Post-pandemic realities have affected the way people consume healthcare services. Experienced the advantages of remote format, more than 40% of surveyed consumers claimed that they would continue using telehealth after the lockdowns. In this light, telemedicine software development is a great choice to invest in.
Moreover, not only global situations increase demand for online healthcare services. Telehealth websites or mobile apps are convenient, especially for modern people. Instead of finding a time to visit a doctor, waiting in the long line, or being at risk of exposure, they will be able to schedule an appointment with a therapist and get care in a few clicks.
Doctors and hospitals will also benefit from telemedicine software solutions. Private medical practitioners won’t need to rent working space, while healthcare facilities can reduce the number of hospitalizations. Besides, both sides acquire a powerful channel for distributing their services.
However, telemedicine software has its own specificities you should know. So here’s a complete guide to telehealth software development. We’ll discuss how to create a telemedicine platform along with core features and monetization strategies.
What is Telemedicine and What Software is Used in It?
Telemedicine stands for the use of electronic communication technologies and software to track and treat patients instead of in-person visits. Simply put, telemedicine is a way of bringing medical care to patients remotely.
Its core purpose is to deliver on-demand access to different medical services for people while lowering doctors' workload. Telehealth software solutions enable people to reach the physician anytime from miles away, and healthcare providers can manage their resources effectively and attract new patients without high costs.
Telemedicine Market Overview
Nowadays, the telemedicine market is at the peak of its success, and it has many optimistic predictions. The global telemedicine market was valued at $72.7 billion in 2021 and is expected to reach $168.4 billion in 2026. The reason is that virtual care delivery is a response to social distancing demands implemented in many countries. On top of that, telemedicine helps healthcare providers communicate with patients effectively and deliver improved solutions to their health concerns.
Telemedicine market value prediction. Source: Polaris Market Research
Technologies Behind Telehealth Solutions
Video conferencing. In some cases, patients already know what their symptoms stand for and just want to confirm the diagnosis. Audiovisual technology allows users to get virtual consultations via the camera of mobile devices, desktops, or web applications. Instead of waiting in a long line, they can schedule an online meeting with a doctor.
Store-and-Forward. Store-and-forward functionality allows recording, storing and transmitting patients' medical records to various healthcare professionals at another location for examination to create a treatment plan without a face-to-face visit. It’s also a great method to analyze visible symptoms like bruises through photos.
RPM. Remote patient monitoring (RPM) refers to the use of cloud computing technology that makes it possible to gather patient-generated data, and hand this information to doctors. RPM solutions aim to identify the symptoms early and make medical assistance possible for patients remotely.
No project idea won’t last long without funding. The most common way to monetize your platform is to charge a certain fee to patients each time they pay for a visit. The cost per consultation will depend on the duration and doctors’ specialties. For instance, the Doctor on Demand service takes 25% of transition fees. The patients pay $75 for a 15-minute consultation with a medical doctor. If we talk about medical establishments, there is a practice to take a certain percentage to hospitals for each employee every month for using the software. Again, the Doctor on Demand platform charges $1 per specialist per month.
Here are some other revenue models for telehealth software development.
- Annual membership. Patients pay an annual fee, and payment is charged for every medical care they get.
- Monthly fee. This model implies that both patients and providers pay a monthly fee for using the software.
- Franchising. If your market is oversaturated, why not shift your focus and franchise your system to other countries.
- A per-minute charge. This approach requires charging a per-minute fee to patients for consultation with a doctor.
Technology Trends in Telemedicine
The majority of current development trends can be of advantage to telehealth software development. Artificial intelligence, the Internet of Things, Big Data, and others will contribute to better delivery of healthcare services. Let’s discuss the most demanded technology solutions in brief.
Artificial intelligence. AI-based chatbots are made to deliver care to patients fast. They can consult patients on their symptoms and transmit the record to their doctors for setting up a treatment plan if needed. Besides, chatbots can answer questions concerning physician's schedules, competency, and more. Research claims that hospitals that apply AI-based apps can save about $150 billion each year.
Internet of Things. Connecting IoT sensors to a diverse range of mobile devices will improve monitoring of health conditions, diagnosis, prescriptions adherence, and more. For example, using wearables, and other medical devices patients will be able to track temperature, blood pressure, heart rate, and other attributes and send the results to their therapists for further analysis.
