A strong uptake and positive customer perception have together contributed to the rise of telehealth apps across the globe. There are several analyses that indicate how in 2021, the global telehealth market size was risen at a 26.5% CAGR and is stipulated to reach USD 475.50 billion by 2026.
This change from physical doctor visit to accessing medical care online, while borne out of necessity created by the pandemic, has today firmed its ground at the back of these elements –
- Greater consumer willingness to use telemedicine apps
- Increased willingness of doctors and healthcare providers to use telehealth apps
- Regulatory changes enabling access and reimbursement of telemedicine mobile apps
While on one hand, telehealth applications have been playing a major role in making care accessible and affordable for the consumers, the industry also shows potential for the entrepreneurs looking to enter the space.
As per the rockhealth digital health funding report, the venture capital investment in the digital health space in the H1 of 2021 counted for $14.7 billion, which is almost twice the investments made in 2019 – $7.7 billion. Moreover, the revenue of top 60 telehealth mobile apps stood at $5.5 billion near the end of 2020.
As you can gather, the demand for telemedicine app development is not just a consumer-generated need but also one that is profitable for the entrepreneurs looking to enter the virtual medical care space.
In this article today, we are going into the different aspects of how to develop a telemedicine app – the different telemedicine apps features and the cost of telemedicine software along with a number of other key details.
Now before we get into the different facets of telemedicine software cost, let us look into the players you will be sharing the space with.
The Popular Telemedicine Apps
All these telehealth apps come with their share of feature sets. However, the intent of all those features and the apps is the same – making virtual care accessible and real time. To meet the intent, while some apps use new-age technologies, there are others that keep things simple by making it easier for consumers to book an appointment and use the service.
Now that you have a high level idea of the examples of telemedicine applications with whom you would be sharing the telemedicine apps market with, let us get into the technical aspects of the telemedicine app development market.
Must-have Features of Telemedicine Mobile Apps
When you partner with a telemedicine app development company to build telemedicine applications for healthcare, you get two interfaces – one on the patients side and one on the physicians side. While the feature sets for both the stakeholders are more or less the same, there are some which are specific to the doctors or physicians like payment received and manage patients’ EHRs.
Let us look into the feature sets in detail as they highly impact the cost of a telemedicine mobile app.
The sign-in feature is the primary feature of any telehealth application. The patients can be given the option to log in via email or through third party applications like Google sign-in or Facebook Login. However, noting how important it is to secure the data, we recommend adding multi-factor authentication in the application.
2. Profile management
The next step for a user is to set up their profile. For the patients, the profile can contain their basic health details, known health conditions, and treatment history. For the telemedicine platform for doctors, it can contain details of their experience, contact information, the hospital they sit in, etc.
3. Search and filters
The search algorithms in the telehealth apps are used by patients for finding the right doctors. With the help of the feature, they can look for doctors in their locality, in their preferred language, their speciality, their availability, and their consultation fees.
4. Video conferencing
It is the prime element of telemedicine app development and also acts as the key factor of deciding the telemedicine platform cost. The video should be transmitted in the ebay quality to ensure that the physician is able to see the symptoms clearly. At Appinventiv, our telemedicine app developers use streaming protocols like WebRTC and RTMP to enable seamless video chats.
5. Text chats and voice calls
For small consultations, users prefer sending text messages or making voice calls from within the telehealth mobile apps. What helps in aiding this feature is giving users the feasibility to add photos and files of their medical data. As a telehealth app development company, it is important to ensure that the platform is hack-proof and follows the HIPAA guidelines.
The feature set is one of those which is used by both patients and doctors. It enables them to make appointments and keep a track of it. We recommend syncing the calendar with the one that the user uses – Google Calendar or Microsoft Calendar, etc. This way, they will get notifications of when the appointment is due.
Another key feature of telemedicine applications for healthcare is the ease of making payments. As a telehealth app owner you can decide between creating your own payment mechanism or using a third party payment app. Note that creating your own payment model will increase the cost of telemedicine software while using a third part solution will keep it on the lower side. At Appinventiv, we integrate payment gateways in your app which are known in the industry as being robust – PayPal, Stripo, and Braintree.
This is another feature which is the same for patients and a telemedicine app for doctors. It helps with notifying patients and doctors of their upcoming appointment, a new text message or missed video/voice call intimation, payment status, etc. For the purpose of sending push notifications, we generally make use of Firebase Cloud Messaging platform.
With this, we have seen one important element of how to develop a telemedicine app. The next phase is to look into the tech stack that makes the process successful.
Technologies Working behind Popular Telemedicine Apps
When we talk about the telemedicine platform cost, besides the feature set, the other key element that comes up in the conversation is the tech stack that it is built on.
Having looked into the feature and technology elements of telemedicine platform for doctors and patients, the next logical step would be to dive into the cost of telemedicine app development.
How Much Does the MVP of a Telemedicine App Costs?
Building an MVP gets you a working prototype of the app, which is test-ready. This development stage includes:
- A ready-to-implement design which includes all the key features
- The software architecture
- An app that can be tested by real users
Let us look into the hours-wise breakdown of the time it usually takes to build the MVP of a telemedicine application.
The creation of an MVP usually takes up to two six weeks and costs in a ballpark figure of $15,000.
Once you have tested your MVP, it’s time to upgrade it into a full-fledged app. Here, the cost is dependent on several elements:
- App versions – doctor, patient, hospital, admin, etc.
- Deployment platform – mobile, desktop, both
- Technologies used – AI, Blockchain, IoT, etc.
- Complexity of the design
- Complexity of the feature-set
- The location of the development agency
A basic version of the application which consists of a simple design, no technology integration, mobile deployment, and basic three versions – a doctor app, a patient app, and an admin panel will cost you around $50,000 to $80,000.
If you decide to build a feature-heavy telemedicine application which is complex, has technological incorporation, and is designed to support multiple features, the development costs can be anywhere around $150,000- 250,000. And the average development time can be between 3 to 12 months. Let us get on a call to discuss your telemedicine project further.
We have now looked into the technical and monetary aspect of what it takes to build a telemedicine application. The next step? How to monetize from the app.
Let us look into that as the concluding element of the article.
How to Monetize a Telemedicine App?
The monetization of a telemedicine application can be done in multiple ways, one of the most common ways of which is fees. Like Doctor on-Demand app that charges 25% fees from the patients for accessing app features such as doctor consultation, you too can add the fees element in the app.
Moreover, you can also go with a membership model wherein the patients take a monthly subscription of the application and pay for accessing the different feature sets of the app at a discounted rate. Lastly, like Doctor on-Demand, you can provide your product as a software-as-a-service where you can tie with corporations for their employees’ healthcare needs.
With this, we have looked into the different facets of telemedicine app development. The only thing that remains is to enter the business. We can help you. Reach out to us with your telemedicine app idea, our team will make it a reality.