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The latest digital technologies have taken telemedicine and telehealth to the next level. What started as a simple sharing of patients' information has grown to include real-time tracking of patients' vitals, virtual consultations, and advanced patient records management.
Many healthcare providers are in a race against time to develop innovative mobile healthcare solutions. The problem is three-pronged: idea validation, expertise, and efficiency. With the first one, you should devote a significant amount of time to the product discovery and ensure the app will meet the users’ needs. Secondly, you need a team of developers who are experienced in healthcare software development processes. Finally, you want to save costs and maximize value through healthcare apps.
All in all, it comes to one point – outsourcing some parts of your healthcare product development looks like a great solution here. We at Uptech have expertise in healthcare app development. In this guide, we discuss the state of telemedicine and telehealth, how healthcare providers can deploy emerging technologies through mobile healthcare apps, and what these top technologies are.
After reading this article, you will clearly understand why developing a telemedicine app is a worthy investment. But first, let's address the common debate: telemedicine vs. telehealth.
Telemedicine Vs. Telehealth: Is There A Difference?
These days, telemedicine and telehealth are often used interchangeably though the terms have a little distinction.
What Is Telemedicine?
Telemedicine uses information and communication technologies (ICT) to help professionals diagnose and treat patients in remote locations. Health professionals use computers, mobile phones, mobile applications, messaging, and videos to offer clinical services to patients remotely. These technologies allow physicians and their patients to share information in:
- Real-time video calls.
It all allows doctors to monitor and treat patients without being physically present. Three broad categories that describe the practical applications of telemedicine include:
Telemedicine allows doctors and patients to communicate in real-time in compliance with regulatory standards like HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act).
Store and Forward
Telemedicine allows medical professionals to share patient records with each other or with approved institutions in other locations without abusing the rights of the patients.
Remote Patient Monitoring
Telemedicine allows physicians and other medical staff to monitor their patients from a remote location. It uses mobile technologies to enable the collection and sharing of patients’ information like blood pressure and blood sugar levels with doctors. The patient or caregiver may acquire the data using mobile medical devices and forward the results to a doctor through an application on their phones.
What is Telehealth?
Telehealth uses ICT to access healthcare and health management tools remotely. People may use various technologies to access both clinical and non-clinical medical care from the comfort of their homes. According to Health Resources Services Administration and the WHO, telehealth uses electronic information and telecommunications technologies to support four categories of healthcare namely:
- clinical healthcare;
- research, and evaluation;
- patient and professional health-related education;
- public health and health administration.
Typical scenarios of telehealth in use, besides clinical healthcare, may include:
- Ordering medical supplies online;
- Scheduling hospital appointments, vaccinations, etc.;
- Accessing test results, prescriptions, etc.
What is the Difference Between Telemedicine and Telehealth?
Telemedicine is a subset of telehealth. Whereas telemedicine focuses on the use of ICT to diagnose and treat patients remotely, telehealth also includes the use of ICT in other aspects of health management. Some non-clinical applications of telehealth include administrative meetings and medical education for both physicians and patients.
The WHO defines a third term, eHealth, which comprises the use of ICT in support of health and health-related fields, “including health care services, health surveillance, health literature, and health education, knowledge, and research.”
Despite the slight differences between these terms, either term can be used to represent them since they use the same technologies to achieve similar goals — to make healthcare more accessible and cost-effective. In this article, I’ll treat them as a united concept and use the terms interchangeably.
How Is Telehealth Used In Healthcare
Telehealth uses technologies that enable the doctor to treat patients remotely. Some typical technologies adopted are:
- internet connection;
- store-and-forward imaging;
- streaming media;
- wireless communications.
However, the best way to bring a telehealth solution to life is to develop a mobile application, like the Mental Health App we recently helped to build.
The mental health app primarily allows users to get emotional support through daily calls and education through an ASEL-based platform. ASEL is short for Advanced Social-Emotional Learning.
Our client approached us with a clear goal of entering and acquiring a piece of the healthcare market share. To do that, we started by running the Discovery process, where our Product Manager conducted interviews with the target audience. We discovered their pain points and ensured the app delivered a strong value proposition.
One of the app’s distinctive features is the 5-minute calls. While it seems straightforward, we had to consider how to ensure smooth audio quality and provide a hassle-free call experience to users. To do that, we added the timers and question lists on the screen. We also integrated the Sendbird messenger with the app to provide a well-rounded experience.
Here’s the full list of app features:
- in-app user calls;
- in-app user chats;
- an interactive calendar;
- a modern learning platform;
- a multi-functional admin panel.
A visually appealing and highly intuitive user interface makes the app easy and delightful to use. By providing intuitive virtual mental care support through the scalable app we helped to develop, our client stands out in the healthcare market and can attract more customers.
Why Does It Worth To Develop A Telemedicine App: From a Business Point?
Healthcare providers who do not have a strong presence in telehealth may be losing out on one of the most promising opportunities in the sector. McKinsey predicts that telehealth and similar technologies will attract huge profits for healthcare providers in the coming years. According to its projection, annual profit from Healthcare services and technology (HST) will reach $81 billion by 2026.
