Cost of Telemedicine: Is It a Worthy Investment?

Cost of Telemedicine: Is It a Worthy Investment?

04 May 2022 • 16 min read

Telemedicine continues to be one of the fastest-growing trends in the aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic. The pandemic has proved telemedicine to be extremely useful. Reaching its peak during the pandemic, it has stabilized at levels 38 times higher than pre-pandemic. After an initial spike to more than 32 percent of office and outpatient visits occurring via telehealth in April 2020, the levels of telehealth usage have largely stabilized, ranging from 13 to 17 percent across all specialties.

Telemedicine app development cost

The reasons to adopt telemedicine are quite obvious – it’s a cheap, convenient and quick way to connect patients and practitioners. According to Deloitte, despite potential glitches and distractions, 30% of patients who attended a virtual medical appointment said they didn’t experience any challenges, which means they are ready to embrace this technology for their everyday use.

The best time to develop a telemedicine solution was last year.

The second best time is now!

So, in this article we’re going to share our experience in developing a telemedicine solution, the cost of implementing telehealth, and the various factors that contribute to the final cost of a telemedicine software implementation, based on more than seven years’ of development of such products as HIPAA Telmed, MedRealtime and Mediconnect.

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Why You Should Consider Telemedicine Software As an Opportunity

Before answering the question of “how much does it cost to develop a telemedicine app”, it is necessary to understand the reasons for telehealth implementation. The COVID-19 pandemic has had a significant influence on the healthcare administration. Hospitals have been overrun and unable to accept in-person doctors visits. According to one research, primary care doctor visits have declined by 60% since the pandemic began.

Video appointments have replaced in-person consultations. They have become an attractive alternative for both patients and doctors. Patients no longer spend hours in waiting rooms and commuting to their doctor’s office or healthcare provider.

Cost of telemedicine app for startups

According to the Applause survey, 63% of respondents stated they plan to use telehealth more than they did prior to the pandemic. What’s more, over three-fourths (77%) of patients said they enjoyed using telehealth, even though 48% claimed there were things they could not do via the telehealth service that they would like to have done. And only 39% of respondents said they would like to visit doctors in person.

A survey conducted by McKinzey and co showed that 58% of physicians continue to view virtual care more favorably than before the pandemic. As of April 2021, 84% of doctors offered telehealth, and 57% said they'd prefer to continue offering it.

The main reasons for patients to choose telehealth are the convenience of accessing healthcare from home, including avoiding the commute and time away from work or family. And easier access to a doctor, including shorter wait times and the ability to access care during off-hours.

Also, telemedicine may be a great way for those in rural or outlying areas to get access to medical care and practitioners in particular fields. For these reasons, telemedicine is a must-have feature for any healthcare app developed in 2022. Thus, when we talk about telemedicine costs and benefits, it is worth considering these reasons.

Cost of Telemedicine App For Startups Or Small Healthcare Providers

If you want to start thinking about developing your own telemedicine solution and the cost of telehealth implementation, you first should consider conducting market research and business analysis.

The telemedicine market requires a lot of details that must be included in the final solution. If you miss important details that your competitors have, your solution may fail. Moreover, you have to understand what can make your patients switch to telemedicine solutions.

Before any software development starts, we offer our discovery packages to hospitals, product companies, and startups to determine the product’s market fit. This package is divided into three stages:

Discovery Stage

During the discovery stage, you will learn whether or not your solution will fit the telehealth market. Our business analysts will discuss your requirements and correlate them to the current state of the market. To be more precise, they will:

  • Create doctors’ and patients’ profiles and conduct research to determine their needs.
  • Analyze market data to ascertain the market size and the potential market share for your product.
  • Conduct a thorough competitor analysis to find out which healthcare institutions benefited from telemedicine solutions.
  • Identify the key features of your future telemedicine software.
  • Create an economic plan to find out how you could monetize your telehealth application.
  • Plan the budget, profit and loss statement, and revenue streams, and provide estimates for project implementation.

The discovery stage usually takes three to six weeks and costs approximately $10,000. Once completed, you will receive a go-to-market strategy plan, a timeline for key development stages, and a detailed understanding of how your application will operate.

Proof Of Concept

This stage includes the creation of a basic solution. We will design your solution and collect feedback from your healthcare employees, institutional partners, and potential customers. At the conclusion of this stage, you will have a better understanding of your solution, and we will be able to begin development.

This process usually takes two weeks to complete and costs at least $12,000.You may, however, choose to skip this step as it is not mandatory.

Minimum Viable Product (MVP) development

Developing an MVP will provide you with a working prototype of your app. This stage will include:

  • A complete, ready-to-implement design that includes all necessary features.
  • Software architecture.
  • An application that can be tested by people.
  • Project documentation.

Having an MVP enables you to evaluate your solution and determine what enhancements or modifications are necessary. This stage is considered to be an early step of development.

The development of an MVP typically takes up to six weeks and costs at least $15,000. If you choose to proceed with your app development, you will save both time and money by already having the first step of development completed. You will spend less on quality assurance testing, training, and hardware purchases.

