A founder of a healthcare startup from the USA reached out to us. His idea was to develop a turnkey telemedicine portal that would connect mental/behavioral health professionals and their patients.
One-on-one virtual care or group sessions are a hot trend. This was conceived primarily as a video consultation software with extra features like online appointment bookings and on-call payments. The system had to be compatible with both desktop/laptop computers and mobile devices - as long as there was a camera.
The customer first asked us for a precise estimation, so he has first hired us to develop a specification with prototypes, which took 70 hours.
It was important to have the most reliable, secure, and clear video for this app. So we’ve decided to use WebRTC-based Video Conferencing Service for Telehealth. This standard is used by companies like Google, Mozilla, Microsoft and Apple. It is also compatible with both mobile devices and web browsers and has a relatively simple API that helped us save our customer’s money.
We have developed an application that offers round-the-clock consultations and runs on computers, smartphones and tablets. It allows patients to share their symptoms, get consultations, receive a diagnosis, and even a prescription or a list of lab tests. As this app was designed to go global, it had to be compliant with the relevant laws and regulations: HIPAA for the US, PIPEDA for Canada, Data Protection Directive 1995/46/EC and the e-Privacy Directive 2002/58/EC for the EU.
- Patient’s Profiles. A list of patient’s personal details, including name, address, sex, age, medical history and other information important for the treatment.
- Doctor Listing & Profiles. Descriptions of all the available consultants for the patients to choose from. The platform administrators can update this information at any time via the web backend.
- Book an appointment. This is one of the most important features - a calendar that displays the availability of any given doctor. This allows patients to easily choose and book a session.
- Video conferencing. A high-quality video chat for doctor-patient communication. The image is crisp and clear because the accuracy of the diagnosis and the effectiveness of treatment depend on it.
- Voice-only calls. Some patients prefer to keep a degree of anonymity, out of embarrassment, mistrust, or fear. Having an option to talk to the doctor more privately helps them start the communication and healing process.
- Cloud-based e-record storage. Patient information, including the communication history, is held in a secure cloud vault. If the need arises, the data can be shared with another medical specialist or a family member.
- Medication tracker. This feature stores all the prescriptions that the physicians issue and reminds the patients to take their medicines.
- Geolocation. The application uses Google Maps to determine the location of the user and show them the list of the physicians that are licensed to practice in the user’s state. This fulfills the legal requirements of the US government to telemedicine apps. The app also uses this system to help patients find the nearest pharmacies where they can get their prescriptions.
- Built-in chat. For a quick question, text-based consultations or urgent matters, the patients can contact their doctors via a built-in messaging system.
- Payment gateway. The application accepts all the major credit and debit cards: Visa, Mastercard, Discover, and American Express. HSA or FSA cards marked by Visa or Mastercard logos also work.
- Ratings and reviews. A pretty self-explanatory feature. It allows users to rate the physicians so that other patients know what to expect.
- Security. As the mental health information is extremely sensitive, it required extra protection. The app included the multiple-factor authentication from the start, while face and fingerprint ID are in the works.
- Physician’s Profiles. A physician’s profile includes the important information (name, experience, specialty, etc.) and the doctor’s availability.
- Scheduling. The doctors can adjust their schedule depending on the situation.
- Manage appointments. A doctor can view and accept or decline requests for appointment.
- Live video calls. The cornerstone of any telehealth app, this feature allows a doctor to remotely hold a session with a patient. There are also voice-only and text-only options available.
- Electronic medical records. A secure medical records store that allows doctors to access their patients’ information whenever they need it.
- Digital prescriptions. Should their patients need it, the physicians can prescribe tests, medicines, and procedures in the app.
- Video Recording. The videos of the sessions can be recorded and stored with the same level of security as the other patient information. This is important in case of disputes, because if the patient complains about the quality of service, the recording plays a major role in determining the truth.