Telemedicine App Development – Step by Step Guide & Cost

How to develop a successful telemedicine app? A comprehensive guide and cost breakup

As per the reports of most experts in digital healthcare solutions, the telemedicine market worldwide is destined to grow in leaps and bounds in the immediate future. The COVID pandemic and the lockdown measures fueled this growth prospect further as patients increasingly feel it safe to consult doctors through web and mobile apps instead of visiting in person. No wonder any expert telemedicine app development company is flooded with development queries these days.  

Let’s begin our discussion by mentioning the key advantages of telemedicine apps for healthcare providers and patients. 

Benefits for Patients 

Primarily we should mention the benefits offered by the telemedicine apps to the patients. Here we mention the patient benefits from a telemedicine app. 

  • Easy on-demand reach to expert healthcare providers and doctors
  • Communicating doctors and specialists right with prior appointment 
  • Remote consultation without needing to visit a clinic in person
  • Avoiding long queue to access healthcare services 
  • Reduced cost of accessing healthcare service
  • Accessing emergency healthcare with ease

Benefits for Healthcare Providers

Telemedicine apps, in many ways, boost professionalism and medical service quality and come as a great boost to the entire healthcare sector. Here we mention the key benefits of telemedicine app for doctors and healthcare providers. 

  • Enhanced collaboration with professionals to offer better treatment 
  • Offering home-care to discharged patients
  • Delivering healthcare to more patients at the same time 
  • Integrated access to digital reports, EHR and other medical databases and systems
  • Less number of cancellations and opportunities to cater to more patients 

There can be no doubt that telemedicine apps will play the biggest role in the growth and ever-increasing importance of digital healthcare. As a healthcare solution, if you want to take this opportunity and build your telemedicine app to cater to your patients, you need to harness a great app idea that can be useful, hire an expert mobile app development company that can shape the idea with the appropriate choice of features and technology stack, ensure optimum app performance with testing, make a big launch and successfully market the app to reach your audience. 

Covering all these steps here, we will provide you with a comprehensive step-by-step guide to develop a telemedicine app. We will also provide you with a rough estimation of the development cost of a telemedicine app. 

Key Features and Functions in a Telemedicine App

Certain features are elementary in character and define the services offered by your app, and other features are secondary and can be added with subsequent updates. Whether you want to build a doctor’s on-demand app or just a remote appointment booking app, you need to segregate the features as per priority. The first kind of features are must-have ones for an MVP (Minimum Viable Project) app, and the second type of feature can be included with subsequent updates as per the user feedback. Let’s look at these features. 

Telemedicine MVP App Features 

The MVP app version comes with the basic and must-have features defining the core usefulness of an app. After you launch the app with the basic features that define the app’s core functionality, you can further add more features through subsequent updates. Thanks to the MVP approach, you can gradually make value additions gradually over time while keeping things under control. To develop a telemedicine app with MVP attributes, the below-mentioned features are primary. 

Real-Time Audiovisual Appointment 

Through this feature, patients and healthcare service providers and doctors can see and communicate with each other in real-time. To ensure such communication’s security and privacy, the telemedicine app development company must make this feature fully HIPAA compliant. The streaming video quality must be very good to facilitate the detection of vital signs by the doctor. 

Peer-to-Peer Chat Messaging 

This feature will allow healthcare practitioners and patients to communicate and stay in touch through chat messaging. This feature allows doctors and professionals to give instructions, make prescriptions and know about any specific problem patients are facing. Thanks to peer-to-peer chat messaging, doctors, medical professionals, and patients can constantly communicate using the app. 

Backend Database

Backend database in any app serves to store app data and make them accessible to the app users. The telemedicine app’s backend database will securely store all patient information, including patient authentication data and credentials, personal and medical history, lab test data and test images, diagnosis information, treatment and medication data, medication schedule, etc. 

Appointment Scheduling

To build a doctor on-demand app, an appointment scheduling feature is to be given utmost priority. Many telemedicine app users, particularly the doctor’s on-demand app, particularly use this feature to fix appointment schedules with the doctors. There must be an appointment tool to allow patients to schedule and fix appointments with doctors and medical professionals. The appointment scheduling feature should allow ease of making appointments on different dates and preferred timing. 

Telemedicine App Advanced Features

When your basic MVP app is live and running, you can add value with some advanced features to make the app richer with better UX attributes. Your telemedicine app development company can introduce these advanced features through future updates. 

  • Group chat and conferencing help multiple doctors and professionals to communicate in real-time. 
  • EHR integration to keep all patient information in sync with healthcare services. 
  • E-prescriptions help doctors issue prescriptions easily. 
  • Mobile payment integration helps patients instantly and effortlessly make patients to doctors and healthcare service providers through mobile devices. 
  • Medical IoT integration to keep data from medical equipment synced with the app. 
  • Healthkit and GoogleFit integration to keep doctors informed about patient’s health data. 
  • Inbuilt chatbot to communicate with the patients and answer their queries without manual involvement of the service providers.
  • Separate user interface for nurses, support staff, lab professionals and medical technicians. 

Technology Stack for Telemedicine Apps

All the features and functionalities of telemedicine apps that we explained above need to be designed and built with the appropriate technology stack. The choice of technology stack also depends on the app budget. Now that we gave a fair idea of the key telemedicine app features, functions and budget constraints, let’s discuss the technologies and tools required to develop a telemedicine app. 