Augmented Reality. AR technology will enable the visualization of healthcare information in a multidimensional way. For example, detecting disease through image recognition can help doctors diagnose patients with real-time screening analysis that is just as accurate as done by experts.
Our extensive guide on the role of IoT in Healthcare covers some great use cases of smart solutions for medical industry. Check it out!
How Does Telemedicine Software Work?
The core purpose of telemedicine software development is to create a suitable environment for physicians-patients relationships. Commonly, telehealth software solutions can be divided into four types:
- On-demand urgent care. Emergency care gains from digitalization the most. According to research, about 20% of emergency care given in healthcare facilities can be provided online. To create a custom telemedicine app of this type, you’ll need to add video and audio support, Google calendar, schedule-related features, document management, and integrate the EHR system.
- Planned care. This type runs for a patient checkup after an in-person visit. The doctor handles the patient according to their treatment plan. Users can send text or voice call messages to the physician if they have treatment-based questions (e.g., drug schedule, result monitoring, etc.).
- Mental support. These days, such a type of software is acquiring popularity because many people experience physical and mental overexertion. They allow you to deliver mental health services to users' homes, making them feel safe and secure.
- Self-care tech. There are a variety of self-care applications, but few of them provide professional support for patients. This type of software enables users to track their well-being, such as blood pressure, heart rate, oxygen level, or amount of pills that need to be taken by themselves. Such platforms have proven their efficiency in caring for long-term health conditions such as asthma or cardiac failure. However, such solutions are coupled with IoT devices.
Types of telehealth software
Technical Side of Telehealth Software Development
How to make a telemedicine app? Despite the type of healthcare solutions you choose, all the telehealth platforms include both the patient's and the doctor's sides. Below you find what features are required depending on the role.
Telemedicine Software Features for Patients
First place — sign-in feature. Since telemedicine applications store a lot of sensitive information, the registration process should meet EHR integration norms and allow document uploads. Patients can register via email, mobile phone, or use third-party services, like Facebook. It’s vital to consider two-step authentication via SMS or email to guarantee data security. Besides, it’s crucial to encompass data privacy agreements available on the main screen.
After the registration, a user should be able to add their personal information such as name, age, gender, personal preferences, location and allow for synchronizing with existing hospital records. User’s EHR is must-have data in the profile. Based on this information, physicians can evaluate a patients’ medical conditions and examine their therapeutic history, and patients can make an appointment with doctors.
This is a key feature in telemedicine software development. Remember that video and audio should be transmitted in high quality to enable doctors to see the symptoms and determine the diagnosis correctly. Moreover, the data transfer speed may vary depending on users’ connection, so your software has to adapt the video quality automatically to provide flawless information delivery. For this purpose, you can apply such streaming protocols as RTMP (Real-Time Messaging Protocol) and WebRTC (Web Real-Time Communication).
Minor issues like a runny nose or cough don’t require a video call. Instead, the patients can text a doctor to ask for advice. This option will allow physicians to answer in their spare time without distracting from other patients. Besides, users can attach photos and files for visual clues. Twilio is a great tool for live chat implementation.
This feature will allow patients to track and manage appointments with doctors. Users should be able to see the physician's available time, their planned meetings and have the ability to cancel their appointments. Once the appointment is approved, the users get a confirmation email or text message. If you’re going to build a telemedicine app, integrate Google Calendar using Google Calendar API. Thus, patients will be able to reschedule meetings and see doctor’s free time slots right in the calendar.
Apart from calendar notifications, users can get custom ones to get notified about monthly visits, prescription renewals, and physician queries. Besides, they will help you to inform your customers of future updates.
Patients should have an opportunity to leave a review about their visits to doctors. Include the rating system to enable users to rate the doctor (for example, with the help of a scale of one to five) and put a comment. Based on users’ feedback, physicians can monitor their performance and improve the quality of their service, if needed. Moreover, other customers’ reviews will help users to make more considered choices and find reliable specialists.
Payment functionality is vital in telemedicine software development. You can integrate payment methods like PayPal, Stripe, and Braintree, create custom payment services or use third-party services like MasterCard or Visa. The main advantage of payment gateways over the 3-rd parties is that they take care of fast, secure transactions and are easy to implement. However, if you want to create a custom system service, you must follow the latest data regulation and security protocol. In this case, it’s better to cooperate with a professional software development company.
