Healthcare

Doctor Appointment App Development Guide: Features, Technologies & Monetization

22 September 2021 • 19 min read
Doctor Appointment App Development Guide: Features, Technologies & Monetization
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Andrii Horiachko
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Suppose you are in the healthcare industry and seeking to improve the quality and productivity of your medical services. In that case, no doubt, developing a doctor's appointment app or a web platform might be the right solution for your practice. Many patients consider this kind of doctor-on-demand app essential for any healthcare provider now, regardless of whether they are getting treatment at a hospital, clinic, or private practice.

When you have a medicine app as part of what you can offer patients, it sends a strong signal that you are on the cutting edge of the medical industry. Medtech innovations in this area have become necessary.

So, let's discuss why it is necessary and how to develop a custom doctor appointment app.

Reasons for Developing the Doctor Scheduling App For Your Organization

As more and more people have smartphones these days, they are willing to use them to plan their doctor visits, medication pickup, and other factors with their health and well-being. Thus more consumers will choose the healthcare provider that offers such digital capabilities as e-prescriptions, online communication, remote monitoring, and virtual appointment.

According to a recent survey, 43% of patients prefer to book appointments online, and 57% of consumers go online when searching for a new healthcare provider. Also, 72% of patients and 60% of healthcare professionals say online booking platforms encourage patients to keep appointments.

Therefore, the option to book a doctor's appointment online plays an important role when choosing medical services. It works simply: when you have the option to book doctors' appointments online, you understand that you're going to get the best of modern care. Both patients and doctors want to feel like they're taking advantage of all the technological advancements and automating and optimizing their valuable time.

These are both indicators of convenience for such an option of online doctor appointment scheduling. It should not be unreasonable to assume that all of these numbers will continue to grow exponentially in the future, considering the popularity of this feature in the post-COVID-19 times.

Global Doctor Appointment Software Development Market Growth

TOP 7 BENEFITS OF DOCTOR APPOINTMENT APP FOR PATIENTS AND DOCTORS

Well, you now know what a doctor's appointment app is, what main options they offer, and why you need to start to care about implementing this solution. But now, let's cover more specific points on why the simple option to book a doctor online can impact your medical practice incrementally.

Cost-Cutting Factor For Your Business With Doctor-on-Demand Platform

Cost-cutting is the first thing you may well think of when considering how a doctor's appointment app can help you. That is true for both patients and medical organizations.

For primary care providers, the average patient visit generates $100-$150. If two of 10-time slots remain empty each day, the loss is $1,000 a week. Combined with an average no-show rate of 23-34 percent, revenue becomes unpredictable, as reported by the American Journal of Medicine. That means many booked consultations are not conducted because of the patient and not replaced by another visit.

The availability of a doctor booking app allows clinics and hospitals to save when they have online scheduling software in place. They can better manage consultations this way. They can keep track of cancelations so that doctors will have a better chance of seeing one of their other patients if someone backs out of an appointment at the last minute. So this kind of medical app can optimize doctor workload and avoid unused time slots that are truly cost-saving.

The working hours of administrative staff are also reduced when these sorts of apps are in place, driving down the overhead for clinics, hospitals, etc. Scheduling software helps avoid a lot of manual work, errors, and salary payoff when a booking is made by staff. Thus the employee time might be spent more effectively on other tasks when appointment scheduling is automated.

Furthermore, 34.3% of appointments booked through online platforms were scheduled when the office was closed, at a time when there would have been no one there to accept a phone call.

The Time-Saving Factor For Patients and Doctors

It leads us to the time-saving factor, another consideration with the doctor appointment reminder app. An app to handle the logistics saves time for the patients because they can quickly and easily schedule medical appointments online. The doctor doesn't have to be involved with the online appointment scheduling process, and their receptionists or other staff don't need to work the phones. The system synchronizes automatically with everyone's calendar, sends reminders on upcoming visits, and even can send a notification if some time slot was canceled so that other patients can book it instantly.

Thus, that decreases the no-show rates as patients are informed about upcoming consultations in advance and save doctors' time. The feature of recently canceled visits' notification again decreases the unused doctor working time rate while the patients who need urgent consultation can get it faster.

Doctor's appointment service data

The Ease of Finding a Specialist Within The App

A custom doctor appointment booking system is usually combined with the platform with doctors' profiles listing specific clinics or locations. It means that patients can easily find a specialist if they need a particular kind of expertise if they have a problem. The app's doctor profile listings can put patients in touch with the right doctor without time-consuming phone calls, just with easy filters and search functionality.