Technologies for Front-end development

  • React Native, ReactJS, VueJS, and NextJS are top frameworks to consider. 
  • Netlify, Vercel and AWS S3 for deployment. 
  • Ant Design and Bootstrap for design and prototyping. 

Technologies for Back-end development

  • NodeJS, Ruby on Rails, NestJS or ExpressJS for backend development. 
  • Twilio and Vonage for real-time video streaming or video conferencing. 
  • Twilio and Socket.io for chat messaging feature. 
  • PostgreSQL, MySQL and MongoDB for databases. 
  • For integrated payment gateway Stripe, PayPal or Braintree. 
  • AWS, Google Cloud, Terraform, Kubernetes or Vault for cloud deployment. 

Other Technologies and Tools

  • Elastic search and Algolia for a flexible search function. 
  • AWS SES and SendGrid email marketing. 
  • Google Maps for geolocation and GPS tracking 
  • Firebase Cloud and Twilio for cloud-based messaging 

Steps to Build a Telemedicine App

Now that we have explained the key features and required technology stack to develop a telemedicine app project, it is important to know the exact steps leading to developing a robust and feature-rich telemedicine app. Here we describe the steps involved in telemedicine app development. 

Market and Competitor Analysis

Who is going to use your app, and how it delivers something unique and better than other competitor apps? Based on this, make a business model that defines how you will earn through the app. If you build a doctor on-demand app, you need to plan a different budget from a clinical lab app to book medical tests. When your objective is set, you need to plan the app budget and accordingly make a plan to start the development in phases.

You need to do a deeper study of all the telemedicine apps that are popular in the market and know their features and shortcomings. You need to understand the key factors behind their success and what is missing in these apps. At the same time, you need to evaluate each app’s development budget separately and accordingly plan your app’s budget.  

Make a Plan for the App Infrastructure 

Based on the project requirements and how your app is going to earn revenue, you need to come with a plan to achieve your target. The first and foremost thing you need to plan is the data infrastructure of the respective telemedicine app, how the app will use various features, and the key functionalities you need to decide. 

UX/UI Design 

An app’s look and feel are crucial to impact the user engagement and business conversion of an app. This is where the UI/UX design plays an important role. The UI/UX design will help decide the app’s look, feel, layout, and navigation elements. This is one area where you cannot compromise, and you need to use the best design prototyping tools and ensure extensive A/B testing for each UI/UX element.  

Project Management 

For any app project, project management plays the crucial role of sewing together different facets of an app development project. The entire app project needs to be guided by a professionally skilled and experienced Project Manager. An experienced project manager versed with software development best practices, the latest methodologies, customer communication protocols, and project workflows can make a difference with an app project’s outcome.

QA Testing

Next in line is Quality assurance and testing. The QA testing will ensure optimum quality, app performance and smooth functioning of a telemedicine app. Evaluating performance issues, detecting bugs and coding errors, addressing common pain points in the user experience, quality assurance, and testing in many ways help your app project stay on the right track.  

Optimize Marketing Channels

No app project just on its own can get popular and well known unless and until a solid marketing strategy backs it. But as the app market is getting extremely competitive, app marketing starts way before the launch date. As the app marketer, you need to stay on the advanced footing to reach your audience soon after the app idea is shaped and enter the development lab. 

Before the app is launched, you need to have a solid pre-launch marketing plan ready and rolling. You need to create buzzwords, target specific marketing channels and reach out to an audience for whom the app is really useful.  

As per the social channels your audience prefers and the content your audience likes, you need to have an ideal marketing and content strategy for your telemedicine app.  

The Cost of Building a Telemedicine App

Before we decide to assess the development cost of a telemedicine app, let us take it into cognizance that telemedicine apps can vary in terms of objectives, features and user experience attributes. 

For the present course of assessment, we can take the project to build a doctor on-demand app involving video and audio calling and chat messaging features. The cost components can be assessed in the four stages mentioned below. 

Business Analysis of the App 

The business analysis is the stage in which extensive research is carried out to find out the app features addressing specific user demand, the competitor app markets, useful features and scope of development, and the target audience’s specific requirements. The market and audience analysis and concept development may involve $2000 to $5000 cost. 

User Interface (UI) and User Experience (UX) Design

One of the major cost components in any app project is User Interface (UI) and User Experience (UX) design. Telemedicine app can hardly be an exception in this regard. Based on the app idea and the specific attributes, the designer must create the user interface (UI) and user experience (UX). The cost of UI/UX design may range from $5,000 to $8,000.

Development and Support

The principal cost component refers to the core development and support. The basic and minimum feature set that we explained above may require a budget of $75,000 for building app versions for iOS, Android, and web.

Marketing

Finally, you need to have a good marketing budget involving both pré-launch buzz creation, app launch event and post-launch app marketing budget. Typically for a new telemedicine app, the initial marketing budget before or after launch can be around $5000 per month. 

Conclusion 

We have explained almost every detail regarding the key steps, features and budget estimation for a telemedicine app project. In this respect, it is worth remembering that the app budget may also involve other cost components and considerations if you add many advanced features. We only tried to make an estimate based on the elementary features.