Telehealth and on-demand medical app development soared in 2020 when the pandemic severely hit the globe. The whole population was isolated, depriving them of all the essentials in their lives, including healthcare.
This gap in the healthcare system left all of us with a lot to think about. It is mainly how we will make it as accessible as it used to be, but at the same time, follow all the necessary protocols and SOPs that the government has enforced.
Ironically, all this hassle brought about the need for a thoroughly curated and well-organized healthcare application that fulfilled all the medical needs and provided a safe and secure platform for patients to rely on. But for it to be a success, a custom software development firm must list and include all the essential features that must be included in an on-demand healthcare app.
What Are On-Demand Healthcare Apps?
Healthcare is a crucial industry that has yet to catch up with technological advancements in implementing mobile and remote services. While most of the world population still strongly believes in in-person and in-office experiences, the mobile world is slowly taking its place within the healthcare sector.
On-demand healthcare apps are medical applications on your mobile device to assist patients in carrying forward their treatments in real-time remotely. These applications can help you book an appointment, consult with a physician, access your reports and prescriptions, and even order them for you. All this is done via a mobile device from anywhere in the world.
This prevents critical or immunocompromised patients from visiting the contaminated hospital and avoids waiting in long lines just to get a 10-minute consult. Saving time and preventing you from catching any germs while you commute to a hospital. On-demand healthcare apps are lifesavers.
Essential Features in an On-Demand Healthcare App – Overview
A reliable healthcare app is nothing without the features listed below; it must include all of these to qualify in the healthcare sector and be utilized by various patients.
- Patient and Doctor Portal
- Rating and Reviews
- Appointment Scheduling
- EHR – Electronic Health Records
- HIPAA Compliance
- Payment Methods
- Emergency Cases
- Key Updates and Notifications
- Integration with other devices
- Professional Networking
- Updated Tools
Essential Features in an On-Demand Healthcare App
These essential features are vital during any medical app development, responsible for making it a reliable and successful health app that makes lives easier for patients and the doctors who are effortlessly providing their services to mankind in this difficult time. The features required in an on-demand healthcare app are as follows:
1. Patient and Doctor Portal
First, getting the health portal started with an easy membership or a sign-up page for either of the parties is necessary. The page should be simple and include all the necessary patient details, like their name, age, and email.
The same should also be for the doctor’s portal, but with a little more detail since doctors must have their complete profiles with their fields of expertise and experience jotted down, along with a picture. These membership portals are the right way forward for a successful healthcare app and are a necessary feature through and through.
2. Rating and Reviews
Bringing in a human-centric approach, allowing complete transparency when selecting your doctor is a patient’s right. And by providing this feature in your on-demand healthcare app, you would be doing the patient a massive favor by giving them the option to rate and review their experience and the doctor for his services.
It is necessary to have the right check and balances as well, only having the best-in-class for the user, and keeping a keen eye on each of their feedback and abiding by them will elevate the user experience, and it’s the right thing to do as well.
3. Appointment Scheduling
Long gone are the days when patients had to wait in line for their turn, crowding the clinics and hospital waiting rooms since dawn break, to get the first consult with their doctors, who were otherwise hard to reach. With a digital application, all these painstakingly long tasks will be eliminated.
A good digital healthcare platform must have a vital appointment scheduling feature, allowing patients to book the time slot of their liking and look at their doctor’s schedule to see what day and time fits best for them and what slots are already booked. Moreover, these appointment schedulers must have a notification button, reminding the patient of their appointment a day before or so while also including it in their mobile calendar.
Turning everything digital and out of physical settings is the main aim of an on-demand healthcare application, and hence a telehealth station within the app is a crucial feature. And this is the next step for patients after they have booked an appointment with their respective doctors.
The meeting can be via audio or video call if they are willing to show their physical symptoms to the doctor. And it is known that patients resonate more with their doctors if they have a physical presence in front of them, whom they can see and talk to face-to-face. But, for some, it is also possible to open up more if they do not meet or see the person to avoid any judgment or anything that will trigger the patient’s anxiety.