Expanded Medical Practices Offline & Online

The prevalence of doctor appointment app development also means that medical practices have the time and the money to expand and thrive. This kind of software can expand the opportunity for doctors to get more patients and experience too. Under the Deloitte report, a mobile doctor booking solution allows consulting two extra patients daily. As a result, it increases the provider's profits by improving work efficiency and expanding doctors' experience.

Furthermore, if the doctor booking app is integrated with the telemedicine platform, this Medtech solution can expand medical practice online and consult even more patients remotely.

You may find an interesting article on the cost of telemedicine systems.

More Accessible Healthcare Along With Online Booking & Video Conferencing Of Medical Consultation

A medical appointment booking app also helps patients and doctors become more comfortable in scenarios that are rapidly growing more commonplace, such as medical video conferencing software development. For instance, patients might be immobile, but they can still consult with their doctor from home if they have the app and a smartphone or tablet.

The integration of a custom support platform can also be a significant help to patients. They usually appreciate the ability to make online payments rather than having to call a doctor's office with their credit card information or send a check through the mail. It means a higher ROI for the hospital, clinic, or whatever another medical entity is in play.

Improved Patient Care and Satisfaction with Services

As we said before, patients feel more confident about their care when the most modern med-tech solutions are available on their smartphones. Using a doctor booking system, healthcare providers can decrease the cost of medical services and make them better and more convenient for patients. Patients will have more options in choosing the best time for a consultation that is highly important for satisfaction with services, especially for the younger generation. More than half of Millennials and Gen Xers say they would switch providers for the ability to book appointments online.

Brand Reputation, Loyalty, and Trust

It should also be understood that a doctor's office or hospital is a brand that is worthy of trust, just like a food manufacturer or any other entity. A doctor appointment calendar app allows patients to feel more secure when they seek medical care repeatedly from the same entity. If they can always go through the app and it never malfunctions, it will make them more at ease with the doctor or hospital they choose.

THE MAIN DOCTOR APPOINTMENT APP FEATURES THAT YOU NEED TO HAVE

After reading all the benefits and ways of monetizing doctor's visits scheduling software, you've decided that the time has come to develop it, then there are some points you need to keep in mind.

Any medical application needs to have core mhealth app features that solve the main users' problems to be successful. Samely doctor appointment app should also have some specific built-in functionalities to meet the users' expectations. Let's reveal what they are:

Online and Offline Doctor Appointment Booking

Online and Offline Doctor Appointment Booking

A doctor appointment management app should feature as its bedrock online and offline booking capabilities that are intuitive and always work right the first time. You should have appointment status features and a fully functioning calendar like this one below:

Admin Panel For Mobile App

Admin Panel For Mobile App

An online clinic appointment system based on PHP language should include an admin panel for doctor and patient profile management. If there's a necessity to make any changes to anyone's profile on the network, the system should also cover a notification module.

Admin Panel For Mobile App

Doctor Profile

A doctor module that is specifically for profile creation and revision should be present. There should be available data such as the doctor's specialty, their location, photos of them, patient reviews, and what they charge for an appointment under different insurance providers.

It would be great to have real-time analytics for doctors and reports on the status of their medical practice. The doctor might also use this to put up some marketing and promotional items if that's something that they want to provide.

Doctor Listings with Search and Filters

Doctor Listings with Search and Filters

It's also vital for your app to have detailed doctor listings and search and filter features. You can customize your search and narrow down the possibilities within seconds if you need to find a specialist.

Patient Profiles

Patient Profiles

As for the patient profiles, they should include personal information so that doctors can familiarize themselves with a case history if they are about to see the patient for the first time. Document uploading and scanning capabilities would undoubtedly come in handy.

Map Integration

Map Integration

Map API can be easily integrated into the app to allow patients to get to the hospital for doctor visits without any trouble. Moreover, our development team has worked on this feature for the MedReal Time App and implemented such a map integration right in the doctor profile. Users can see it when choosing the doctor as location often matters for patients.

Read also: How Healthcare APIs Augment Medical Software Development

Reminders & Notifications

Reminders & Notifications

Your physician scheduling software should also have fully functioning appointment email, phone, or app reminders and push notifications so that no appointment will ever be missed.