Basic Telemedicine App Development Cost

Telemedicine app development cost depends on the following factors – the type of the app, number of features and their complexity, team composition, their technical level and previous experience, and deadlines.

Developing a telemedicine application requires extensive analysis and a deep understanding of your organization. The more that you know about your pains, gaps, and problems, the faster that you can get your first evaluation.

The final cost of developing a telemedicine app heavily depends on the number of features that your business requires. Additionally, you should keep in mind that you’ll need a solution that works for both the web and mobile as well as the creation of multiple databases.

The telehealth implementation cost for a basic solution ranges from $15,000 to $150,000. It depends on multiple factors like the size of your team, number of integrations, availability of branches, and features. It will include:

  • Applications for iOS, Android, or Web.
  • Basic features such as appointment management, text chats, video calls, and personal profiles.
  • Basic search features.

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Hidden Expenses For Telemedicine Startup Costs

Apart from the cost of your software system, you could face extra costs when you implement telemedicine services. These include:

  • Medical Device or Features Integration

Telemedicine startup costs often incur additional expenses with setting up connectivity with portable devices or integrating additional medical features with APIS. Common devices that can be integrated may include a digital telescope, examination camera, or ENT scope. For each addition, you may pay between $5,000 and $10,000.

  • Telehealth Platform License

Another telehealth cost would be your license. However, you can buy a telehealth platform license without paying a monthly fee. If you do, expect to pay approximately $1,500 per patient site for a software-based route without a remote provider. For hardware-based video conferencing, it can cost approximately $10,000 per patient site.

This cost will increase as the number of remote provider sites increase, but you can choose to build your own telehealth platform that is scalable for your requirements.

  • Communication Platform and Video Conferencing

You may choose to create a portal with a single capability or multiple capabilities with patient consultation hosting. You might even decide to develop the ability to aggregate and relay mobile medical device data.

Depending on your choices and the scope of your project, software-based conferencing can cost between $1,000 to $1,500 per patient site while hardware-based can cost between $7,000 to $10,000 per site. The price will continue to increase with the addition of each remote provider.

Additionally, you should consider any existing systems in your facility and determine if they can be integrated with your communication platform.

  • Telemedicine Equipment Costs

Some examples of hardware packaging that telemedicine software require are cases, carts, and wall mounts. You should focus on how well the equipment fulfills your needs, but also keep in mind that aesthetics are important as well.

It is strongly advised that you look for modular packaging that allows for easy configuration with multiple specialties. If you have a long-term care facility or school, you may want to consider an all-in-one telemedicine system.

These systems start at $20,000, but you could pay as much as $30,000.

  • Telemedicine Support on Mobile Devices

Support costs for mobile health app development can vary significantly. You could be paying a couple of hundred dollars per month or as much as $10,000. It is entirely dependent on whether you are developing a simple app for a small user base or a complex app that serves an entire hospital or clinical network.

  • Employee Training

You should take approximately two to three weeks to train your employees on the new software. During training, you should demonstrate how the solution works, explain its integration capabilities, and test the entire process together. You should also consider conducting tests with patients

These training programs can range from $200 to $2,000 per location. It will largely depend on the complexity of your solution, the number of users, additional installations, and technical training for IT staff.

  • Lawyer Fees

Consult your state’s medical board or attorney for information on telemedicine compliance laws. You can also check the American Telemedicine Association’s website to examine what is and is not allowed in your state. Certain states will allow virtual visits with patients from any location while others require the patient to visit a medical facility.

To get a better understanding of your state’s laws, you may need to find a local lawyer who can outline your implementation rights. It’s also a mandatory factor to consider when implementing telehealth.

  • Telemedicine Regulatory Compliance

Developing a telemedicine application you should also pay special attention to the regulatory compliance requirements. There is an international collection of formatting standards and guidelines designed to assist healthcare providers in the transmission and sharing of data. Such as HL7 and HIPAA.

HL7 is a framework accomplished by defining how electronic healthcare data, such as clinical and administrative, is packaged and transported. This involves defining the language, type, and structure. In comparison to previous approaches, compliance to HL7 standards simplifies and improves data exchange.

Since the pandemic, the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) has become a required video conferencing standard. In essence, this federal law prescribes companies "to protect the privacy and security of individuals' medical records and other protected health information (PHI)." Most telehealth video conferencing platforms follow this rule.

How much does it cost to implement telemedicine?

The main question behind the telemedicine service adoption is “how much does telehealth software cost”. The cost of telemedicine depends on the solution you want to implement, number of needed features, team composition, and deadlines.

If you want to add additional functionality or create a more complex app, be ready to spend more money. A telemedicine software cost can exceed $300,000 if you choose a highly complex and feature-rich solution. On the other hand, you can get a solution for $50,000. The final cost strongly depends on your needs, sizing, and capabilities.

Please note that this price includes a patient app, a doctor app, and an administration panel for a single platform (iOS or Android) at $50 per hour (which is the average development rate in Ukraine). The process for development can vary between three to six months.

