A doctor’s appointment is not something you usually look forward to. Unless it’s urgent, you can look for a specialist for days and then try to find time for a hospital visit. Sometimes, people have to waste hours in a line just to get a 15-minute consultation.
Nonetheless, modern humans likely won’t be able to imagine their life without healthcare. This is why telemedicine is becoming the new normal. According to one study, mHealth apps can help doctors do a number of their tasks remotely. This makes both their and patient’s lives easier.
However, doctor appointment application development is quite tricky. Besides providing users, either doctors or their clients, with all the necessary features, one should remember about privacy and data security. A monetization strategy is also crucial to make a medical appointment app profitable.
In this article, we’ll cover all the details and important steps in the doctor appointment app development.
Present and Future of the Digital Health Market
In 2018, the eHealth market was valued at $86.4 billion.
One of the factors that influence this sector of medical care is the increasing implementation of digital healthcare by governments worldwide. Because of this, the international eHealth market is expected to reach over $207 billion by 2024, growing at a CAGR of over 20%.
With an event like the COVID-19 pandemic, the need for digital healthcare skyrocketed. Thus, the given estimates will possibly be even higher as people begin using remote medicine on the regular.
Additionally, the adoption of digital health is boosted by solutions like electronic records, online prescription systems, medical wearables, remote patient monitoring, and so on.
The digital health market presents a lot of opportunities to those who think about whether to start a doctor appointment app. In one survey, for instance, 58% of respondents said they would use a digital health solution instead of visiting their doctor in person.
When comparing different regions, North America is the dominant market for digital medicine. This is highly due to the expanded government funding of eHealth providers, as well as the presence of a solid base for innovative solutions in the form of advanced healthcare infrastructure.
Meanwhile, the Asia Pacific is the emerging digital health market. As a bigger number of people of different ages, nationalities, and income levels start using mobile devices and get internet access, the demand for mobile healthcare increases.
Domination of industry leaders makes the eHealth market highly competitive. To stay in the game, smaller companies utilize emerging technologies for developing innovative products. Also, some organizations collaborate with each other to expand their presence in multiple regional markets.
However, since the beginning of the past decade, companies of various scales have benefited from the increased demand for digital medical solutions.
For example, the number of fundraising deals by health start-ups has gone up nearly five times when comparing 2010 to 2018. The total amount of money from these deals went from $1.2 billion to $14.6 billion.
The main concerns to be considered if discussing the eHealth market are security-related. Unauthorized attempts to gain access to medical records or individuals’ data must be addressed by companies creating remote healthcare solutions.
Top 3 Most Successful Doctor Appointment Apps
Zocdoc is an American on-demand doctor app. It allows users to look for, compare based on reviews, and visit medical professionals, either through the app or in person.
The app has an insurance checker and healthcare provider filter to ensure the convenience for patients. There are more than 50 types of doctors on Zocdoc, so nearly any medical problem can be solved.
Users can keep track of their yearly check-ups in the application, too. As for the appointments themselves, there is an option to connect to the specialist via a video call. Alternatively, the geolocation feature allows finding a doctor nearby.
Practo is a medical appointment app available in several Asian countries. It offers extended functionality, as users can not only book doctor visits but ordering medicine, scheduling procedures, and more.
The company works with various healthcare providers, and patients can both make an appointment for a hospital visit or have a consultation online. Diagnostic tests and check-ups can be booked through Practo, too.
Users can access their medical records in one touch. Furthermore, the opportunity to buy medicine right in the app and have it delivered to you is very convenient.
HealthTap is a subscription-based U.S. doctor appointment application. It lets users submit their questions and get an answer within a day, or connect with doctors in real time via text or audio and video calls.
The app is HIPAA compliant, meaning there are proper security measures to protect the patients’ data. All the medical records, prescriptions, and doctor recommendations are stored in one place for increased convenience.
HealthTap has unique features like an AI-powered symptom checker. Users can also access the library of medical guidelines and answers about common conditions.
Benefits from a Doctor Appointment Booking App
- Quick and easy access to professional medical advice
- A way to look for suitable specialists and check their ratings
- A cheaper alternative to traditional doctor appointments
- Convenient tool for consulting people
- An ability to grow their patients base
- An opportunity to work remotely
The first necessary feature is user sign in and log in. Patients must have the ability to enter their personal details, insurance information (if available), or information like their weight and blood type.
