Doctor appointment booking apps have increased the overall effectiveness of clinics, hospitals, and online healthcare marketplaces while streamlining processes. Such apps permit patients to connect online with doctors. Not only doctor appointment booking mobile apps are a reliable & effective solution, but they are also the future of clinical progression and a distinct, new phase in the patient-doctor relationship.
Doctor appointment booking apps grant patients an option to ‘Book Anytime, Anywhere’ and also allows easy access to doctors. Furthermore, the appointment booking feature makes the lives of elderly patients, and those who are suffering from life-long ailments or are bed-ridden more comfortable.
According to UnitedHealthcare, an e-consultation visit costs $50 as compared to $130 for an urgent care facility visit and $740 for an emergency room visit. Furthermore, as per recent research, 71% of emergency room visits can be avoided. Most of the patients don’t need to visit the emergency department for minor health problems.
Doctor appointment booking apps enable healthcare providers to manage their appointments with increased efficiency while providing more reliable management. Essentially, it has features like displaying closed appointments and no-shows, complete appointment history of the patient, and analyzing the doctors, thus improving proficiency, keeping errors to a minimum, and saving valuable time on tiresome administrative tasks.
In a doctor appointment booking app, the admin has an option to earn profit by charging a commission fee behind each booking. Here are the steps that may take place under commission-based model:
The paid listing feature works with specific filters that can be used in a doctor appointment booking app. For example, a patient can perform a search to find doctors for specific medic problems, treatment types, problematic body parts or organs, treatment at a nearby medical facility, and others. Accordingly, the search results may appear.
In such a feature, the doctor pays to get listed on the search results page. While there are multiple ways to implement this feature, following steps can elaborate the use of this feature in a simple and general way:
A doctor can advertise on specific web pages at certain places. The homepage is generally the most common place for advertisement. Different sections of the website can be used to display an advertisement. Ideal places include header section, mid-section of the webpage, and above the footer for banner advertisement. The places can be modified during the web design and development process and as per the client’s preference. Here is the general process to explain how a doctor may choose to advertise:
Now, let’s take a look at what the leaders, ZocDoc and Practo, offer.
– User-friendly interface for mobile
– 50+ types of specialists
– Easy online appointment booking
– Accommodates patient feedback of physicians
– Patient-powered search engine for better health literacy
– Focuses on helping patients to easily find the doctor
– Reliable service & larger footprint in Suburban USA
– Help patients determine which doctor to consult given their prevailing medical condition
– Provide more accessibility to the patients in Suburban areas and those reeling from life-threatening ailments
– Provide better Health Literacy that may lead to a healthier society
– Physicians pay to be listed & stay on top
– Doesn’t list all sub-specialties
– Competitors could easily copy their website designs
– Google is still a driving force when it comes to Local Listings
– Doctors have the option to create their profile at practo.com for free
– Doctor-first approach for more effective reach
– Tools that offer analysis & insights for safer clinic & business practices
– Team culture promotes harmony and better efficiency
– 10 Million+ medical and health records stored in one location improves efficiency & users’ convenience
– Collaborate with more hospitals and service providers to expand its foothold
– Practo can provide more services by filtering their requirements
– With rise in the smartphone user base, Practo’s user base should also increase
– Lack of public awareness about Practo and its services
– Practo’s services are not present in all the cities
– Privacy constraints
– Technology limitations
– Not a well-known platform yet
– Current & rising competition – Google Local listings
– Technological advancements could become a hindrance in the near-future
Comprehensive EMS Data Collection – With the guidance of the Clinical Data Management system, EMS providers can compare a hospital’s diagnosis in real-time, and take necessary measures accordingly. It digitally stores data, thus substantially improving the workflow of the healthcare marketplace.
Innovation in mHealthcare – Several apps available on the online marketplace help women relax and soothe their pain during pregnancy. With a doctor appointment booking app, women can e-consult doctors, especially during odd-hours or in regions where medical services are not as effective.