Usually, companies require several types of applications: web and mobile. Those, accordingly, divided into several packages:

  • Web Application
  • Mobile Application
  • Doctor’s & patient’s app
  • Patient’s app only
  • Doctor’s web app & patient’s web and mobile apps

The following table provides the average time and telemedicine platform costs for a Doctor’s & patient’s app combination:

Feature

Average hours for either web or mobile app

Cost

Registration

40

$1600

Video Calls

215

$8600

Text Chats

308

$12350

Calendar

149

$6000

EHR Integration

192

$7700

Prescriptions

71

$2900

Payments

115

$4600

Data Exchange

137

$5500

Ratings

40

$1600

Audio Calls

220

$8800

Mental Health App Integration

420

$16800

Final Cost & Time Spent

1907

$76450

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Pro Tip: telemedicine solutions must have an innovative idea and service as hardware and software can only support the technological aspect of your app. As a result, a considerable amount of your resources should be spent on defining and developing this innovative solution.

Our Areas of Expertise

  • Mobile applications.
  • Video conferencing.
  • Virtual and augmented reality technologies.
  • Wearable devices that share data with healthcare service providers. This may include the patient’s body temperature, blood pressure, pulse, and physical activity.

Softermii is a proficient healthcare software development company that has aced multiple healthcare-related projects. There's HIPAA Telmed, for example, a new web-based doctor-patient video-meeting platform. The platform provides a highly functional environment for physicians and their clients to take part in remote consultations. A WebRTC-based solution features a versatile dashboard for client management by clinic staff along with unified record keeping.

telehealth cost

Another solution we’re proud of is MedRealtime. MedRealtime is a cutting-edge medical software consisting of a web and mHealth booking & telecommunication platforms transforming the way we get healthcare treatment before.

The platform allows patients to get better access to medicine from anywhere & anytime and have the opportunity to choose the needed specialist based on his experience, skills, and patients' reviews.

cost of telemedicine app development

Also, Softermii creates custom video conferencing solutions that fully integrate with each clients' business communications infrastructure. Our recent development is a fully customizable VidRTC engine.

telemedicine software cost

The engine simplifies and accelerates building video-based products and integrating video conferencing into telemedicine websites and apps.

Cost Savings And Earnings From Virtual Care

According to some estimates, the United States could save up to $4.28 billion per year on healthcare costs by expanding virtual care solutions. In addition, reports predict that by 2027, the global market for mobile health apps will reach $312 billion. As a result, many have jumped at the chance to join this rapidly growing market.

If you need a customized, secure, HIPAA-compliant telemedicine platform, just drop us a line so we could help. Our software development team has extensive experience building telehealth platforms from the ground up, such as HIPAA Video and MedRealTime, as well as expertise in developing in a variety of medical fields.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the cost of telemedicine app development?

The telehealth cost depends on the solution you want to implement, number of needed features, team composition, telehealth equipment cost (if you’ll need some additional one) and deadlines.

If you want to add some functionality on top or create a more complex app, be ready to spend more money. A telemedicine software cost can exceed $300,000 if you choose a highly complex and feature-rich solution. On the other hand, you can get a solution for $50,000. The final cost strongly depends on your needs, sizing, and capabilities.

What does the telemedicine software cost depend on?

Developing a telemedicine application requires extensive analysis and a deep understanding of your organization. The more that you know about your pains, gaps, and problems, the faster that you can get your first evaluation.

The final telemedicine app development cost heavily depends on the number of features that your business requires. Additionally, you should keep in mind that you’ll need a solution that works for both the web and mobile as well as the creation of multiple databases.

Why should you consider developing a telemedicine solution?

According to the Applause survey, 63% of respondents stated they plan to use telehealth more than they did prior to the pandemic. What’s more, over three-fourths (77%) of patients said they enjoyed using telehealth, even though 48% claimed there were things they could not do via the telehealth service that they would like to have done. And only 39% of respondents said they would like to visit doctors in person.

A survey conducted by McKinzey and co showed that 58% of physicians continue to view virtual care more favorably than before the pandemic. As of April 2021, 84% of doctors offered telehealth, and 57% said they'd prefer to continue offering it. For these reasons, telemedicine is a must-have feature for any healthcare app developed in 2022.

Is there a difference between telemedicine startup cost and telemedicine platform cost for big enterprises?

The typical telemedicine cost is based on the complexity of the solution, the required features, team composition, deadlines and cost of telehealth equipment in case you need one.

However, we suggest startups conduct market research and business analysis. The telemedicine market requires a great deal of details that must be included in the final solution. If you miss important details that your competitors have, your solution may fail. Moreover, you have to understand what can make your patients switch telemedicine solutions.

Also, we suggest startups to firstly develop an MVP. Having an MVP enables you to evaluate your solution and determine what enhancements or modifications are necessary. This stage is considered to be an early step of development.

The development of an MVP typically takes up to six weeks and costs at least $15,000. If you choose to proceed with your app development, you will save both time and money by already having the first step of development completed. You will spend less on quality assurance testing, training, and hardware purchases.

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