Telemedicine is a rapidly growing trend in the world. This is very logical, because. in some cases, it is more convenient for the patient to receive a remote medical consultation than to make an appointment at the hospital, stand in gigantic queues, and spend half a day on a question that can be solved remotely in a few minutes.
Obviously, mobile applications will become the main and most convenient tool for providing such services to customers in the near future.
Also, you need to take care to find a telemedicine app development service that will create the best software solution for you on the market. And now let’s figure out what telemedicine is and how to create an application for this industry.
What is Telemedicine?
Telemedicine is the use of modern technologies and means of telecommunications for the remote provision of medical and consulting services. Thanks to telemedicine, doctors can not only examine patients remotely but also hold consultations, collect anamnesis, request and send information about the course of diseases, prescribe treatment, and issue sick leaves.
Let’s look at telemedicine services.
In addition to remote consultations, telemedicine services involve the use of software and gadgets for monitoring the patient’s condition: examination and observation, measuring pulse and pressure, monitoring blood sugar levels, taking a cardiogram, etc. For this, smart bracelets, video surveillance systems, special stations for quick analysis of patient indicators, and various trackers are used.
On the basis of the data obtained, doctors will be able to draw fairly reasonable conclusions about the condition of the consulted patient. This becomes especially relevant for the care of elderly single people with chronic illnesses who do not want or cannot be in a hospital.
The key issue in the implementation of a telemedicine system is the issue of transferring patient monitoring data to a specialist and protecting them from unauthorized access. To do this, software development is carried out taking into account the latest achievements in the field of transmission and encoding of data in digitized form, as well as using the highest level of information protection.
Telemedicine Technology Tools
In the process of using telemedicine technologies, a large number of methods and tools are used. For example, data can be transmitted via email or through applications for mobile devices. In addition, special medical platforms may be involved.
Among the variety of telemedicine tools, there are 4 groups:
- Live Video Conferencing. This is the most popular group available for all communication methods. It is used both when contacting general practitioners (for example, pediatricians or therapists), and for communicating with employees of an ambulance station. In this case, audio channels such as Skype or Facetime are used for communication. The interacting parties here will be patients and providers who provide telemedicine services.
- Store-and-forward. Using the tools of this group, providers have the ability to transfer data about the patient (for example, it can be a medical history or test results). This type of information transfer using telemedicine technologies is asynchronous and is most often used for medical consultations with more qualified colleagues or doctors of a narrower profile.
- Remote Patient Monitoring. The tools of this group are used for monitoring activities. The data is transmitted in real-time, so that employees of medical institutions have the opportunity to immediately respond in case of an alarm, or to contain negative trends in a timely manner.
- Mobile Health (mHealth). This group of telemedicine tools includes well-known and quite popular for most people medical applications for mobile devices (these can be smartphones, tablets, or laptops).
Benefits for Patients
Let’s take a look at how patients benefit from telemedicine applications.
- There is access to the best specialists. When distance is not a problem, the patient gets access to a huge database of doctors, can choose “the one” and consult with the best of the best, with narrow ones, with capitals, with eminent ones – just choose.
- Saving time. In order for the doctor and the patient to meet, they both need, at a minimum, to get to the meeting point. You can remotely consult from anywhere where there is an Internet connection.
- Saving money for patients. Remote consultation with a doctor costs on average 20-50% cheaper than an in-person consultation.
- Increasing income for doctors. Remotely, the doctor manages to conduct more consultations and expand the client base, not limited to one city/district. For a good specialist with positive reviews, this is an inevitable increase in income.
- Prompt assistance to the patient in an incomprehensible situation. For example, a person feels unwell but does not know how serious it is. Telemedicine allows you to quickly contact a doctor and get advice: on what to do, and whether an ambulance is needed. Or a tourist fell ill abroad: it is worth going to a local hospital, will his medicines from the first-aid kit help.
Stages of Telemedicine Application Development
The development of a telemedicine application consists of 6 stages:
- Analytics and development of technical specifications. Creating a telemedicine app starts with comprehensive analytics of your business, niche, target audience, and competitors. The collected information is used to draw up the terms of reference for the development. It is discussed, changed, and approved, after which we sign a cooperation agreement.
- Design. UI/UX layout development is the basis for creating a telemedicine application. Layout – a technical description of the interface with all the elements and their functions. Before we start designing a telemedicine application layout, we collect user behavior analytics to make it logical and understandable.
- UIdesign. The user interface that UI designers develop is the “face” of the application. At this stage, they not only select colors and shapes for the site elements but also add new options that will help the client on the way to the target action – tips, content, and so on.
- Front-end and back-end development. The backend of the telemedicine application for Android is written in Java and Kotlin, and for iOS, in its native programming languages Swift and Objective-C. At the analytics stage, you will understand where your audience is located and which platform is more profitable. Also, you don’t have to limit yourself to developing two applications. Cross-platform Dart or Python programs can be published to two stores at once. Front-end developers set up the interaction between the technical part of the application and the design layout.
- Testing and publication. Before launching the application, it is checked for stability and speed in order to find and fix bugs, if any. After publication, you can release hotfixes – fixes for non-obvious errors, as well as refine the service by adding new options.
- Marketing. Competent promotion will help you find new customers faster and attract regular ones to the telemedicine application — we can set up advertising in different channels.
In conclusion, it can be noted that in the very near future such projects will appear massively all over the world since such services greatly simplify the life of the patient. And if you want to develop your own application for telemedicine, then you should carefully consider the issue of choosing a telemedicine app development service.