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Telehealth Solution Development: Cost, App Features, Pitfalls

Everything goes digital, and healthcare is no exception: according to the CDC report, during the first quarter of 2020, the number of telehealth visits increased by 50%, compared with the same period in 2019. The market is growing rapidly – as of 2019, it was valued at $45 billion, and it is predicted to grow to $386.7 billion by 2027.

Telemedicine dictates the future of healthcare, and the medical services providers have to adjust to this unavoidable shift to keep up. But to excel, they have to become pioneers in developing digital practice patterns. Let’s figure out how much keeping up with telemedicine trends will cost to health services providers.

Types of Telehealth Solutions

Basically, any telehealth solution implies getting medical help with the digital means of communication. The telemedicine apps market is still gaining momentum yet the major types of such solutions have already emerged.

Real-time interaction

This type is also called live telemedicine, and it is very close to traditional practice patterns. The interaction implies real-time communication like video conferencing or consultation by phone. It enables doctors to assess a patient’s medical history, evaluate mental health conditions, and even conduct an eye test.

Remote monitoring

The main idea behind such solutions is to enable medical providers to monitor patients’ health data remotely. These solutions are the perfect fit for patients with chronic diseases since it allows doctors to monitor their vital health data and share it with doctors right away if needed. However, remote monitoring may require special medical equipment. 

Store-and-forward

Store-and-forward solutions enable medical staff to record and access patient medical data (e.g., test results, medical imaging, bio-signals) remotely. Using such a solution doesn’t require real-time interaction between patients and doctors as all data can be collected, uploaded, and left for analysis by another specialist. This type is used primarily for solving minor health issues.

Features & Cost of Telehealth App Development

COVID-19 has changed the way people live, work, and get medical care. Along with disrupting the comfort of the old routine, pandemic acted as a catalyst of emerging new telehealth solutions. Once tried, they would become the new health routine because telemedicine is incomparably more fast and convenient than traditional practices. 

On the telemedicine market, there are already many solutions, yet to deliver the best possible patients’ experience, medical services providers must consider many details. Environment, specificities of particular branches of medicine, patients’ demographic, mindset, and many other points affect the way patients perceive digital health care. That is why there is still no one-size-fits-all telehealth solution, and that is why medical services providers still approach software vendors for developing brand-new solutions.

Digital healthcare solutions are the subject to widely divergent purposes, which poses implementation of specific features. We’ll consider the commonly used ones.

Core system setup and implementation

That includes project setup and such common features as registration, profiles management, notifications, integrations of core frameworks and setup of the basic cloud infrastructure.

Estimated development time: 200-300 hours

Secure Video Calling and Group Video Chats

Video conferencing enables doctors to recognize symptoms of diseases and estimate the overall patient’s conditions remotely. Group video chats successfully replace traditional group sessions and are widely used in mental-health-related solutions

Estimated development time: 250-350 hours

Electronic Health Records

Patient information database enables medical services to manage, search, and display patient data more efficiently. Depending on solution architecture, different databases can be designed including the ones allowing document sharing.

Estimated development time: 100-200 hours

Appointment Scheduling

With telemedicine, an appointment with a doctor is available to patients at their fingertips. No long queues, wait, or odd time consultations – doctors update their schedule, patients pick up free time slots, and that’s it.

Estimated development time: 250-300 hours 

Integration Possibilities

A wide range of third-party services can be integrated into a telemedicine solution: mobile payments, insurance services, health monitoring devices, health monitoring apps, etc.

Estimated development time: 150-250 hours

E-prescriptions

The E-prescriptions feature is one of the biggest advantages of telemedicine solutions since it enables doctors to prescribe treatment and medicine right in the app. Patients can buy medicines using e-prescriptions or get prescribed health services through the app.

Estimated development time: 100-200 hours

Treatment history

With this feature, doctors can assess an entire patients’ treatment history which allows them to view, analyze, and adjust treatment.

Estimated development time: 100-200 hours

Built-in Chatbot

A built-in chatbot saves time for both patients and caregivers since it allows collecting needed medical data before a consultation.

Estimated development time: 200-300 hours

Peer-to-Peer Chat

Communication with other people who struggle with similar health problems can become a part of therapy, so chats are often used in mental-health-related solutions.

Estimated development time: 100-200 hours

Pitfalls of Telehealth Solutions Development

Planning a telehealth solution development, customers usually think about the benefits and advantages the solution would bring to their businesses. Yet there are also some pitfalls to consider and overcome. Let’s figure out the main challenges you’ll face.

HIPAA and GDPR Compliance

When it comes to such sensitive issues as sharing health information, cybersecurity and data protection challenges arise. To gain patients’ trust, protect their privacy, and enable medical services representatives to work in a safe environment, telehealth solutions must be fully compliant with GDPR (Europe) and HIPAA (USA) requirements.

Following data security laws is obligatory if you’re building a telehealth solution, so you can either handle it yourself or entrust getting GDPR or HIPAA certified to your software vendor.

