As the world battles with Coronavirus, with millions under self-quarantine, the doctors, nurses, and medical staff around the world are emerging as heroes, once again. However, since the hour demands social distancing and isolation – technology in healthcare could be our saving grace.
At this point, everyone has the right to get themselves checked if they feel unwell. But since the pandemic has crippled the hospitals and supplies-including the economies globally; we can make use of the on-demand doctor appointment apps for mild case scenarios.
These healthcare apps have seen exponential growth in the market. According to Markets and Markets, by the year 2021, the global medical technology market is expected to reach $280 billion. So the demand is definitely there and modern healthcare avenues are being sought.
Now doctors can leverage the benefits medical appointment apps provide by extending their services to everyone isolated in their homes. So where to start? What should be the features? We have compiled a small guide on building an on-demand appointment app for patients and doctors.
Features of On-Demand Doctor Appointment App
There are certain core-features without which an app is useless. So what are the must-have features of a doctor’s appointment app to increase accessibility?
Doctor and Patient Profile Creation
First thing’s first, you need a profile creation feature for both where they fill the required details to successfully create profiles. Of course, the details will vary for both profiles.
For the doctors:
- Location: This can include the address of his clinic or the hospital he works for. There are many things you can add to this location feature. Like the distance counter, to show how far the patient is from the doctor.
- Photos: Doctors can add photos of themselves, their hospitals, and anything related to work. This will help them to advertise themselves on this app and to prove authentication.
- Specialty: This section will include their experience, area-of-expertise, services they offer, certifications, and more.
- Rating: Reviews and ratings develop trust among other patients. So ratings and reviews are a great feature to have.
Moving on to the patient’s profile:
- Name and Phone Number: The basic most important detail for patients to give is their name and contact number. This only helps in increasing accessibility, allowing doctors to make direct contact if necessary.
- Address: Address always comes in handy in not only locating nearby available doctors but also to locate in case of an emergency.
- Other information: Any past diagnosis or history of certain illnesses, age, gender, and more.
- Search Function According to Category: A mobile app solution is developed to provide ease of access. Since we are dealing with an on-demand doctor appointment app, there needs to be a search function for patients. This search function should be available for all categories from heart, bones, to every area – allowing patients to find a suitable doctor for themselves.
Your search function should include important filters like price range, timings, insurance availability, and more. For example, if a person is suffering from coronavirus, then they should be able to click on the respective category and then add custom filters, like whether its for consultation, diagnosis, or routinely checkup from isolation. Once a doctor found, they can book an appointment.
Which brings us to our next feature:
Once the appointment request is underway and accepted, the two can be connected via a built-in-chat option. The doctor and patient can process the initial screening to check if the complete appointment is indeed required. If yes, then the doctor can proceed through a video-chat option.
Live Video Consultation
It is important for doctors and patients to maintain a certain level of personal interaction to have a great virtual experience. Not only is it important for interpersonal relationship building, but it is also important for doctors to have visuals of the patient they are dealing with.
Patients can get an authorized e-prescription without having to physically meet the doctor. This is a great benefit that allows users to get the required medicine from an online check-up session.
Document Sharing and Attachment Options
Of course, you cannot expect every patient to be well-versed with medical jargon and their report data. So the best options are to have documentation sharing features where the patients can simply take a snap of their medical documents, attach, and share with their online doctors.
Your online appointment booking app should have a feature for emergencies where patients can call in for an ambulance through a process of a few clicks. And better, have an emergency doctor on call for any immediate assistance.
Another great feature to track any patient that suddenly requires an emergency and is unable to respond through the smart device.
Online Payment Options
There are many cashless options available now that you can integrate with your on-demand doctor appointment mobile app. The idea is to have remote dealings, and with payment options that include credit, debit, wallet or any third-party online transfer would be great.
There are security threats that you need to address while developing your medical app and integrating a payment gateway – as these apps are vulnerable to scams, you need a proper authorization process for bank details, payment transfers, and of doctor’s identities.
Management of Information
Of course, this app makes storing and retrieval of medical information of patients easier. The app manages the information related to both – patient and doctor – making it easier for both parties to search and perform necessary actions.
These were some of the most important features for doctor booking software to have. Moving on to the business models of app development and specifically one for the medical industry.
Revenue Models for Doctor AppointmentApp
There are plenty of revenue models that will not only help in building your app but keep it running afterward. You can pitch your app idea to potential investors or follow the following two revenue models – entirely up to you.
This is a renowned model that is popularly used allowing you to gain benefits from a free app. Now as or this particular app, you can charge a fee to interested healthcare companies and brands.
Commission-based revenue plan
A model that asks doctors for a certain amount to be paid to the app owner from their commission. A simple plan that allows doctors to pay a fee for exposure and extra earnings on the side.