Online Video Conferencing Capacity

Online Video Conferencing Capacity

We touched on this already, but the most critical thing to remember is that as time goes by, more patients will want the ability to consult with their doctor without having to go into the hospital or clinic physically. You're going to want HD-video functioning, audio, and chat integration into your platform along with online booking. You can see how it's implemented in reality on the example of video conferencing for medicine, developed by our team.

ePrescriptions Feature

ePrescriptions Feature

Doctor appointment scheduler software should have a way for a doctor to prescribe a needed medicine along with receipts directly in the app. Then the patient will be able to order the prescriptions from your local pharmacy or whatever they choose.

Symptom Checker and Disease Diagnosis

Symptom Checker and Disease Diagnosis

You're probably already aware of the popularity of AI-based assistants that can make a diagnosis based on the user's symptoms. Your doctor's appointment software should have some symptoms checker built-in with, for example, SymptomChecker API to diagnose what specialist consultation the user needs to have.

eBilling & Payment Gateways

There should also be a handy billing functionality for a doctor to form a bill and a secure payment gateway for the user to pay for their scheduled consultations directly through the app. It should ideally include card scanning capabilities.

Cost Calculator and Health Tracking

A hospital appointment management system should include a cost calculator, so patients will know and understand what they are being charged exactly at all times.

A health tracker is also a feature that more individuals are using these days. Even if they are at the peak of health, they like to be able to monitor their vitals and keep track of how many steps they're taking during the day.

A Drug Reference Tool and Safety Compliance Information

A drug reference tool is helpful to have available in any hospital appointment management system. A patient should see what side effects the drugs can have that are being prescribed to them.

Safety compliance information is also useful to have. That way, a patient can rest easy knowing that they are using the app complying fully with GDPR, HIPAA, PHI, and European health laws and statutes.

Read our guide on how to build a custom healthcare app.

Doctor Appointment App Tech Stack

The tech stack of the development may vary greatly depending on the complexity of the project, number of features, team composition, etc. Though the technologies used may be different, but the basic tech stack is as follows:

  • Front-end development: Angular, ReactJS
  • Back-end development: Node.js, PHP, Phyton; database - Postgres, MySQL, MongoDB
  • Mobile development: Android - Java, iOS - Swift
  • Multiple payment modes: Braintree, PayPal, Stripe
  • Map integration and user location tracking: Google Maps API, MapKit, CoreLocation
  • Push notifications: Push.io, Twilio
  • In-app calling and messaging: Twilio
  • Cloud environment: Google, Amazon Web Services (AWS), Microsoft Azure.

Challenges Developing a Custom Doctor Appointment Application

Data security

As with any medical apps, to protect personal data, doctor appointment solutions need to follow regulations regarding data security, such as GDPR, HIPAA, PHI, and European health laws and statutes.

Accessible design

To meet its goals, doctor appointment apps should be easy-to-use and seamless in adoption. The learning curve should be minimized, considering that the app will be used by different age categories and people with different technical backgrounds.

Integrations

Nowadays, the healthcare technology ecosystem may consist of several devices and various solutions. Making your doctor appointment app as useful as possible may require integrating numerous internal systems (medical, financial, reporting, CRMs, etc.) and third-party ones (e.g., insurance) in a trusted, secure manner. So, the integration of vastly different technologies and platforms is very important.

THE COST OF DOCTOR APPOINTMENT APP DEVELOPMENT

The cost of doctor appointment booking app development may vary depending on the number of features, tech stack, team composition, deadlines, etc.

The cost of developing such an app is negligible when you think about how many people are likely to use it in the months and years to come. Just as in many other fields, if this is something that you neglect to do, you're going to be left behind.

Besides, if you follow the tips that we've mentioned, you can mitigate some of the associated costs. You'll have a tool that should help you achieve a level of ROI for your medical business that you likely never dreamed was possible. The time and money that you put into online doctor appointment app development is not something that you're ever going to regret.

However, the average cost of the ready-to-use tailor-made doctor appointment app starts from $80000. Contact us to get your project's cost precise calculations.

Monetization of Doctor On-Demand Solutions

Hence, knowing the benefits of Building an online doctor appointment system, let's look at building this software as a way of investment that you can monetize shortly in the future.

Check popular doctor appointment booking solutions that exist these days, such as ZocDoc or DoctorOnDemand. You'll see the many ways that these sorts of apps are beneficial for both the patients and the medical professionals who use them. An appointment app is a way of monetizing doctor on-demand solutions that is tough to ignore. Here are some ways of monetization of this app type to consider.

