A Step-by-Step Guide to Build an On-Demand Appointment Apps for Patients and Doctors
All of us are highly dependent on healthcare and hospital services to connect with qualified and well-experienced doctors. A survey conducted reveals that 86% of US veterans would prefer a private physician if given a chance. However, as patients, it may become a cumbersome process to find the best doctor in need.
Looking at the sad and disheartening face of fellow patients is the last thing we want to do. The long and tedious queues starting from the registration until the procurement of medicines makes it furthermore undesirable to visit hospitals.
Thanks to the on-demand Appointment Apps for patients and doctors that serve as a virtual hospital. For most of us, it acts as an alternative to reach and connect with doctors without witnessing hospitals’ dim view.
The following stats gives us an idea about the significant growth of technology in healthcare.
- According to a study, the CAGR (Compound Annual Growth Rate) 2015-2020 stands at 28.4% for mobile health.
- According to research, the mhealth (mobile health) care service is likely to cross a whopping USD 316.8 billion by 2027.
Curtailing COVID-19 Risks with Health Care Apps
Due to the present COVID-19 Pandemic, healthcare applications’ businesses are likely to grow more than the previous years. Staying indoors is primarily suggested to reduce the risk of virus transmissions. The present situation demands a smart solution to combat the infectious and deadly virus. The mobile health services in the form of applications and online websites provide a virtual space where patients and doctors can communicate effectively with zero risks of virus transmission.
Software developments have been profoundly helpful in combating the CORONA pandemic efficiently. The government of almost every country has come up with indigenous applications to tackle the situation.
According to a study, 30+ countries are currently having CORONA Virus related healthcare applications for citizens and tourists.
Italian Immuni, Indian Aarogya Setu, US CovidWatch are just a few to name. The healthcare industry, even of developed nations, is failing to cope up with the situation.
Thus, it is the best time to invest in the philanthropic healthcare industry. The promising returns are more ensured than before. With multiple mobile application development companies out there, one can easily find a suitable company for developing a user-friendly application.
Essential Features of the Appointment Applications for Patients & Doctors
An appointment application for patients and doctors differs from regular appointment applications. It must have the following features for easy UI (user interface) design.
1. Creating Profile with Ease
Users of the application must be able to create a profile on the healthcare appointment application easily. The software application must have a separate signup process for the doctors and the patients.
Features of Doctor’s Sign Up
Full Name: Along with entering the full name, an optional column for contact number may be available.
Degree & Certificates: Here, the doctors are supposed to declare specialty along with the certificates and documents.
Photos: The photos of the doctor or the clinics help in bringing confidence to the visiting patients.
Hospitals & Clinics Location: The vital information about single or multiple locations where the doctor is available on different days and timings must be available for natural filtration by the patient.
Years of Expertise: The option should be available from zero months to years to ensure greater transparency among the users.
Consultation Fee: This may be kept optional. It usually depends upon the doctor’s popularity, years of experience, and the terms & conditions of the signup process.
Features of Patient’s Sign Up
Full Name: Knowing the full name of the patient will help the doctor with preparing prescriptions. It also enhances the channel of communication between the doctor and the patient.
Essential Information: Providing necessary information like age, sex, medical history by the patient is of vital importance. It helps in the process of diagnosis.
Contact Number: This field should preferably be optional to encourage easy signup.
2. Search with Filters
A patient should be able to search for a doctor comfortably. Multiple filters, like doctor’s specialization, nearest location, years of experience, ratings from earlier patients, range of consultation fees, etc. must be there to help the patient with convenient search operations.
Its presence enhances the UX (user experience) as a patient can reach the specialist with a few simple clicks. For example, a patient with a skin disorder will easily find an experienced dermatologist via your application.
3. Booking an Appointment
The patient should be able to put the appointment request according to his /her convenience. However, the appointment should be confirmed mainly by the doctor. Depending on the software application’s design and development, it can also accept or request a later date of the appointment on the grounds of unavailability of the doctor.
4. Multiple Modes of Payment
Ensure to offer the patients a smooth process of payment. The application should have card integration, online banking, various payment applications, etc. to provide a seamless experience.
5. Cancellation of an Appointment
The patient should be able to quickly process the cancellation request before days and hours the appointment begins. The cancellation charges may be kept variable or fixed.
6. Video Conference
Although a physical inspection is a must for a doctor, few patients may prefer a video conference with the doctor. Hence it is best to include the enhancing feature over your application. You may also incur charges for the same.
The present COVID 19 emergency has forced governments of multiple countries to prefer distant checkups wherever possible. Various dermatologists based on one’s experience are using the digital platform even to prescribe medicines.
7. Emergency Button or SOS
A health care application gets considered complete only when it has an accessible SOS button. The patients should be able to easily use the button for the quick calling of an ambulance. The functions may vary depending upon the regulations of the targeting country audience.