Benefits of Online Appointment Booking App
Your app will definitely make a difference especially during such a severe pandemic where every bit of technological solutions will help the process of recovery.
Booking Anytime and Anyplace
One of the biggest relief a doctor booking app provides to the clients is accessibility ease. The telephonic appointments costing clients money and time is replaced by an app that is within your phone and only requires an internet connection.
Especially with the COVID-19 pandemic, an app like this has become necessary for identifying any potential positives from an online-checkup session. This would not only reduce risks and threats of possible transfer when a positive journey to a hospital. In addition, if COVID positive, they can be provided with immediate diagnosis and medical attention.
Easy Acces in Emergency Cases
The emergency options within the app give clients a direct connection with the emergency services instead of having to dial and wait for a response. Such features come in handy when the victim/client is alone and has to make an immediate call-for-action. For such situations, a doctor booking app can connect them directly to respective services, that would track their location down at that given moment and arrive at the destination immediately.
Mobility for Doctors
Doctors are the saints that serve humanity whenever it calls for them and what better way to answer the calls from anywhere and at any given time. A doctor booking app provides the medical staff with the ability to cater to their clients from anyplace and at any given time; all they need is a sound internet connection and they are ready for their appointment.
The app provides the necessary information on the go about your client, and you do not require your office’s computer for this or files; as the app utilizes cloud storage.
Makes Elderly Patients’ Lives Easier
In order for this to happen, your app would require a user-friendly and easy-to-learn design interface. Because what good is a doctor booking app if the elderly that live alone cannot take advantage of it?
This app would enable the old and weary patients to communicate with a doctor online, without having someone to assist them to the hospital or the clinic. In case the matter requires a personal visit, doctors can recommend them for their next appointment.
How to Develop an On-Demand Doctor Appointment App?
Doctor Appointment App development has certain development stages that would require to create this application. Processes may sound a hassle, but for any software development firm and the client, these steps are more than necessary for the successful creation and deployment of the software solution.
The first and the foundation of the entire project ahead. The ideation process includes the major decisions regarding the features, business model, revenue model, technology stack, target audience, market competitive analysis, and much more.
However, out of all the elements that are discussed, brainstormed, and conceptualized – features of the app are the most important aspect that needs to be thoroughly revised and edited until a solid list is created.
One of the best ways to define key features of the on-demand doctor appointment app is to do extensive audience research.
Once the features are decided and the overall concept is finalized, you need to build wireframes. These diagrams would show the functionality of the app and how a user would navigate; the interaction process as a whole.
This would not only allow developers to have a better understanding of the doctor booking app, but the UI/UX designers would have a prototype to follow as well.
App Design Finalization
This is where the wireframe would be refined until it provides a great UX.
Since user experience in your doctor booking app involved two parties of different requirements – you would have to be extra careful in making sure both doctors and patients are given a user-friendly experience.
Once your wireframes are ready along with the design, you now need to hire a software development firm that is well versed in similar projects. Their technology stack, portfolio, and client testimonials would help you pick the right development team.
Make sure they follow agile development and testing methodology. As this would allow you to be a part of the entire development journey from start till finish. As a client, you can test each iteration, feature, or build yourself for better insight.
This in itself is a project that starts as early as the ideation phase of the doctor appointment and booking app. In order for its launch to be a success in terms of brand visibility, conversion, and return on investment; you need to engage in pre-launch campaigns and strategies. For this, your marketing team can reach out to influencers, social campaigns that can include awareness drives about the importance of an on-demand doctor and consultation, so on, and so forth.
Pre-launch marketing is important because not only you are trying to stand out amongst your competitors, you are also trying to build a user-base that would potentially engage with your app once it is launched.
So what more can you do to make your doctor appointment booking application a success? Here are a few ideas.
- Authenticate Doctors: Make sure your platform is clean of all scammers and con-men. For this, you need to evaluate each doctor’s work history and certifications before getting them on-board.
- In-app Benefits for Doctors: There should be some benefits that doctors must receive like payment, better visibility and acknowledgment, and others.
- Reward System for Users: Retaining user-base is of utmost importance and you can do that by offering discounts, promos, loyalty offers, and VIP benefits.
Considering the technological advancement in the healthcare industry and the ongoing Coronavirus Pandemic; the hour calls for an online medical consultation mobile app. It is about time that we invest in developing such apps that allow users to book an on-demand doctor for any medical consultation or check-up and receive online-prescription; all from the comfort of their homes or any place, in this regard.
We discussed the features, potential revenue models and pain points that your app can address. Hopefully, we can all fight Coronavirus through self-isolation and practicing good personal hygiene. Stay safe and #stayhome.