Doctors, on the contrary, should provide proof of their expertise and their specific qualifications.
Additionally, two-factor authentication can be included to provide more security, as well as auto-logout.
User profiles are essential for a doctor’s appointment app, as users should have the capacity to manage their information conveniently.
Both patients themselves and doctors should have the opportunity to change and add medical records or prescriptions is necessary. When specialists can assess this information, the treatment process will go much better.
Medical professionals also can indicate their schedules through their profiles. When looking for a doctor, a patient can see the doctor’s qualifications and ratings on their profile.
A search tool is an essential function for such an application. Include various filters to the process of finding a medical professional easier. Besides specialty and location, an option to see if the doctor is available for immediate consultation would be great, for example.
This is the core feature of the eponymous app. Either doctors or patients must be able to make and manage appointments quickly and easily. It should also be possible to reschedule or cancel bookings.
Give patients a chance to indicate a timeframe when they want to connect to a doctor, and then show all possible appointment options. Also, integrating the internal calendar app of the device makes the user experience even better.
To ensure patients never forget about their online doctor visits, push notifications must be implemented into the app. Users can be notified when a preferred specialist becomes available, too, or when it is time for a check-up, for example.
To pay for the appointments or app subscription, integrate different in-built payment gateways into your application. Security is a priority for a medical app, so make sure that the chosen payment methods are safe and reliable.
Finally, give users a chance to rate their appointment. This usually applies to doctors, but sometimes, patients should be rated too! Overall, ratings make your application more trustworthy, as users are more sure about booking a specialist visit when they see real reviews from others.
It’s quite hard to decide if this function should be considered necessary or optional to build a doctor appointment app. However, in 2020, making a call is much more convenient compared to texting. It allows specialists to make diagnosis easier, while patients can grasp the doctor’s recommendations better.
Including such a feature does mean the application will be more expensive and take longer to develop, though, so keep that in mind.
This is a great feature if you want to allow users to book an actual hospital visit, too. Geolocation also gives patients a chance to know about the doctors and ERs nearest to them in case of an emergency.
For improved user experience, allow patients and doctors to manage prescriptions right through your application. If you do so, the best option would be to include an in-app medication ordering service, too.
A chatbot is a very suitable feature for an app that involves bookings. Users can easily schedule a doctor’s appointment by providing details like the specialist they’re interested in and the desired visit time. The chatbot will automatically check the availability and offer the best options to the patient.
How to Create Your Own Doctor Appointment App?
There are several steps to follow if you want to build a doctor appointment app that is functional, convenient, and secure. Here’s what you should remember about:
- Do your research
- Select the app features
- Think about monetization
- Make security a priority
- Design and develop the app
- Build a network of doctors
Step 1. Do your research
Before starting the doctor appointment app development, do thorough market research. The functionality of your app will depend on your location, target audience, business model, and more.
The client base you want to reach affects your platform choice, too. To begin with, a medical appointment system should have two apps, one for patients and one for doctors. However, whether to go with iOS, Android, or both, should be determined after research.
Step 2. Select the app features
When the research stage is done, you can start working on specific elements of your future application. To begin with, pick the features you want your app to have.
Depending on your needs and budget, you can go with the MVP model or select some additional functions. Of course, the second option is better as it will make your app stand out among competitors.
Step 3. Think about monetization
Next, think about how to benefit from your application. There are several monetization strategies to choose from:
- On-demand services
This is the most common way to make a doctors app profitable. Patients pay a fee for every appointment or any other services you offer through your application. Doctors get most of this money and a part of the profit goes to the app owner.
Another popular option is user subscription. Both patients and doctors can be subscribers. While first usually pay a monthly/annual charge to gain access to a 24/7 medical consultation opportunity, second can become members to ensure they always have clients and earn from your app consistently.
You can collaborate with established healthcare providers and organizations that will sponsor your app. In return, their names appear in your application, as well as their advertisements. This can also attract patients who are familiar with popular healthcare brands.
Finally, there is just good old advertising. Providing ad space to medication or supplement producers and other related businesses will be the best choice if you select such a monetization technique.
Step 4. Make security a priority
Privacy and security of user data is an important concern these days. When creating a doctor appointment application, this issue cannot be overlooked. Before starting the development itself, make security features implementation a priority.
Besides, depending on the chosen location, make sure your app complies with the local jurisdiction.
