizations build an app that caters to patients’ dynamic needs.
Let’s jump right in.
How much does it cost to develop a telemedicine app?
How to develop a telemedicine app? Firstly, you should keep a budget range from $75,000 to $250,000.
Several factors affect the cost variation. The factors can be the kind of application you want, the complexity of the application and the team you select, its technical competence, and location.
We will take 3 factors into account to find pricing options for each. The factors are types of application, the types of the team, and the locations of the team.
To understand the calculation, let’s consider an example of the price of developing an MVP (minimal viable product) which takes 1,500 hours of labor work to develop.
Cost by Type of an Application
Telemedicine applications are mainly of 3 types:
- asynchronous (store-and-forward)
- real-time interactive
- remote monitoring.
Let’s take these types as the basis to find out how medical app development costs vary depending on application type.
- The average cost of a store-and-forward app is $40,000.
- The average cost of a real-time interactive app is $75,000.
- The average cost of a remote monitoring app is $55,000.
Cost by Type of a Team
Another important cost factor for how to develop a telemedicine app development is the type of team.
Let’s find out the cost of a telemedicine app, assuming the development project takes place under one roof from beginning to end.
- An in-house team costs $170,000 on average
- Average cost of a local development agency is $250,000
- An outsourcing development agency costs $75,000 on average
- Average cost of freelancers is $38,000
Cost by Location of a Team
Team location also affects the cost of developing a telemedicine app.
Let’s find out the price of telemedicine apps in regions with most app development startups.
- Average cost in South Asia is $45,000
- Average cost in Western Europe is $75,000
- Average cost in Eastern Europe is $150,000
- Average cost in Australia is $160,000
- Average cost in the UK is $180,000
- Average cost in the USA is $280,000
In addition, there are two other budget items for application developers: marketing and maintenance of the app.
While the marketing budget for an app is twice or thrice the development cost, app maintenance expenses are equal to 25% of the overall development budget.
What Features Does Your Telemedicine App Need?
A good telemedicine app is a combination of great features based on patients’ needs. Adding the right features to the applications increases their chances of making their mark.
Let’s take a look at the list of features that are either essential or complementary to the success of telemedicine applications.
Like social media platforms, your telemedicine app should have profile creation options for both patients and doctors.
The app should display doctors’ credentials, experience, expertise, availability, and ratings from previous patients on their profiles.
Similarly, patient profiles must collect the patient’s demographic data and health data such as symptoms, latest test records, medication history, and information on health conditions.
For keeping the app secure for users, there should be a verification system that both verifies a doctor’s credentials and a patient’s demographic data.
This way, you can ensure there are no bogus profiles and prevent scams.
To a patient, a smooth, secure payment gateway makes a difference.
Add a payment gateway in your app along with multiple modes of payment to let patients pay for medical services conveniently.
In the event of appointment rescheduling or cancellation, make sure this feature has options to credit back the payment in accordance with the rules of payment.
In-app consultation is incomplete without a prescription.
Digital prescription options can allow doctors to provide patients with legitimate prescriptions that any pharmacy or healthcare center accepts.
Appointment management within the app gives patients the flexibility to request appointments with doctors of their preference.
The app should also allow them to add appointments to their calendar and reschedule or cancel any appointment if the need arises.
This feature gathers data on users for app developers to get insight into the number of users using the app, the performance of the app, issues with user experience, and more.
Analytics makes it easy to figure out how the app is doing in the market and solve issues that reduce user retention rates.
EHR System Integration
To do a thorough evaluation of a patient’s condition, doctors need access to patient medical records, previous prescriptions, and test records.
As hospitals and healthcare facilities are moving to electronic health records (EHRs), and more patients are tracking their health on wearable devices, this information can be made available in the app via integration with such devices.
Folio3, a best electronic health records software company provides a wide range of integration services that can help you connect your app with patient health records as well as wearable devices.
How do you find the right developer for your project?
Looking for the right telemedicine app developer in a pool of high-performing developers is a tough part of the app development process.
However, with a proper plan and steps, you can find the right development partner.
Here are a few steps you can follow to partner up with the best developer.
Start with Surf
Search the web looking for the regions where you can find the best developers.
The UK, US, and North America are some good examples.
You can also surf through your network. At times, when you want to hire an offshore telemedicine app developer, you may hesitate to make a decision. By asking for the developer’s work profile, you can try to know more about them through your network.
You can find someone who knows about their work (whether directly or indirectly.)
This step can help you search, scrutinize, and finalize a list of app developers after a thorough evaluation.
