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Healthcare, General

Cost of Telemedicine: Is It a Worthy Investment?

Andrii Horiachko
15 September 2020 • 11 min read
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Cost of Telemedicine: Is It a Worthy Investment?

Telehealth refers to information and services that are distributed through telecommunication technology and electronic means. If you are curious about telemedicine cost for your medical practice,  it ranges dramatically on the functionality you’d like to have. 

According to a Research 2 Guidance survey, the average development of health applications like telemedicine one might cost up to $370k  and more to develop. That's not even considering the marketing costs.

Besides, quite a high cost of development, the statistics reveal that the telemedicine market is growing steadily and is forecasted to reach over $175B by 2026.

telemedicine market size 2019 vs 2026

While in 2017, a HealthMine survey of patients revealed that they are primarily interested in using telemedicine technology to connect with their doctors that telemedicine services fulfill as well as other preferable use cases:

telemedicine use cases

Moreover, the study revealed the next results of those who reported using telemedicine, 93% said that the service resulted in lower healthcare costs for them. Hence, the telemedicine platform is a win-win for healthcare providers as it provides a new way to get new customers as well as for patients.

The most recent CivicScience research of 2020 revealed that COVID-19 outbreak impacts on telemedicine adoption by patients. Moreover, 29% of U.S. adults surveyed in May of 2020 said that they had a telemedicine appointment with a doctor that is in 6% more compared with April, and a massive increase up to 18% since February, before the outbreak.

 telemedicine growth

All these data and survey results mean that the healthcare professionals, as well as patients, understand the value of telemedicine that will lead to its obvious growth.

 

Reasons Why Consumers and Doctors Choose Telemedicine Apps

People are gradually growing less wary about using electronic healthcare products. As their trust has gone up, so have the number of apps available. These are some of the reasons why. 

  • Helpful for chronic disease management

Maybe you have a minor health issue or feel too sick to see a doctor in person. You no longer have to head to a clinic when you use a telehealth app. You can fill out medical forms online at your leisure, and you don't have to sit in a waiting room. That’s so helpful for patients with chronic diseases who need to control their health records with a doctor on a regular basis. Hence, for any diabetes platform, video conferencing can be much valuable functionality.

  • They're an alternative to urgent care

These apps minimize emergency room visits. They can help if you're dealing with a common cold or a respiratory condition like asthma. They're also an option if you have a question about allergies, eye or skin issues, or a muscle strain. You might use one if you want to find out about the treatment of burns, cuts, chronic pain, etc.

  • Convenience

Telemedicine makes it much easier to schedule doctor’s appointments within the app and have a visit with a desired professional in a convenient time. If you need documentation for work or school, telemedicine saves you the trip. A doctor can fill out a form, and then the patient gets an alert that the note is available for emailing or printing.

They're also useful for doctors, for the following reasons. 

  • New channel to build new patients base

Telemedicine platforms mean for healthcare professionals a new way to expand their patients base as there is no barrier in locations. They are also helpful as doctors can schedule urgent telemedicine visits when they have a free timeslot in their schedule. 

  • They Mean Less Paperwork

Telehealth is a way to automate administrative work. Specialists can use the EMR system.

  • Doctors Can Do an Easy Follow-Up

Telehealth is a way to automate administrative work. Specialists can use the EMR system.

  • Faster Service Deliveries

Doctors can provide services faster with an easy Electronic Medical Records (EMR) system. They can also make use of instant messaging and advanced, integrated AI chatbots.

 

Examples of Telemedicine Software Pricing

Calculating the cost of telemedicine system options can be a challenge. However, we can look at starter prices for different companies. 

As you prefer to build a custom telemedicine platform, you can expect to pay more at once while you get more profits in the future without the need to pay for the license or subscription and with the ability to adjust your software at any time. 

However, ready-made telemedicine solutions might be good to try first and then move ahead of the development of your own one. So, we made for a quick overview of the most popular telehealth software services on the market:

  • Doxy.me

This system has a straightforward user interface. It's easy for the patient, as they don't need to download any software or log in to engage in a live chat with a provider. That could take the form of video or text. Pricing for a clinic is $50/month per provider for the first five providers. You can get a bulk discount for additional ones. An annual contract is $42/month per provider.

doxy me

  • eVisit 

This is a full-service web-based telehealth software system. You get features like medical billing and virtual waiting rooms. You can also write online prescriptions. It costs in the area of $600 per month, per user. 

evisitSource: eVisit

  • Sherpaa

This isn't a software company. Providers contract through the platform to provide telehealth services. Sherpaa matches each patient with the company's telemedicine providers. Physicians don't pay for this service. Patients pay $40 per month for the application, which gives them access to a group of doctors that can write prescriptions, order lab tests, and make referrals.