Patient Management – Doctors, nurses, and other caregivers within a healthcare marketplace can use their smartphones to manage patients. In a doctor appointment booking app, its main features include managing patient rounding, patient information, room allocation, diagnosis, e-Prescriptions, billing records, among other things. It results in better staff optimization and improved productivity.
Timely Medications and Systemized Processes – For a doctor appointment booking app, the core function of this feature is to send out push notifications as per the medication schedule. This feature also makes it easier for physicians to keep track of their patient’s health.
Life-saving Wearables Devices – Wearable health trackers and smartwatches can gather important health data such as heart rate, blood sugar, posture control, sleep patterns, and other physical activities. It helps patients get more control over their health and fitness routine.
Extending Rural Access – Around 3.6 million Americans miss getting medical care due to lack of affordable, accessible, and reliable transportation. Other factors like geographic scope, cultural backgrounds, and languages spoken, along with other economic, health, and social obstacles may prove prohibitive for patients in getting medical care.
With doctor appointment booking apps, accessibility in rural areas has increased that enabled them to get medical care which wasn’t possible earlier.
According to a recent study, 81% of the mHealth apps share consumer data with Google and Facebook. And only half of these mHealth apps are clear about their data-sharing practices. This ambiguous practice puts patient data security at risk as they are unlikely to consider future implications when met with a pressing healthcare issue. On top of that, most of the mHealth apps are prone to Cyberattacks. Business owners generally put security on the back burner, thus, further exposing the user data to threats.
According to the HIPAA Journal, several mhealth apps, including FDA-approved ones, have security issues. Furthermore, a study conducted by Arxan Technologies revealed that 84% of FDA-approved mhealth apps present a notable threat of data exposed and devices being compromised. These vulnerabilities arise because most of the business owners do not prioritize a security-first doctor appointment booking app development, that exposes their whole system to danger. Preventive measures like developing a HIPAA compliant app and involving a security expert will immensely improve the digital delivery of the doctor appointment booking app.
One of the major problems faced by the mHealth industry is the absence of clear communication channels. Lack of proper infrastructure, inadequate internet speed, shortage of technical knowledge, among other things are some of the major communication barriers faced by healthcare providers.
Communication personalization is a decisive force for healthcare marketers in a value-based healthcare marketplace. Additionally, the use of telecommunication, online discussion platforms, and real-time meetings to facilitate asynchronous consultations improved approachability.
Besides, digital communications modernized healthcare experience considerably. Now, healthcare professionals have the freedom to monitor health symptoms, signs, and even blood pressure level while being located far away from their patients.
This helped in the effective and economic management of chronic conditions. With the rise of mHealth apps, smoother communication via intuitive communication channels will be a guiding force for doctors and patients alike.
Big Data is collecting & analyzing consumers’ physical and clinical data that is too complex to be understood by conventional means of data processing. To pick up warning signs of serious illness early in a patient’s life, doctors want to learn as much as they can because treating a disease at an early stage is far simpler and way less expensive.
Also, with the help of healthcare data analytics, portraying a complete picture of a patient’s health will let the insurers provide a more suitable package. By creating a holistic, 360-degree view of consumers, patients and physicians, hospitals can improve healthcare efficiency, effectiveness, and personalization of the treatments. Identification of patterns in health outcomes, patient satisfaction, and hospital growth is vital for the advancement of the healthcare sector as a whole.
For several years, doctors and hospitals have been trying to find a fitting solution for the limited healthcare access for the population residing in the rural parts of the U.S. The problem is two-fold – their inability to attract, afford or retain speciality providers and lack of health insurance. Thus, Telemedicine could very well be the answer to these problems.
Telemedicine addresses economic stability by accommodating rural residents to save money on travel expenses. It also overcomes the difficulties residents face in areas where public transportation is inadequate and strengthens overall patient engagement. Since the treatment is usually delivered locally, it also benefits several specific rural populations, including rural residents with disabilities, those struggling with substance use disorders and/or mental health conditions, and those with limited English proficiency.
Video conferencing feature can be used to connect hospitals in rural areas with those in metropolitan areas.