While investing in an application development agency, you should prefer those working on similar projects as it becomes easier to convey needs and expectations from the application.
Making Money from the Health CareApplication
While you connect with an agency for building your application, you must convey the strategy of earning revenue from the app. Like any other appointment application revenue can be generated from the following ways:
Sticking to a Commission Base
It is the simplest way of making money from an appointment application. The doctors can pay the app a part of the income developed via it. It can be based on a suitable number of appointments done via the application or over each date confirmed by the doctor.
Charging for the Featured Lists
The doctors can pay to enjoy the featured lists of health professionals over the application. Being on the featured listings enhances the chances of appointment by a patient. Hence, it is an effective way of generating revenue.
Connecting with different hospitals and clinics to offer paid in application advertisement is a reasonably successful way of getting revenue from the appointment application. One can also go for a mix of the methods mentioned above for gaining higher returns from the software application.
Surprisingly, the Global Digital Health Market is likely to cross 200 billion US dollars by 2020 itself. It brightens the hope of healthcare appointment applications in the future.
Various Stages of Appointment Application Development
Having covered the appointment application’s essential features and revenue strategies, let us look at the multiple stages of development that an appointment application goes through.
1. Concept of the Application
One must convey the ideas and concepts to the development company. An experienced mobile application development company focuses even on the minor details to develop world-class software applications. The small details of the needs and expectations help to clear out any form of ambiguity from the software.
Once the MVP (minimum viable product) or the prototype of the application gets complete, the company should test the software with a small audience for enhancement and improvements.
2. Application Design
The design of the application should be neat and clean. Prefer professional fonts and bright colors with the signs of healthcare visible over the page. Also, stick to a natural process of appointment booking, cancellation, and payment for the same. Preferably stick to companies with expertise in coming up with easy UI (user interface) and UX (user experience).
3. Application Development
An experienced team of developers is needed to develop the software application compatible with different operating systems like Android, Windows, etc.
4. Quality Testing
Once the software application is ready, it gets tested against various standards for quality assurance. Speed, load, security testing, etc. are essential parameters that an application must go through.
5. Launching of the Application
Pre-launch campaigns are to ensure the massive success of the appointment application. Creating a high awareness of the software will provide a greater reach to the target audience.
Cost of Development of the Appointment Application
The financial bearings of developing an appointment application depend on several factors. A significant cost-saving gets done by keeping the app simple and sound. Have a look at the different members of the team usually required for the development of the appointment application.
- Project Manager: The project manager is responsible for leading the team, driving your dream into reality. While hiring a team of developers, always go for an experienced project manager as he/she takes care of the miscommunications, long term planning, etc.
- Designing Team: The designing team undergoes through the documentation and produces the basic wireframes. This team may consist of a separate strategist, navigation planner, visual designer, and content developer.
- Development Team: The development team produces the technical architecture of the application. Responsible for developing the code of the application, the different members have experience of multiple computer languages like Java, Python, C#, HTML, etc.
- Quality Assurance Team: The team tests the developed application against various standard parameters and acts as the first critics. The app gets modified according to the test results. Once passed by the QA team, the application then gets launched in the market.
There was an estimation of 3.7 billion mobile healthcare application downloads for the year 2017.
Application development companies charge clients based on the following parameters:
- Nature of the Application: The level of complexity, depending upon the number of crucial factors that must be present in the application, is an important factor governing the application’s cost.
- Total working hours: The number of dedicated working hours required for completing the application right from scratch to launch.
- Hourly Rates: Multiple app development companies offer rates on an hourly basis. These rates depend upon the current market trends, the company’s popularity, the number of successful clients, etc. Instead of an hourly basis, clients can also avail of the project development cost as a whole.
- Contract Type: The period of maintenance, any significant changes after the launching of the application, governs the nature of the contract.While a short maintenance period is mandatory for any app, one can also use an extended maintenance period based on needs and demands. Although high maintenance comes at a cost, they often prove beneficial for revenue-generating applications.
- Multiple Platforms: One may choose a single platform like Android or iOS, depending upon the target audience. However, the hybrid application is opted for when the budget is high. A hybrid app runs smoothly over both platforms targeting a greater audience reach.
- Technology Stack: Depending upon the number of critical features, different launching platforms, etc. various tools, frameworks, and software will be needed to complete the development process of the application. Together they constitute the technology stack and play a significant role in the overall cost of the application development.
A sound development of the appointment application may require 350 to 550 hours of dedication. Calculations at an average rate of $25, the software application may require a total of around $25,000.
Investing in a healthcare application promises healthy returns especially now when the world needs such platforms to effectively combat COVID 19.
I have tried and covered all the essential points related to the development of appointment applications. However, certain queries are best resolved by communicating with expert app developers. You can easily connect with developers and hire app developers from app development companies for any form of consultation related to healthcare appointment application.
I hope the article proves helpful to the readers. For more such insightful articles keep reading this space.