  • These apps offer a subscription-based model for doctors who want to be listed on the app and provide their medical services.
  • The doctors can have online-video paid consultations with clients who aren't capable of being physically present in the clinic.
  • If you're a medical entity, you can give 3rd Party organizations or clinics access to your doctor's on-demand app.
  • You can offer paid prime memberships for patients. You might provide such services as video consultation or a personal AI-based assistant.
  • You can show contextual ads for clinics or pharmacies based on the input the patient offers.
  • You can come up with additional paid on-demand services if it fits your business model.
  • You can charge a fee for urgent bookings or last-minute consultation cancellations.

Even if you're a medical entity and don't wish to monetize your app in these ways directly, the likelihood of your seeing profits with implementing an app is still high. You should be able to have more consultations due to the efficiency of your scheduling.


Read our articles on how to use AI, AR & VR, and Blockchain in healthcare.

Softermii Experience

For example, Medrealtime. It is a platform facilitating better access to healthcare from anywhere and anytime. It allows patients to choose physicians depending on their skills, experience, and reviews and has real-time video consultations, appointments scheduling, and reminders for doctors and patients.

HIPAA Video app is a new web-based communication and video-conferencing application. It includes all necessary features for the doctor and patient to manage their interactions. Our developer team paid special attention to encoder implementations, browser support, and effective echo cancellation, creating a leading video-streaming solution.

HIPAA Video app

You can book a meeting with the Softermii specialist and discuss your project to develop a custom doctor's appointment app.

Final thoughts

So, if you get some questions on building a doctor scheduling app after reading this article, we can help you figure out the right model for your solution. Having experience in healthcare application development of different levels and complexity, we understand this industry's main problem, risks, and purposes and are ready to share our technical expertise with you. Contact us to start your own appointment app development!

Frequently Asked Questions

Here is a list of commonly asked questions and answers.

  • How much will it cost to develop a custom doctor booking app?

The cost of the development usually depends on the features and the complexity of the required project, terms, and the team involved. Contact us to get professional expertise and cost of your product development.

  • What details do you need to provide a precise doctor appointment app or web development estimate?

At the start of the project, we appreciate maximum involvement from your side. The traditional brief consists of your business model, features, market research, competitor’s benchmarks like apps & websites, specifications, deadlines, and business goals. The more details you provide, the less editing and additional alterations your product will need, leading to a seamless development process.

  • How much time do you need to build a custom doctor appointment product?

The development time may vary greatly, depending on the number of features, design, complexity, deadline, and business goals. We prioritize clients who are planning a long-term commitment. The desirable minimum project length is six months. We encourage a high level of collaboration to deliver a product that best meets your needs on time during this period.

We offer the full cycle of development:

  • Discovery phase
  • MVP production
  • UI/UX design
  • Web and mobile development
  • Quality Assurance
  • Support
  • How to choose a reliable healthcare software development company?

First and foremost, you need to find a trusted partner with a portfolio of developed projects, clients' reviews, and recommendations. Choosing a reliable telemedicine software development company means choosing a partner that collaborates with you and tailors software to your needs.

Softermii ensures we deliver the most advanced and secure software that incorporates all your needs, such as IoT, artificial intelligence, conferencing engines, and AR/VR. We develop telemedicine software that seamlessly fits your business principles and enhances your market reach, empowering you to stay connected in a digital age.

  • What tech stack do you use to develop a doctor appointment app?

The tech stack of the doctor appointment booking app development may vary greatly depending on the complexity of the project, the number of features, team composition, etc. Though the technologies used may be different, but the basic tech stack is as follows:

Front-end development: Angular, ReactJS
Back-end development: Node.js, PHP, Phyton; database - Postgres, MySQL, MongoDB
Mobile development: Android - Java, iOS - Swift
Multiple payment modes: Braintree, PayPal, Stripe
Map integration and user location tracking: Google Maps API, MapKit, CoreLocation
Push notifications: Push.io, Twilio
In-app calling and messaging: Twilio
Cloud environment: Google, Amazon Web Services (AWS), Microsoft Azure.

  • Can you build a doctor appointment app with other healthcare solutions?

Ideally, developing an online doctor appointment system goes hand in hand with creating medical software consisting of web and mHealth booking and telecommunication platforms. These all-in-one online medical consultation platforms help patients to get better access to medicine from anywhere and anytime. At the same time, it helps doctors provide higher healthcare treatment levels, expand and develop their medical practice, optimize workload, and increase profits.

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