  • Intelligent Medical Software by Meditab Software

This is a platform that offers Televisit. It has such medical app features such as One-to-One Messaging, E-Prescribing, Appointment Reminders, Appointment Scheduling, Multi-Provider Practice, and Video Conferencing. Pricing begins at $199.00 per month, per user. There is no free version.

televisit

  • VSee

This is a software system that provides telemedicine practice management. You'll get patient self-scheduling and a virtual waiting room. It's HIPAA-compliant. It also offers Appointment Reminders and Scheduling, One-to-One Messaging, and Multi-Provider Practice. However, it does not have Medical Billing or E-Prescribing. The price begins around $49 per month per user.

vsee

  • WeCounsel

Every healthcare provider can use WeCounsel, but it focuses on mental health specialists. You get online payment, appointment scheduling, and reminders. You can't use it for submitting insurance claims, or EHR/EMR integration. Providers can use it for screen shares with patients. Plans start at a reasonable $25 per month, per user.

  • Zoom

Zoom is not a telemedicine company. However, they offer a feature with a video conferencing platform for hospitals and doctors that is HIPAA-compliant. It supports medical device and EHR integrations. The Zoom for Healthcare HIPAA/PIPEDA-enabled plans start at $200 per month per account, and that comes with ten hosts.

zoom

Source: Zoom

  • HIPAA Video

The Softermii team developed a HIPAA-compliant telemedicine platform that is supported by all popular web browsers, including Android and iOS systems. It provides superior security for both patients and medical care providers, and the video sessions are of the highest quality. Pricing starts at $24 per month for providers, while clinics can expect to pay $120 per month.

 

Additional Cost Considerations

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

  • Medical Device or Features Integration

Telemedicine startup costs often include extras for setting connectivity with portable devices or additional medical features integration with APIS. Common devices to be integrated might consist of a digital telescope, examination camera, or ENT scope. You could pay between $5,000 and $10,000 for each additional mobile device.

  • Telehealth Platform License

Another telehealth cost would be for your license. However, you can buy a telehealth platform license without paying the fee each month. If you do, expect to pay about $1,500 per patient site for a software-based route with no cost for a remote provider. The price tag for hardware-based video conferencing can be around $10,000 per patient site. It will increase along with the number of remote provider sites you need. Or you can build your own telehealth platform scalable for your requirements.

  • Communication Platform and Videoconferencing

Let's say you want a portal with multiple capabilities, including patient consultation hosting. Maybe you also want the ability to aggregate and relay mobile medical device data. With video conferencing, consider any systems your facility currently uses. They might integrate with your communication platform. Telehealth pricing for software-based conferencing costs anywhere from $1,000 and $1,500 per patient site. Hardware-based solutions can land between $7,000 and $10,000 per patient, with prices increasing with the addition of remote providers.

  • Telemedicine Equipment Cost

Cases, carts, and wall mounts are telemedicine software examples that need hardware packaging. Your concern will be how well the packaging fulfills your needs, though aesthetics matter too. Look for modular packaging that allows for easy configuration with multiple specialties. You might want an all-in-one telemedicine system, particularly if you have a long-term care facility or school. These systems start at about $20,000, though you could pay as much as $30,000.

  • Telemedicine Support on Mobile Devices

The cost of implementing telemedicine would also likely include support for your platform. With mobile health app development, that cost can vary dramatically. You might be paying a couple of hundred dollars per month, or as much as $10k if you have a complex app that serves an entire hospital or clinical network.

  • Medical Staff Training

There are different training programs to ensure the long-term success of clinical telemedicine programs. One is user training for clinicians and nurses. The other kind is installations and technical training for IT staff. These training programs can range from $200 to $2,000 per site. It will all depend on equipment complexity, the number of users, and other factors. 

 

Potential Virtual Care Savings 

According to some estimates, the US could save as much as $4.28 billion on healthcare spending per year if it implemented increased virtual care measures. It remains to be seen how much such measures will be adopted as time passes. 

If you need to integrate any of the telemedicine system features we mentioned with other medical software, our healthcare developers can help you. 

If you need a customized, secure, HIPAA-compliant telemedicine platform, we can help you with that. As our software development team has built telehealth platforms from scratch, such as HIPAA Video and MedRealTime while having expertise in building other types of medical software. So in case, you choose our software development for healthcare services,  we share our experience with you and create a reliable platform for your users. 

Anyway, the cost of telehealth can be substantial, but its importance should now be evident to you. It is a field that is growing more prominent as time passes, and becoming more accepted as we progress further into this new decade. 

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