Everyday Health apps essentially consist of tracker apps that aid in keeping track of the daily activities. By using analytics, it weighs metrics and other details to make distinct conclusions. Apps like Runkeeper, Calory Counter, and more send the notifications to its users with the updated numbers on their respective devices.
EHR apps are popularly used to document patient history while allowing online access to Electronic Medical Record (EMR) for the attending physicians. These apps not only save data that improves productivity but also permits physicians and clinics to provide safer remedies & prescriptions.
With app features like online appointment and in-app payments, EHR apps can substantially improve the overall proficiency of a hospital or a clinic. To set reminders for appointments and adherence to medication, EHR apps also provide an in-App Calendar.
EMR (Electronic Medical Records) apps have proven to be a great differential in the healthcare industry. These apps enable physicians to online access patients’ medical histories that empower doctors to provide safer healthcare services. COVID-19 pushed the need & demand for EMR apps considerably. During such a perilous time, it enabled physicians to observe their patient’s situation and disease without risking their health.
Target Hardware – While developing on iOS is faster development time with Android takes more time. Accordingly, the cost also varies. Furthermore, the target audience is the major deciding factor when it comes to choosing the right hardware.
Interoperability – Interoperability with the existing Clinical Management System (CMS) used by the hospital staff is essential. It enables the clinic/hospital to assert an effective and seamless working system, therefore, ensure that your CMS has interoperability.
UI/UX Considerations – 21% of millennials tend to delete the app if the user experience is not good. Design of a doctor appointment booking app should be user-friendly. Moreover, it should be according to the target audience needs – large fonts for old people, neutral colour for the colour blind.
API Components – Ensure the API components used are deployed accurately for more secure authentication and communication between separate components of the app.
Develop Iteratively – An initial app design is likely to be flawed, resulting in cost overruns and sometimes, even project cancellations. Industry experts support using agile development considering risks are mitigated at the beginning, changing requirements are accommodated efficiently, and reusability can be increased that results in a robust end product.
Data Security – The app servers are built for speed, not security, and are not difficult to breach into thus, business owners must insist on end-to-end encryption or send data over secure communication channels.
Minimum Viable Product (MVP) – MVP accommodates a great deal in arranging customer’s feedback which is important for business development & growth. It is essential to have sufficient features to provide the primary users. As a business owner, it will also help you understand how many added features you need in order to draw more users to your platform.
Device Security – Cybersecurity is a major issue today. Android apps are less secure than iOS apps are, and yet, Android constitutes more than 80% of the smartphone market today. Make sure that you’re hiring a professional & experienced doctor appointment booking app development company that will ensure the safety of the device and the user data by deploying secure methods.
Testing Healthcare Applications – Testing is imperative; a business owner must test the security in accordance with different authenticities like PII, PHII, and HIPAA compliance. For doctor appointment booking apps which require a geo-location service, carefully check the accuracy and preciseness, build a real-world scenario, test the application with poor connectivity, test performance by setting high load and performance benchmarks, and check the adaptability of your app by testing it on various platforms like iOS & Android.
Even though technology has taken over the world for good, real progress in the Healthcare sector still has a lot of distance to cover. Business owners need to acknowledge the importance of doctors for they are the present & the future of the Healthcare industry.
With the emergence of Telemedicine & mHealth, doctors can treat their patients virtually, and people in suburban & rural areas can finally avail healthcare facilities they have been longing for ages. As for business owners, mHealth is one of the fastest-growing & emerging industries in the world which should encourage them to invest their time, money & skills in this sector.
Disclaimer: The Blog has been created with consideration and care. We strive to ensure that all information is as complete, correct, comprehensible, accurate and up-to-date as possible. Despite our continuing efforts, we cannot guarantee that the information made available is complete, correct, accurate or up-to-date. We advise - the readers should not take decisions completely based on the information and views shared by FATbit on its blog, readers should do their own research to further assure themselves before taking any commercial decision. The 3rd party trademarks, logos and screenshots of the websites and mobile applications are property of their respective owners, we are not directly associated with most of them.