Look for a reliable development partner
You must ensure the development partner you choose is reliable.
Since creating and launching an app is not the end, the developer must be there to hear user feedback and improve the product.
To ensure the app runs smoothly, developers can assess the user feedback and make several modifications such as adding new functionality, cutting down the unnecessary features, and filing down the app.
With this in mind, when you are selecting a development team, establish a long-term relationship with them.
Communication is an essential part of any negotiation.
Whether you are looking for a potential offshore developer or a team from within the country, eliminate communication barriers and schedule discussions.
Via direct communication with them, you can learn more about their work and ask them for their past app development projects, pricing, knowledge, and app data security and privacy.
A good developer will have a commendable portfolio and work experience to share with you.
Finalize the Developer and Discuss Pricing
Once you communicate with developers, you can make a decision and decide to work with the developer that deems fit your project needs.
Discuss your project budget and expectations with them. If you still end up agreeing on the similar terms, you are good to go ahead with your project.
What are the costs associated with launching and maintaining a telemedicine app?
The cost of launch is usually a part of the overall budget.
Since launching an app is not simply about uploading it to a store, but also marketing it to users, the budget can go above what we have mentioned above- $75,000 to $250,000.
Before launching the app, gaze into the future and think of the best ways to market your app. Once your app goes live, ensuring ongoing maintenance is important to improve the patient experience.
Launch, marketing, bug fixes, and frequent updates involve costs that vary depending on the developer and how big or small the fixes are.
To get a better idea of the pricing associated with the launch and maintenance of the app, you must talk to your software development team.
What are some common mistakes made when developing a telemedicine app?
Mistakes during app development usually arise when code, procedure, or technology gets lapsed. Managing this area is a part of an app developer’s job. Their team needs to take an insight into issues and find timely solutions.
To give you an account, we have shared some common blunders that happen while developing an app.
Not Following Health Compliance
Every state provides a set of healthcare rules for a telemedicine software development company to follow while constructing the apps.
In the US, HIPAA standards provide rules and instructions on how to make an app HIPAA compliant to ensure the protection of patient health information.
When companies avoid HIPAA compliance, they become subject to hefty amounts as a penalty. In some cases, their licenses get canceled.
Compromising on UI/UX of the App
Compromising on the user interface (UI) and user experience (UX) certainly leads to the failure of apps.
Healthcare users need simple navigation that satisfies their needs. However, the companies that do not analyze target users before starting development projects end up building apps with poor UI and UX.
Features compliment any app.
But, too many features only make applications a mess. There is a common fallacy that more features make applications more desirable to use.
However, our experience shows overstuffed applications appear sluggish and make UX annoying, resulting in heavy and large apps that patients avoid using.
Adopting Competitors’ Approach
Don’t confuse inspiration with copying competitors’ ideas.
There’s nothing bad about seeking inspiration from competitors, but you should not adopt too much from their apps.
Creating a clone of an existing application is 1) ethically wrong and 2) makes no difference in the market which is already full of such apps.
Telemedicine has become a necessity in the digital world.
It is not just linked with innovation happening in the healthcare sector but also with what patients want such as feeling at ease, more educated about their health, and more engaged with their doctors when it is necessary.
Building telemedicine apps that cater to patients’ demands are equally essential today, which is why healthcare companies are actively seeking innovative ideas to create a unique app.
If you have the idea but don’t know how to develop a telemedicine app, the information we have provided above is enough to provide you with a clear roadmap. Based on this, you can expand your search, find the developer, and give life to your app idea before long.
Lastly, I hope that you have find the solution of how to develop a telemedicine app. See you around!
How can you ensure that your patients will be happy with your telemedicine app?
With a telemedicine app, your major aim should be to provide convenience to patients.
Patients look for convenience which is why they favor the idea of telemedicine (as McKinsey‘s survey reported).
To ensure patients are happy while using your telemedicine application, do the following:
- You should have the know-how of how to make a medical app. Learning about building an app can give you a good idea of how the design of a medical app should be.
- Keep the app design intuitive and the interface easy to navigate. To make user experience (UX) better, you can follow examples of UX design in healthcare by Folio3 and invest in a sleek user interface to create a great UX.
- Reduce the costs usually associated with a visit to a doctor
- Patients are concerned about the protection of their personal information, so assure patients of the integrity by keeping their virtual appointments and data collected through the app secure
- Add informational content that patients can check to get the awareness of any disease symptoms
- In addition, include more features like registration, integrated payment processing, and scheduling to give patients an all-in-one platform.