Here are several laws related to healthcare and data in different countries:
- The U.S. – HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act). We have a separate article on how to make an app HIPAA compliant.
- The EU – GDPR, Directive 95/46/EC, Directive 2002/58/EC
- The U.K. – Data Protection Act
Step 5. Design and develop the app
Now, let’s talk about the most important steps to build a doctor appointment app like ZocDoc or Practo – design and development. UX/UI design comes first. Simple shapes and a muted color palette will suit a medical application the best.
To design an app for finding doctors that will appeal to users, make the layout simple and intuitive. However, all the functions of the application still should be easily accessible.
After you decide on how to design a doctor appointment system, the development stage begins. Here, the tech stack you have to use will depend on the chosen platform.
Frontend development is influenced the most by your platform preference. If you want to create a doctor appointment booking app for a specific operating system, Java and Kotlin are commonly used for Android, Swift and Objective-C for iOS, and React.js and Redux for web apps.
As an alternative, you can develop a doctor appointment booking app that is cross-platform with React Native or Flutter.
The backend should be built on a framework that allows maximum security, like Python or Django.
APIs and SDKs can be used to simplify the process of doctor appointment app development. As for specific technologies, you can utilize:
- Twilio for messaging, calls, and notifications;
- Stripe, Paypal, Braintree for in-app payments;
- AWS and Azure for on-demand cloud services;
- PostgreSQL, MySQL, Elasticsearch for database design.
Finally, the application should be thoroughly tested to make sure it runs properly. Only when the app’s speed, usability, and security are assured, it can be published.
Step 6. Build a network of doctors
So, what’s the last step when you build an app for finding a doctor? That’s right, the doctors! Before deploying your application to Play Market or App Store, promote it among medical professionals.
When there is a solid number of specialists, who went through an authentication process and confirmed their qualification, you can make the app available to patients.
How Much Does it Cost to Develop a Doctor Appointment App?
Now that you know what the doctor appointment application development process is like, there is only one question left. How much does it cost to make such an app?
If we talk about the rates of development companies worldwide, here is a price breakdown as of May 2020:
|Region||Hourly rate||Basic level doctor appointment app|
However, the developer’s rate is not the only factor that influences the final cost of the app at all. You should keep in mind:
- Platform(s) – Android, iOS, web, or all of then;
- Features and complexity of the app;
- Size of the development team (based on the two previous two points).
Healthcare applications is a category Riseapps specializes in. Based on the projects we have worked on, the time required to develop a doctor appointment booking app ranges anywhere from a thousand to 5,000+ hours. A basic medical appointment app will set you back around $40,000-45,000, though this number increases as specific features are added.
Our company cares about providing the best experience for every client who chooses us. This is why we offer our customers a chance to scale the development team, work on a milestone basis, and provide a two months code guarantee to ensure the app we build for you is perfect.
Doctor Appointment App Development with Riseapps
Kego presents a reimagined way of visiting a doctor. You can make an appointment in no time, as well as make the visit itself from the comfort of your home or anywhere you desire.
Riseapps team developed this HIPAA compliant app for iOS, Android, and web platforms. There are different applications for specialists and their clients, allowing both to have just the right functions.
Thanks to Kego, patients in New Mexico, USA, got the opportunity to make online doctor appointments, whether they have health insurance or not.
- Backend: Python, Django, Django Rest deployed in the cloud (AWS)
- Frontend (web): React.js, Redux, WebRTC
- iOS: Swift
- Android: Kotlin
BabyWise is developed specifically for pregnant women, who can effortlessly book a consultation with a midwife through the application.
This is a cross-platform app available for both Android and iOS. We included data storage and in-app payment functions for the best user experience.
- Backend: Firebase Cloud Functions
- Android/iOS: React Native
Doctor appointment apps can surely be regarded as the future of healthcare. They make people’s lives easier, both specialists and their clients. Furthermore, such an application presents a great business model for a start-up.
If you decide to create an app for finding doctors like Practo or ZocDoc, there are several things to remember. Such an application should provide users with the highest level of security, as leaks medical data can cause serious problems.
Furthermore, when designing and developing the app, keep in mind convenience, and strive to prioritize smooth user experience. Lastly, ensure only highly-trained and certified medical professionals provide their services through your app.
We hope this article and our recommendations helped you to understand the process of online doctor appointment app development better.
Still have some questions or want to hire us to create your app? Don’t hesitate to fill the form below, and we’ll get back to you as soon as possible!