Telemedicine Software Features for Doctors
The doctor's side also has some specific telemedicine app features. Some of them are similar to the patient's side, while others are different. Now, let’s consider what features should be implemented from the physician’s part. Some functions are similar to the user's side, while others are different.
Physicians also need to set up their profile, entering their specialization, qualifications, experience, and more information. Client's rates and reviews, and shifts should also be included in the profile.
Electronic Health Records
Before the meeting with the patients, the doctors need to be provided access to the patients' EHR. Thus, they will be able to diagnose clients' health conditions accurately. Ensure the physicians can't download users' medical files from your database. In case of phone loss with sensitive information, both of you will be fined.
Telehealth software development implies two-sided communication between patients and physicians. Doctors should also have the ability to text or call the patients to ask for test results, treatment process, or state of well-being. In case there is a need for a planned physical examination, the doctor should be granted to schedule an appointment with the client by themselves.
Internal data exchange
The doctors may need to hand their patients to another specialist. In this case, they should be able to exchange the clients’ information between departments. Your task is to provide smooth and secure internal data exchange.
What are the Benefits of Telemedicine Software?
Telemedicine software brings significant benefits to patients, doctors, and healthcare providers. Accessibility and seamless delivery of healthcare services are among the common reasons to integrate telehealth software development. Let’s consider the main advantages each party can achieve using your software.
Benefits for Patients
Patients get high-quality care at the desired location. It means that there is no need to schedule an appointment beforehand, waste time on the road, or wait in long queues. It’s especially relevant for people who live in distant areas with no healthcare establishments nearby.
Healthcare services become available for people at all times from any part of the world. From the remote-controlled medical robots applied to simplify surgery to more simple healthcare apps to track blood pressure. Going even deeper, some technological solutions in healthcare will be able to inform people on best practices.
Reduced service cost
Telemedicine solutions are more cost-effective than traditional care methods. The growing adoption of telemedicine technology during the COVID-19 pandemic pushed healthcare providers to offer packages with various telehealth services to deliver instant medical care at an affordable price.
Benefits for Healthcare Providers
Video meetings are more time- and cost-efficient than in-person visits. It means healthcare facilities can save on rent and running administrative facilities, looking for suppliers, and hiring personnel. In addition, theshows that telehealth applications reduced maintenance costs by 94% on average. On the other hand, hospitals will get higher client flow due to patient reduction, thus, will be able to earn money in the short term.
Better cross-team cooperation
As telemedicine software continues to be updated, the health care practitioners will be able to learn new processes and obtain sophisticated skills to provide effective telehealth system management. Additionally, this intent may stimulate the employees to attend specialized courses, contributing to better team collaboration in the future. In fact, about 80% of errors are connected with personnel miscommunication. A well-educated solid team will help healthcare institutions to make the most out of telemedicine software, thus, improving patient care.
Fewer canceled visits
It’s pretty annoying for clinic staff when patients don’t attend the scheduled meetings, cancel or reschedule them at the last minute. Based on, such appointment cancellations cost healthcare providers over $150 billion annually. Telemedicine software development enables the replacement of physical meetings with virtual ones. Doctors will be informed about patient’s cancellations through push notifications or in-app calendar notifications. As a result, they'll be able to consult more people without wasting precious time.
Benefits for Doctors
Efficient time management
Researchthat more than 15% of physicians experience burnout in work. In-app schedules and push notifications will allow for better time management and work-life balance. The doctors will be able to make schedule changes, browse the patients’ medical history, arrange the meetings, or apply for sick days with one click. It will result in better patient examination and prescribed care.
Custom telemedicine software will make it possible for doctors to access and store patients’ EHR effectively. In a conventional hospital, it’s quite challenging to find clients’ records or hand them to other specialists for accurate medical prescriptions. Digital solutions will guarantee seamless data access and transmission.
Healthcare solutions work great not only for medical-related issues but allow companies to automate administrative processes. There won’t be there won't be a need to fill various forms and internal documentation, as most back-office functions will be automated. Breaking down this inefficiency will lead to higher profits and quality treatment.
Learn how healthcare CRM software development can help you automate and digitize routine tasks.
