The world saw a rise in telehealth in the wake of the Coronavirus pandemic. The COVID-19 outbreak not only shaped how we approach health amidst social distancing and lockdowns but pushed health service providers to realign their set-ups for the growing virtual care solutions.
The data and analytics firm Global Data noted an increase in the use of telemedicine by 73 percent of medical specialists in the United States due to pandemic. The survey had about 75 percent of respondents hinting to the continued use of telehealth technology even after the virus subsides.
This huge swell in the popularity of telehealth mobile apps surely indicates an improvement in the current technology. With more and more people turning to online doctors what is it that telehealth app providers should consider for an enhanced patient-doctor experience?
Let’s take a look at what essential features a telehealth app must be equipped with
It all boils down to the scale of your app. Whether it’s a bare-bones prototype or a full-scale app, features will vary accordingly. Having said that, there are a few basic, must-haves for all telemedicine apps that you need to keep in mind.
HIPAA Compliant solution: This is a must. Being HIPAA compliant is necessary for any telehealth app. Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) has a framework that protects confidential patient data.
To deal with any platform in the telemedicine industry HIPAA compliance is crucial. The security provided by a HIPAA compliant system ensures the patient data is safe with no chance of it being leaked. Most patients swear by the HIPAA compliant feature and look for the same while choosing a telehealth app.
Browser-based app: As per the trend majority of users prefer Telemedicine that is accessible through a web browser on a smartphone or desktop. Browser-based apps can be easily accessed by anyone. Besides most clinics and hospitals don’t opt for installed software as it may involve system requirements leading to unnecessary processing.
Clinical documentation: Healthcare providers have it easy with telemedicine software that stores, manages records, and keeps a log of the patient-doctor interaction. As a health app provider, it’s important to have a clinic management software as it also comes handy as proof for public health monitoring systems. Users can fill in their data which automatically integrates with the EHR database making patient treatments easier.
Audio-visual enabled: This is yet another feature that is a must in promoting the patient-doctor trust. Both parties can interact via audio and video conferencing during remote consultation. Physicians can identify the visible symptoms making a more accurate diagnosis while patients can effectively communicate their problems similar to an in-person appointment.
Patients prefer having the feature on both their phones and desktop. Further, telehealth apps should also be enabled with group calls and chats so that doctors can add their peers to provide the patient with a better opinion.
End-to-end chat: For a richer and refined patient-doctor experience, enable a chat feature. Both members can make use of the same while on the call or use it post-call in case they have missed out on something. Besides, this is helpful in incidents where the Internet connection is patchy or there’s a communication gap between the two ends.
Smooth scheduling: With the current situation, a few apps may get swamped with the deluge of appointments. This calls in for a robust feature that can handle scheduling and listing a high volume of remote bookings at once. The app needs a doctor scheduling feature that helps the provider manage daily appointments while providing the patients with on-time treatment.
Data analysis and interpretation: Telehealth apps not only offer remote access to doctors online but also help create a database for medical history. Why? For further analysis and studies which not only benefit the patient with better treatment but also the community at large. Physicians can consult with fellow doctors to make a more evolved assessment while the patients get the best evaluation.
Reminders and alerts: Patients need to be apprised of their upcoming appointment. That’s basic. But how many apps get it right making sure that the patient doesn’t miss their appointment? The notifications should be sent in real-time intimating both the physician and patient to reduce the friction in time difference between locations.
Reasons to build a Telehealth app
- Data integration with EHR
- Multiple device accessibility
- Opportunity to treat more patients
- Doctors can work with remote colleagues
- Less number of cancelled appointments
- Data analysis for healthcare systems
What to know before developing a Telehealth app?
- Android or iOS Think about the platform you’d like to build your app for. The US market has more Apple users than Android but if you’re considering a telehealth app project for the rest of the world then make the call accordingly.
- Buy or Build? Should you go for a custom-built app? If yes, then what are your requirements and budget? To initiate you can go for an off-the-shelf product but overtime when your business needs expand, you’d need a customized solution.
- Which APIs would you want to integrate with the app? There are options available to encrypt video calls, real-time communication, and more.
- Focus on user design and Interface. That makes or breaks everything. Since it is a telemedicine app, focus on what your patients want and how to enhance their experience.
Want to develop a Telehealth mobile app?
The telehealth market has gone through the roof and changed the way people access healthcare. With a promise of making remote health possible for all, telehealth apps are here to make a lasting impact on the wider userbase and improve the patient-doctor engagement.
Thinking to enter the healthcare landscape but don’t have the foggiest idea where to start from? No matter what stage of mobile app journey you are in, contact our team of experts here to bring your app idea to life.