Here are some more reasons to develop a telemedicine app:
With a telemedicine app, you will save costs on overheads, such as transportation, logistics, office space, and front desk support.
With an app, a provider can attract more users and provide them with quality healthcare care remotely. In addition to the traditional revenue model, you can generate more income through paid features on the telemedicine app.
Better user experience
Since a telehealth app allows users of your patients to access real-time healthcare from their homes, they access healthcare services faster. An app helps to organize patients’ information, improving the quality of care they get.
Safer Healthcare Facilities
Healthcare providers can manage the spread of infectious diseases better when they care for patients remotely. For example, in the case of COVID, telemedicine makes it possible to treat patients remotely, thereby reducing the number of people who have to visit the hospital physically.
In the end, by developing telemedicine apps, you provide people with better and more accessible healthcare services.
How Does Telemedicine App Development Benefits Users?
People enjoy many benefits when they access healthcare services through a specially-designed mobile app. These mobile apps can accommodate several features that unlock the possibilities of digital healthcare.
It offers convenience
Telemedicine apps allow users to access care in the comfort and privacy of their own homes. The patient does not have to drive to the clinic or wait in the lobby before getting treatment. Individuals can schedule virtual appointments that fit into their daily routines.
It provides improved access to healthcare
Healthcare mobile apps open up healthcare to larger segments of the population who may not be able to get access otherwise. This is helpful for rural dwellers, persons with disabilities, prisoners, older adults, and other demographic who has difficulty visiting the hospital in person.
It supports better healthcare and overall well-being
Besides improving access to healthcare, telehealth apps also improve users' quality of healthcare. Medical professionals like neurologists, allergists, and therapists can often get better assessments when they see patients in their homes. Similarly, telehealth apps allow doctors to consult with patients along with vital family members no matter where they are.
In addition, these apps make it easier for users to access preventive care that improves their long-term health. Users also find it easier to meet up via virtual appointments, therefore improving both primary healthcare and the management of chronic conditions.
Telemedicine/ Telehealth: What Are The Most Trending Tech To Use?
Advances in digital technologies create opportunities for more effective and efficient remote health services. Below I gathered some of the new technologies enabling telehealth, let’s check them out!
Big data technologies enable telehealth apps to assemble and analyze large volumes of health data collected from users. With big data tech, doctors can get better insights from electronic health records (EHRs) to give better diagnoses and treatments.
Artificial intelligence (AI)
AI can study patterns in people’s medical histories and make helpful recommendations about patient treatment and preventive health. Developers can integrate AI-enabled features like voice recognition, chatbots, and recommendations to personalize users' experiences and improve healthcare quality.
Internet of Things (IoT)
The Internet of Medical Things (IoMT) is a subset of IoT technologies focusing on inter-networked devices and applications used in healthcare information technology applications. IoT allows health practitioners to remotely track patients' clinical parameters like body temperature, heart rate, and blood pressure obtained by wearable medical devices in real-time.
Telemedicine App Development Solutions by Uptech
At Uptech, we develop the best healthcare apps that help healthcare providers serve their patients better and take advantage of the digital boom in the healthcare sector. We offer full-cycle healthcare app development and other services like custom medical software development, UI/UX design, product discovery, and digital transformation of your healthcare processes. Check out how we can help you scale your product fast and in a budget!
Our level of expertise allows us to develop innovative software across the healthcare spectrum, including software that serves doctors, hospitals, labs, medical manufacturing companies, and healthcare startups. Over the 7 years in software product development, we’ve built expertise in telehealth, mHealth, hospital management, electronic health records, the internet of medical things, etc.
Custom mHealth development
We create health apps that allow patient communication with doctors, track conditions, and manage appointments remotely. Our team identifies the pain points to develop custom solutions that will serve your customers.
Hospital management system development
We develop software that enables medical institutions to manage their entire processes effectively. Our solutions allow hospitals to effectively organize and utilize patient, doctor, and staff data, thereby improving workflow, speed, and overall administration.
Internet of Medical Things
Healthcare organizations achieves better patient outcomes by developing IoT platforms that generate, collect, analyze, and transmit data between medical devices, software applications, and health systems.
Electronic Health Records
We design custom medical software that helps clients collect, organize and utilize patients' health information. This is a software version of the “treatment card” with its added advantages.
We recently developed a mental health app for a client who wanted to provide intuitive virtual care. After thorough research, our team pinpointed the main pains of the customers and end-users, which informed the features we added to the app. Our team conceived a unique app that combines a mental health product and a learning platform.
Next, we proceeded to develop this app with very efficient codes and the best design practices. We maintained smooth and transparent communication with the client team through every stage of the project.
In the end, we presented a unique, effective, easy-to-use, and scalable mental health tool that satisfies user needs and positions our client ahead of competitors.
The demand for telehealth and healthcare applications is soaring, driven by the widespread adoption of mobile devices, access to high-speed internet, and a remote lifestyle boosted by COVID-19. By developing healthcare solutions, you respond to the users’ demand for fast and quality healthcare services. With 7 years of expertise in product development, we can give you a hand with help with the development process.
Contact us to build a product, as with our experience, we can create a product that users will love.