Best Telemedicine Apps on the Market in 2022
Some healthcare providers went through digital transformation a long time ago. Business owners realized all the advantages of remote healthcare services for both patients and physicians. Let’s discuss the best examples of telehealth software development to gain insights from their experience.
Teladoc is a HIPAA-compliant telemedicine platform that offers healthcare services in 16 countries, including the US, China, and European countries. The service charges $40 for general medical services (with insurance) and $75 before insurance.
The system provides a number of features that enhance users' experience. Apart from video conferencing, audio and text messages, patients can schedule an appointment for family members from one account. Doctors can also send medical prescriptions to your nearest pharmacy or scrutinize lab results. Patients can reach the physicians by phone, web, or mobile app. Teladoc$503 million in revenue in the second quarter of 2021. The total visits reached 3.2 million users in the first quarter.
Doxy Me is a user-friendly telehealth platform that delivers medical services across 136 countries. It provides both free and paid plans, including custom healthcare solutions for large enterprises.
It lets patients get consultation via live chat and video/audio calls, creates waiting rooms, monitors the queues, and browse meeting history. Purchasing a paid plan, users get access to group calls, screen sharing, and files exchanged. There is no download, and the service is accessible on laptop, smartphone, and desktop. The company’s annual revenue is approximately 24 million per year. Doxy Me has experienced 700.000 visits in December 2020.
American Well (AmWell) is a full-packaged telehealth solution used by over 81.000 healthcare providers. The platform brings together Electronic Medical Records (EMR), diagnosis services, and it’s integrated with insurance companies. In the first quarter of 2021, Amwell$270 million with 1.7 million visits.
The service enables video calls, real-time messaging, image sharing, pre-scheduling, and health metrics monitoring. Besides, it has a pre-visit chat, Google map pharmacy selection, and allows patients/doctors to invite additional participants to a multiway video.
Telemedicine app examples
Challenges of Telemedicine Software
As you’ve noticed, telehealth software development brings significant benefits to users. However, there are some specificities you should know. Let’s consider each of them in detail.
First and foremost, you have to provide all security measures to protect personal users’ data. For this purpose, you can apply different telemedicine tools, protocols, and algorithms. Here are the key points to consider:
- Maintain compliance. Ensure your telemedicine platform complies with all regulatory standards, which we’ll discuss below.
- Encryption. Use encryption to decrease the impact of negligent data loss and cyber-attacks. The most popular standards for telehealth app development are AES 128 Bit and SHA 256.
- Self-assessment. To guarantee complete data protection, you must perform self-examination and look for vulnerabilities every time software is upgraded.
- Patient education. The patients should also be aware of data security standards and include strong passwords, virus protection, and firewalls wherever applicable on the devices used for medical consultation.
Since telehealth software solutions process personal patients’ data, they need to be implemented according to specific regulatory and medical standards. These rules are written to protect critical information and prevent cybersecurity violations on time.
Here is the list of country-specific standards that your telemedicine software has to agree with.
- HIPAA (United States)
- PIPEDA (Canada)
- IEC 62304 (international)
- DICOM (international standard to manage medical imaging data)
- ICD-10 (international classifications of disease)
- Data Protection Directive 1995/46/EC (Europe)
Your medical application should also be compliant with FHIR and OWASP requirements. Besides, you’ll need to apply secure messaging and encrypted data transmission protocols to transfer patients’ EHRs and EMRs within and outside healthcare organizations.
Full HD video is vital in case of patients’ physical damages. Poor video can result in incorrect symptoms interpretation and diagnosis. Thus, a good device camera is crucial. However, in some cases, the invalid code and bandwidth issues could cause poor video quality. So consider an IT vendor that knows how to build a telemedicine system with video chat support and has in-depth streaming expertise.
Telehealth Software Development Process
Creating this kind of software demands substantial responsibility and thoughtful preparation steps because it directly influences people’s health. As a telemedicine software development company experienced in the healthcare niche, we’ll discuss the appropriate steps you should take to design a user-centric app.
Step #1. Planning
So, you've decided to build your telehealth platform. But, before you get down to selecting the right type, platform or technologies, define the purpose of your future product. As for telemedicine apps, it’s a value that you’ll bring to your potential users. For instance, you want to develop a healthcare solution including powerful video conferencing software to simplify patient-doctor communication, or you intend to design pharmacy management software to automate pharmacy-related processes, or you need an all-in-one solution.
