With each passing year, the healthcare industry grows in new and unexpected ways. As our world continues to change and adapt to a new normal, the need for telemedicine is greater than ever. More and more healthcare networks are seeking innovative ways to improve patient care while reducing costs and ensuring safety to all parties involved.
Telemedicine utilizes a broad range of medical services from a distance to thanks to the help of software and communication tools. Developing a telemedicine app or platform can be a great way to aid healthcare communities and networks in growing patient care, yet there are some challenges to expect along the way. Below, we’ve laid out 3 challenges to expect during telemedicine app development.
Why Create A Telemedicine App?
If you want to develop a telemedicine app, you’re in good company. Change is an inevitable part of life and the healthcare field has learned to embrace change ten-fold. Today, most people prefer to make an appointment online, have the ability to view records digitally, and request prescription refills at the click of a button.
Additionally, those with physical limitations or those who may live in a rural area without great health care can speak directly with a doctor or nurse without having to leave home. As many states and countries face a shortage of specialists and healthcare facilities combat long waits, the need for virtual appointments and telehealth is greater than ever.
What Are the Benefits of Telemedicine?
As mentioned above, telemedicine boasts a myriad of benefits to both patients and healthcare facilities. Aside from the ability to cut down on patient wait times, some major benefits of telemedicine include:
- Virtual Consultations: Most of the time, a patient has an idea of what might be going on and they simply require professional confirmation. Other times, patients need a bit of guidance or reassurance when they have no clue what may be happening within. During both situations, getting in touch with a health professional via telemedicine may be just as (if not more) effective than an in-person appointment as the situation can be clarified quickly or more robust medical care can be recommended.
- Photo consultations: Certain specialists can diagnose a patient via photo without the need for physical contact (eg: a dermatologist). After a diagnosis is made, a treatment plan or course of action can quickly be implemented. Given many specialists are difficult to get in touch with via physical appointment, telehealth can take that months-long wait time down to a few days.
- Quick prescription refills Patients often need prescriptions to be refilled or renewed every few months. This can be a pain, as it often requires calling or traveling to see a provider for a renewal. Telemedicine allows prescription renewals to occur at the click of a button.
Challenges In Developing A Telemedicine App
As you can see, telemedicine has plenty of benefits that could garner great profitability for you and fulfillment for patients. Developing a telemedicine app might seem like a no brainer, but there are three key challenges to keep in mind.
- UI/UX Implementation. This is often the most difficult aspect of creating a telemedicine app. As you can see, there are lots of different types of telemedicine apps. Some are designed for patients, while others are more geared towards providers. Each has different functionalities and will require disparate user interfaces to work. Still, you will have to maintain a consistent style and provide an excellent user experience in both versions of the app. That is critical and may require several different GUIs.
- Backend Integration Practices. A great telemedicine app requires strong communication. To ensure better communication, both versions of the app will require backend integration– a separately developed server that seeks to mediate the exchange of data between both patient and provider applications. These data exchanges must be secure and fully in compliance with HIPAA guidelines to protect patient privacy.
- Payment/Billing Practices. A thoroughly developed telemedicine app should be able to offer patients the option of making secure credit card payments or a tool to bill insurance. The app should also be ablet o help providers with 95/GT modifiers and CPT/HCPCS billing codes during the actual billing process. Often times, this is easier said than done.
Telemedicine apps aren’t going anywhere anytime soon. In fact, the demand for such platforms only grows with each passing year. Developing a telemedicine app can lead to great success, but it is best to keep key challenges in mind before beginning. Once you overcome those hurdles, you should be on your way to an app that truly makes an impact.