Data Security

This point emanates directly from the previous one. If you want your telemedicine app to disrupt the market, you must provide ultimate data safety to its users.

There are various tools, protocols, and algorithms that would help to protect user data yet implementation of a strong security system is only half the battle. You’ll have to revise it for new vulnerabilities after each update, and you’ll have to train employees to be cyber aware as well as they are the weakest chain in cybersecurity. According to various sources, about half of all data breaches occur due to human error.

Video quality

A trouble-free video connection is essential for telehealth apps otherwise it may lead to misdiagnosis and ruin patients’ experience. Video quality depends on the devices cameras’ quality, and we have nothing to do with that. But we can make sure that everything is good on our end and there are no issues with code or bandwidth.

Trending Technologies for Telehealth App Development

To simplify the interaction between different participants in the healthcare ecosystem and improve the quality of remote medical services, the telemedicine industry has to adopt top-notch technologies quickly.

AI

Artificial intelligence offers new models of providing medical services supplementing innovations in such areas as psychiatry, radiology, dermatology, etc. AI identifies medical issues much faster than people and enables doctors to prevent the consequences of late diagnosis. Simultaneously, using AI in telemedicine decreases hospital overload as it allows remote checking.

Big Data

Big Data is advancing telehealth in several ways. It successfully replaces doctors when it comes to diagnostics due to the ability to quickly analyze a huge amount of medical data. Big data in telemedicine is also used for:

  • predictive analytics of patient’s health history,
  • storing and sharing health data via clouds,
  • post-treatment monitoring,
  • identifying trends and preventing diseases outburst in different areas.

Blockchain

Blockchain in telehealth addresses digital patients’ identity, data sharing, and privacy challenges by means of distributed ledger enhancements. There are many ways both patients and caregivers can benefit from using blockchain in telehealth solutions – from improving clinical and administrative workflow to consent management.

IoT

The integration of IoT into telehealth solutions advances both patients and medical service providers. Patients use digitally intelligent devices that can check their blood pressure, temperature, heart rate, etc. Wearables and other devices collect and share data helping doctors to access the health data, monitor the patients’ condition, prescribe medicines, update health history, and it all remotely.

Business Benefits of Implementing a Telemedicine Solution

Telemedicine is not just the doctor-patient interaction digitalization trend, it’s a new healthcare paradigm. It takes medical services to another level increasing customers’ satisfaction, improving the experience of all health ecosystem participants and bringing benefits to health-related businesses.

Convenience

People used to have many reasons to postpone medical checkups like tight schedules, the necessity to travel to another city to see a doctor, etc. But with telemedicine, all interactions between patients and caregivers are simplified and fastened. Now to access a doctor, patients just have to launch the application. It implies an increasing number of patients since medical services become more accessible. 

Advanced and easy scheduling

Managing doctors’ schedules via a telehealth solution enables hospitals to save time and resources by cutting administrative routines, improving clinical workflows, and increasing practice efficiency.

Errors reduction

Using top-notch technologies (e.g., AI) in digital care solutions helps to make precise and quick diagnoses and avoid the consequences of late medical assistance. It helps to build a strong and long-term relationship with patients and increases NPS score enabling clinics to attract new patients. 

Time Management of Healthcare Specialists

Online consultation requires less time than an in-person one increasing medical staff efficiency. Yet it provides the same quality of care and enables doctors to work remotely that helps clinics to cut expenses on workplaces. 

Unified Patient Monitoring and Management System

A unified and accessible data hub integrated into a digital care solution enables healthcare providers to eliminate expenses on the data storage and practice management software implementation.

Updated and accessible records

Collection, analysis, and update of patients’ health data with telemedicine application eliminates doctors’ participation, therefore, it saves medical providers’ resources.

Automated mundane tasks

Every business benefits from automation since it replaces manual effort and medical services are no exception. Telemedicine solutions enable clinics to cut operational costs and reduce staff overload by executing routine tasks and processes.

Apart from the listed benefits of telehealth solutions for healthcare businesses, there are some other ways to earn within the application itself. Contact us to define the best monetization options for your telemedicine application.

Summary

Telemedicine is gaining momentum expanding access to care and improving patients’ engagement and experience. Implementation of a telehealth solution enables medical services providers to advance new business models, improve clinical workflow, and increase practice revenue.

Equipping medical personnel with a digital means of delivering care is the near future of the health industry. Depending on your goals, you can either build such a solution from scratch or customize an existing one. And when it comes to developing a GDPR or HIPAA compliant telehealth platform or customizing a white-label app on-demand, Itexus can do both. 

There’s no fixed cost of a telemedicine app because it depends on numerous conditions: the set of app features, your vendor’s location, and design complexity. To develop a telehealth platform with mentioned above core features costs roughly 1450 – 2300 hours . Then multiply it by an average developer hourly rate. For example, at Itexus, we apply a $40-$45 per hour rate to Healthcare projects. In the end we get an estimate of around $58 000 – 92 000 .

Drop us a line if you need a new branded telehealth app. And make sure to check out our white-label telemedicine solution that can be customized to meet your specific needs and requirements. 

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