When you determine the problem worth solving, it’s time to analyze your main competitors and market leaders. Pay attention to their strong and especially weak sides to figure out what you can do better to attract more leads. The next step is to know your target audience. Again, careful analysis and research will allow you to segment your audience and develop features that will meet their expectations and proof of demand. On top of that, you will need to consider high-level integrations (e.g., with EHR), collect compliance requirements for relevant regulations such as HIPAA, and determine the software license required.
Step #2. Discovery Phase
The Discovery phase is vital for telehealth software development because clients and software engineers might have different visions of required features. At this stage Business Analysts scrutinize your business goals and project concept. After that, they prepare a project specification that details information about the product: features, design, tech stack, number of third-party integrations, etc. Finally, after all the information is analyzed, you get a final estimate.
Step #3. UI/UX Design
At this stage UI/UX designers define the core user scenarios (e.g., video meeting arrangement, prescription renewal), visualize the main features of telemedicine software, and plan convenient customer journeys for all users involved. Then, they prepare an app prototype that shows how the platform will look in the future, perform, and its capabilities. Finally, designers create appealing user interface elements.
Step #4. Product Development
It’s the most crucial and challenging part of telemedicine platform development. It stands for developing the server-side of the product, APIs integration, and turning attractive UI design into working software. It’s better to start with minimum valuable product development (MVP) to test the software idea and launch the app with minimum investments. The core idea of MVP is to develop a telemedicine app with enough features to attract first users and receive initial feedback. Further, once you start making a profit, you can reinvest in implementing advanced functionality.
Step #5. Testing
It’s impossible to deploy the telemedicine platform without complete testing. At this stage, QA engineers conduct multiple tests to verify the product’s functional requirements, find and fix possible bugs and malfunctions, check software security and regulatory compliance. After that, they enter the results into the bug report and transfer software developers for further fixing. Before the final client review, QA engineers check all the functionality to ensure it performs as expected and complies with project requirements.
Step #6. Delivery and Maintenance
Once all previous telehealth software development stages have been passed, it’s time to deliver a ready-made application to the customers and stakeholders for testing and acquiring feedback. Based on gathered information, you make improvements, if needed. Telemedicine solutions require ongoing support due to their complexity, so it’s better to continue cooperation with the dedicated development team. They can maintain the software by implementing new functionality or improving the old one, fixing defects, and providing seamless software performance. Moreover, system security and standards compliance have to be checked regularly.
Check our comprehensive guide on healthcare mobile app development: cost, features, and compliance
How Much Does Telemedicine Software Cost?
Telehealth software development cost varies depending on software type, features’ complexity, design, integrations, and software developers’ rates. However, if you consider all of them, the average cost to build a telemedicine platform will range between $150,000 and $250,000+. Unfortunately, no specialists can tell you the exact price until they know the required functionality and what type of telemedicine app you want to create.
If you decide to build an app, there is no need to employ in-house specialists. There are a lot of experienced telemedicine software development companies available. To give you a hint, we’ve estimated the approximate cost to start your own medical solution in different regions, as well as the average rates of every specialist involved.
|Specification||North America||Latin America||Central Europe||Western Europe||Asia||Africa|
80 - 100/h
25 - 50/h
30 - 65/h
20 - 45/h
25 - 45/h
70 - 80/h
40 - 60/h
35 - 45/h
30 - 50/h
20 - 30/h
20 - 30/h
70 - 80/h
40 - 60/h
50 - 70/h
30 - 50/h
20 - 30/h
25 - 35/h
60 - 75/h
35 - 60/h
25 - 35/h
25 - 45/h
15 - 25/h
20 - 30/h
60 - 75/h
35 - 60/h
25 - 40/h
25 - 45/h
15 - 25/h
20 - 30/h
80 - 100/h
30 - 50/h
30 - 65/h
20 - 45/h
25 - 45/h
Web Team Lead
85 - 110/h
45 - 55/h
45 - 65/h
35 - 45/h
30 - 45/h
As you can see, the rates are very different across the globe. For example, developers from North America have the highest rate, but the price doesn’t always guarantee a quality service. Moreover, finding specialists with the required skills and expertise in local markets may be challenging. In addition, it can be a costly solution since you’ll need to compete for decent wages.
