Doctor Appointment App Development Guide: Features, Technologies & Monetization

16 November 2020 • 12 min read
Doctor Appointment App Development Guide: Features, Technologies & Monetization
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Andrii Horiachko
Written by Andrii Horiachko
Co-Founder and CTO at Softermii
Bringing Telemedicine to the Next Level with Medrealtime
Our approach to innovative telemedicine app development

If you are in the healthcare industry and seeking a way to improve your medical services quality and productivity, then, no doubt, the development of a doctor's appointment app or a web platform might be the right solution for your practice. As many patients consider this kind of doctor-on-demand app to be 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 to those patients 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 and how to develop a custom doctor appointment app.


Why Start To Think About Development of Doctor Scheduling App For Your Organization

As more and more people have smartphones these days, and they want to use them to plan their doctor visits, medication pickup, and all sorts of other factors having to do with their health and wellbeing. Thus more consumers will choose the healthcare provider that offers digital capabilities as prescription, online communication, video conferencing.

Even more, the option to book a medical consultation online is on the 4th of the priorities when deciding on a medical provider under the Accenture report of 2019:

how to develop a custom doctor appointment app

Therefore, the option to book a doctor’s appointment online plays an important role in satisfaction with certain 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 as though they're taking advantage of all the technological advancements and automate and optimize their valuable time.

Here is the more strong number that of online medical consultation scheduling:

  • 6% of appointments scheduled online are for same-day slots,

  • while 20% are for next-day slots.

These are both indicators of how convenient it is for there to be such an option for online doctor appointment scheduling. It should not be unreasonable to assume that all of these numbers are going to go up in the immediate future.


Top 7 Benefits of Doctor Appointment App For Patients and Doctors

Well, you now know what it is a doctor’s appointment app, 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.


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

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

Just imagine, that one unused time slot in schedule costs a physician around $200. Moreover, there is a super high no show rate of around 30% in the USA. That means that a lot of booked consultations are not conducted because of the patient and not replaced by another visit. It results in a $150B cost of missed visits only in the USA under the SCI Solutions report.

how to create a doctor appointment app

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 to 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 that were 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.


2. The Time-Saving Factor For Patients and Doctors Both

This leads us to the time-saving factor, another consideration with the doctor appointment reminder app. When there is an app to handle the logistics, it saves time for the patient 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. System synchronized automatically with everyone’s calendar, send reminders on upcoming visits and even can send a notification in case some time slot was canceled that other patients can book it instantly.

Thus, that decreases the no-show rates as patients are informed about upcoming consultation in advance and saves doctors’ time. With the help of notification of recently canceled visits, it again decreases the rate of the unused doctor working time while the patients who need consultation urgently can get it faster.


3. The Ease of Finding a Specialist Within The App

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


4. 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 getting more patients and experience too. Under the Deloitte report, a mobile doctor booking solution allows consulting 2 extra patients daily. As a result, it increases the provider’s profits through improving the efficiency of work and expands 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 interesting an article on cost of telemedicine system.


5. 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. A patient might be immobile, for instance, 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 into a doctor's office with their credit card information or send a check through the mail. This means a higher ROI for the hospital, clinic, or whatever another medical entity is in play.


6. Improved Patient Care and Satisfaction with Services

As we said before, patients feel more confident about the care they are getting 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 them to have a consultation that is highly important for satisfaction with services especially for the younger generation under the Accenture report.

doctor appointment booking app development


7. 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. The presence of a doctor appointment calendar app is a way for 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 of their choosing.


Monetization of Doctor On-Demand Solutions

Hence, knowing the benefits of the development of doctor on-demand app for own practice, let's look at building this software as a way of investment that you can monetize shortly in the future.

If you 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. A Dr. 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 own medical services.

  • The doctors can have online-video paid consultations with clients who are not as mobile.

  • 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 you don't wish to directly monetize your app in these ways, the likelihood of your seeing profits with the implementation of 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.


The Main Doctor Appointment App Features that You Need to Have

If after reading all the benefits and ways of monetization of 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.

To be successful any medical application needs to have core mhealth app features that solve the main users’ problems. 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

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:

doctor appointment app features


• Admin Panel For Mobile App

An online clinic appointment system based often on PHP language should include an admin panel for doctor and patient profile management. It should include a notification module as well if any changes are made to the profile of anyone on the network


• Doctor Profile

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

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


• 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

As for the patient profiles, they should include such things as 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 API can be easily integrated into the app that will allow patients to get to the hospital for doctor visits without any trouble. Moreover, our development team has worked on this feature for MedReal Time App and implemented such a map integration right in the doctor profile that user can see it when choosing the doctor as location often matters for patients. Read also: How Healthcare APIs Augment Medical Software Development

design and development of online doctor appointment system


• Reminders & Notifications

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


• Online Video Conferencing Capacity

We touched on this already, but the most critical thing to remember is that as time goes by, more patients are going to want the ability to consult with their doctor without having to physically go into the hospital or clinic. 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 the video conferencing for medicine, developed by our team.

build app for booking doctor appointments

Read also how to develop a video call app.


• 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

You're probably already aware of the popularity of AI-based assistant 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.

book doctor appointment app development


• eBilling & Payment Gateways

There should also be a handy billing functionality for a doctor to form a bill and secure payment gateway for the user to pay for your scheduled consultations directly through the app. This 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 exactly what they are being charged at all times.

A health tracker is also a feature that more individuals are using these days. Even if they are in 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 be able to 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.

The Cost Of Doctor Appointment App Development

The cost of developing a doctor-on-demand app may be significant.

The average outsourced budget for mhealth app development like the doctor’s on-demand app until its launch is $200k under Research2Guidance mHealth App Developers Economics study of 2018.

However, just as in many other fields, if this is something that you neglect to do, then you're going to be left behind. 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.

Besides, if you follow the tips that we mentioned, then 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 the development of your app is not something that you're ever going to regret.

So, if after reading this article you get some questions on building a doctor scheduling app, we can help you to figure out the right model for your solution. Having an experience of 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.

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