5. EHR – Electronic Health Records
EHR, commonly known as Electronic Health Records, is a must-have for on-demand medical app development. Now that everything is finally getting a digital platform, why not EHR? An automated and online health record will be easy to store on the cloud and easily accessible for the doctors while taking multiple patients, avoiding them repeating their history while approaching a new doctor on the portal.
Moreover, this cloud-based data will allow these records to stay safe and secure without getting lost or altered for illegal means. This data can be used for various medical research and studies with the patient’s consent. But consent is necessary for that, no matter what.
A platform with an active EHR system will always have a digital prescription. Both features go hand-in-hand because they are linked to a patient’s history, medical records, and dosage.
Speaking of medicines, an essential feature is providing access to all the nearby pharmacies where patients can reserve or purchase their medications. Medical apps have an advantage that allows them to partner with pharmacies. If they are affiliated with any hospital, they can add this feature, linking all the orders to their own hospital pharmacy and delivering through it.
7. HIPAA Compliance
Medical app development is incomplete without HIPAA, also known as The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPPA), which ensures that doctor-patient confidentiality is maintained along with the privacy of the patient and their data. A reliable medical app must abide by the legalities of HIPAA and other firms, allowing them to keep an active eye on whether these regulations are followed.
8. Payment Methods
E-prescription and an online pharmacy also require a secure and accessible payment gateway, allowing patients to choose how they would like to pay for their medicines. This feature will make things easy and accessible for the patient and regular users in the long run as well.
9. Emergency Cases
A healthcare app is incomplete without an option to report a medical emergency. From reporting the emergency to availing the service of an ambulance, transporting the patient to the nearest hospital, or allowing them to get instructions for first-aid.
10. Key Updates and Notifications
Getting timely notifications and alerts regarding your appointment or availability of a spot is a crucial and essential feature that has to be there, regardless of anything. One can also install reminders for when to take their medicines, according to the e-prescriptions that are also a part of your medical record, included in your profile.
Be sure to keep your notification and update feature relevant to the patient’s needs and not for useless and excessive notifications, which will cause them to block the notification feature altogether, causing them to miss out on important announcements and reminders.
11. Integration with other devices
Users have become extremely tech-savvy and have numerous gadgets, like Apple watches, fit bits, and more. These gadgets tend to calculate your original pulse and heartbeat, which can be a crucial element required while getting a telehealth consult.
Integration of these external gadgets in the mobile healthcare app will bring better results. Doctors can administer crucial results like the patient’s blood pressure, blood sugar, heart rate, and more. These integrations will also help develop a steady market, allowing more devices to make their way into the market that can remotely calculate and send data to these respective medical apps.
12. Professional Networking
Like any other hospital, your on-demand doctor app must include a platform for doctors to network professionally and share their patient profiles and reports with other doctors for a consult. This feature will allow the doctor to not only network but also the patient to get the best treatment.
13. Updated Tools
Last but definitely not least is a regular health check-up of the application and keeping it updated with all the new tools and features that allow the user experience to be unprecedented and safe as well. From multiple languages to a search bar and whatnot. These small features make the medical app accessible and easy to use.
With that said, if you are wondering how to develop a healthcare app, then these are some of the essential features one must include for it to succeed amongst patients and doctors. Medical app development is a huge responsibility; thus, it must cater to all the medical needs of an in-person hospital visit.
FAQs for Essential features to include in an on-demand healthcare app
For patients of all ages, a medical app must be easily accessible, and also with a user-friendly interface with all the necessary features available, like an easy registration method, easy navigation of doctors and appointment scheduling, etc.
The major components of telemedicine include audio and video conferencing, access to images and reports, remote monitoring of symptoms and vital signs a readily available helpline for emergencies, and more.
The top priority of a healthcare app revolves around the patient’s sensitive information and its protection under all the laws that are imposed by the medical community and the government as well.
The major benefit of telehealth medicine is to:
- Keep immunocompromised patients safe at home
- Avoid physical interactions
- Don’t have to take time off from work
- No transportation cost
- No worries about child-care in your absence
- No wasting time in the waiting rooms
- Easy access to all the specialists
- All available from the comfort of your home