Central Europe has a solid reputation in this field. You can outsource software development to Central-European countries to get lower rates and high developer qualifications. There are many reliable software development companies that can deliver custom software solutions for approximately $25 to $50 per hour. Moreover, hiring globally opens access to a vast pool of talented experts skilled in various technologies, even the rare ones. For example, one of the largest American technological companies, Google, uses outsourcing services for its numerous products and services.
Cleveroad — Your Reliable Partner in Telemedicine Software Development
Telemedicine software development is a multi-stage and complex process requiring thoughtful preparation and knowledge of the field. Along with the development process by itself, you’ll need to meet different regulatory standards to deliver legally compliant software. And the final success will depend on the vendor’s experience and domain expertise.
Cleveroad is a skillful software development company located in Estonia, Central Europe. Since 2011, we’ve been helping businesses create any-scale software solutions in multiple domains, among which Healthcare takes a leading position. Our team has proven expertise in developing medical solutions such as EHR, EMR, ERX, and other custom solutions for Healthcare and Medicine. We help established businesses such as hospitals, laboratories, and pharmacies to provide personalized care, reduce operational load, and bring users’ experience to new heights.
By collaborating with us, you’ll be ensured of the following benefits:
- Hands-on software development experience in Healthcare app creation
- Guaranteed a high data protection level by following best security practices and industry regulations
- A consultation about your project with our domain experts
- Signing Non-Disclosure Agreements (NDA) per your request
- Innovative development approaches and a cutting-edge tech stack
- Flexible cooperation models: dedicated team, fixed price, time & materials
- An initial project estimation from our Sales Managers, without any additional costs
For this time, our team developed and released many software solutions for healthcare providers. The latest one — Telemedicine management system. The platform provides 24/7 access to healthcare services, including video and audio consultations.
An interface of Telemedicine management system by Cleveroad
We’ve successfully delivered a turnkey system, compliant with core healthcare regulations (namely MNRA and CQC), including the following modules (but is not limited to them):
Appointment management module allows the administration to view and control the details of each Appointment, including appointments booked for children.
Patient KYC procedures module enables patients to register into the system by uploading identification documents and taking selfies. We have also added the selfie comparison mode to simplify the verification process.
Patient’s management module contains detailed and secure patients’ data and allows patients to schedule/reschedule meetings with doctors and review appointment history.
Booking system helps patients book an appointment with doctors, starting from selecting the needed specialist and ending by confirmation and payment.
Online meeting functionality allows receiving consultation via voice and audio calls. In order to deliver high-quality processing, we’ve integrated a video conferencing API (Twilio). This feature is available on mobile apps with adapted UI and UX to provide correct symptom interpretation.
A complex project like telemedicine software can be properly developed only with the help of competent experts. Our team is prepared to help you architect a top-notch custom software solution of any degree of complexity and make it modern, profitable, and competitive on the market. So, let's cooperate and develop a powerful medical solution in tune with your time, budget, and expectations.
Telehealth app from domain experts
Get a top-notch healthcare app from professionals with 10+ years of experience in the field
Doctors rely on telemedicine software solutions to bring medical care to patients remotely. Physician can provide vitual consultations via the camera of different devices, create a treatment plan without face-to-face visit, prescribe medicines, etc.
Before looking for custom software development services, you need to define the purpose of your future product, analyze competitors, and determine your target audience. After that, your product will go though the traditional phases of software development life cycle (SDLC): Discovery phase, UI/UX Design, Development, QA testing, and Release and Maintenance.
The most common technologies behind telehealth solutions are audiovisual technology, store-and-forward functionality to record, store and transmit patients' medical records, and remote patient monitoring (RPM).
Telehealth software development cost varies depending on software type, features’ complexity, design, integrations, and software developers’ rates. However, if you consider all of them, the average cost to build a telemedicine platform will range between $150,000 and $250,000+. Each project is unique and should be estimated individually, relying on functionality defined.
Give us your impressions about this article
Give us your impressions about this article
Hi, Alina Rovnaya wonderful article! Thanks for taking your valuable time to share this with us. So far this is one of the best telemedicine software guides I've read on the internet. Keep up the good work with more informative and insightful content.
Since I have done a full research and in the process of developing the telemedicine system I find this article upto my satisfaction and in fact I find some useful information in it.
I'm glad it was useful for you!