Telemedicine implies application of information technology solutions for facilitating communications within healthcare systems via interactive means so that remote patients get instant access to medical care services.
Telemedicine apps appear to be the major supply channel of the medical enterprises that need specific telemedicine software for maintaining their level of medical care and management up to date.
As stated in Market Study on Telemedicine conducted by the European Commission, one of the kickstart accelerators of telemedicine apps development is the immense potential of the global well-being market segment.
According to Statista, the global telemedicine market was valued at $18 billion in 2015, and is expected to reach more than $41 billion by 2021. As the recent job postings illustrate, there is a huge demand for telemedicine service specialists, especially in the Departments of Radiology, Psychiatry, Neurology, Family Medicine, Dermatology, Pediatrics, and Allergy and Immunology.
Adoption of telehealth technologies is so wide-reaching that hospitals either actively invest into implementing them within their inpatient facilities or plan to do so in the next 18 months.
In particular, the development of mobile telemedicine apps, which are trend-setters in paving new ways of communication between a doctor and a patient, demonstrates the steady growth with the expected annual rate of 35% in the next few years.
The complex functionality neatly packed in simple mobile interface design for delivering the best consumers’ experience allowed such apps as Doctor On Demand, LiveHealth, MDLive, Lemonaid, HealthTap to enjoy leadership positions in telehealth service.
The beneficial character of telemedicine solutions is confirmed with the facts of its growing popularity among doctors and patients alike. Citing the authoritative source on telemedicine evolvement analysis: “From 2015–2018, Doximity found that the number of physicians who self-reported telemedicine as a skill doubled and continues to increase by approximately 20 percent per year. This correlates with significant growth in telemedicine patient visits, which increased annually by 261 percent between 2015 and 2017”.
Overall, in addition to opening new streamline revenue channels for businesses, telemedicine apps improve healthcare and help achieve a number of significant goals.
Being a relatively new trend, telemedicine grows and changes from the ‘store and forward’ model that implied collecting, storing and sending the data to specialists to ‘tracking in real-time’ model that implies the active usage of medically purposed components synced with the mobile devices.
Taking into consideration the stated facts, it comes as no surprise that telemedicine app development is on radar on many businesses growth plans because it perfectly incorporates within the digital environment of healthcare systems and shows a well-positioned tendency for engaging lots of categories of service recipients:
Telemedicine acts responsive upon incorporating into various healthcare settings.
For instance, it became a routine case for the following procedures:
The cases of telemedicine apps usage range from covering managerial functions aimed at improvement of the healthcare facilities business operations to addressing the specific needs of an individual patient.
As a rule, telemedicine apps are presented with the following components: doctor app, patient app, and admin panel.
Overall, service offerings that provide communications between a doctor and patient greatly vary and may include meetings streamlining, 24/7 access to certified specialists, consultancy on various health-related issues, etc.
For better understanding the core functionality of telemedicine apps, let’s explore in depth those options of telemedicine software that address the specific users’ needs.
Telemedicine apps for patients are marked with features that enable:
Extra features that the telemedicine app for patients could include:
Telemedicine apps for doctors are marked with features that enable:
Other useful features for telemedicine app for doctors could include:
Admin panel is marked with features that enable:
As stated in telehealth history research: “…what really brought a stream of progress and innovation to the field was NASA’s funding of telemedicine projects throughout the 1960’s and 1970’s. As NASA tried to solve the complex problem of providing healthcare to astronauts in space, it also funded telemedicine projects around the country and even across the world”.
It means that history of telemedicine apps dates back to 1960’s, and it could be expected that benefits of apps usage considerably outweigh minor challenges that developers could face. Indeed, the idea of telehealth is appreciated both by patients and doctors.
But despite the rich history and healthcare executives’ encouragement to incorporate telemedicine apps in the medical facilities, it does not completely remove challenges of implementation because most often issues with telemedicine apps development pertain to complex technicalities that can be resolved with choosing the reliable custom software development provider.
Creating the innovative software in telemedicine requires a unified solution for different platforms as one component of the app will be addressing the patients’ needs while the other component will be doctors’ domain.
Why it’s important: Compatibility of two functionality sets, which will progress naturally, must become a major goal at the stage of planning the apps interface.
Another challenge when developing the telemedicine app pertains to backend integration that would enable mediating the data exchange between patients’ and doctors’ apps components.
Why it’s important: Integrating two complex systems is crucial as it allows to send or receive information instantly.
The HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act) Privacy Rule sets standards of protection for individuals’ medical records in healthcare systems including telemedicine, which makes compliance to HIPAA security rule a question of high priority for apps developers.
Why it’s important: Within the communication between the apps, due to the potential breaches of security and sensitive character of the exchanged data, there must be applied the most secure data exchange protocols with strict observance of all the HIPAA requirements.
Implementing telemedicine apps results in ‘switching on’ the numerous legalities. Mostly, users are provided with some reimbursement for telehealth encounters but its coverage differs depending on laws and regulations of the states.
Why it’s important: Thus, some legislative initiatives are still in progress so physicians and patients can participate in virtual encounters but must be aware of complex legal system behind the apps usage.
Delivering health care through telemedicine apps is a trend on the rise due to various factors in favor of embracing technologies for opening new opportunities that telemedicine apps users welcome, and telemedicine growth statistics confirms it.
Besides benefits that doctors and health administrators get from telemedicine apps development, telehealth service proves to be a patients’ best option as it enables hassle-free scheduling appointments, providing frequent consultations, meeting a doctor in the comfort of home, and cutting down considerable amounts of money and time on transporting and waiting, which makes telemedicine apps development a promising sector on the custom software market.
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