According to a Statista report, the telemedicine market is expected to reach $40 billion by 2021.
Telemedicine app development is an emerging area with huge development potential as it enables patients and doctors to collaborate over distances with the use of technology. It is highly essential for people living in rural areas, who have limited access to medical assistance.
Challenges to telemedicine app development
Following areas present significant hurdles:
- Healthcare usually is resistant to change as Governments, and complex legal requirements are involved.
- Donor agencies also play a role, as they need to ensure that their funds are spent transparently.
- Patients, especially those above 50 years of age, are not well versed with technology usage and are reluctant to adopt telemedicine.
- Information privacy is a crucial concern as patients feel their information may be leaked out, thereby causing distress.
- Patients value trust in their relationship with doctors and want face-to-face meetings as a starting point.
Benefits of telemedicine app development
- C2Solutions shared a report where it was identified that 75% of hospital visits are routine and can be handled through mobile or video call. The commute to and fro from clinic/hospital facility can be easily avoided.
- Due to increasing healthcare requirements, many countries face a shortage of qualified physicians/doctors and have to suffer long waiting lines. The doctors are also stressed due to heavy workload, and a middle ground is required.
- The 75% of patients who have routine problems can quickly benefit from physicians advice through telemedicine. They can do this from the comfort of their homes and the Doctors’ time can be freed up for crucial patients.
The Process of telemedicine app development
How do you start building a telemedicine app from scratch and which resources do you need to consult. A step-by-step procedure answers these questions:
Idea evaluation is the basis of this process because requirements must be crystal clear from a development standpoint. The idea should be viable. Therefore you should know why you want to develop a telemedicine app and what is your target market. The key stages are:
1. Perform business analysis
Customer analysis is the next stage, as you need to know who will buy your product. This is the target market, and their needs/preferences need to be identified preferably through structured surveys, etc.
2. Market research and competitor analysis
Market leaders need to be researched to understand their price and offering. Their ratings, strengths, and weaknesses need to be analyzed, to get a better idea of how your app would perform.
3. Create a unique value proposition
Me-too strategy rarely works in a highly competitive market, and you need to understand your value proposition. Some critical features could be:
Patients and doctors need to have access to a seamless chat experience. They will be reluctant to use the telemedicine app if chat quality is not up to the mark.
The database must have a high level of encryption as patients’ health, and financial data needs to be secured. Credit card information etc. may be stored on your database and any breach would have disastrous consequences. Trust building is an integral issue.
To build patient confidence, the Doctor’s qualification, experience, etc. should be visible in the app. Patients may also be advised to visit doctors (if available in the same city) for the first time, to build trust. Services like Uber may be engaged to offer a discount for such visits, which will build app loyalty.
4. Prototype creation, testing, and results
The prototype cannot be rushed to get an early entry into the business. An app with basic features should be targeted, and access is given to a few users to test and provide feedback. The next stage is to build a high-fidelity prototype with all required features.
5. Identifying marketing channels
Massive advertisements on different channels are outdated. You need to understand where your target market resides and how they ask questions. You need to focus on major social media platforms and reach out to them. Collecting information about the target market’s characteristics will help reach them in the best manner.
Telemedicine app development is a rising business avenue and familiarity with legal requirements and emerging technologies is necessary. Knowing your customer and offering valuable solutions to their health problems is the key to success.