Telehealth apps have existed since many years, but when the COVID outbreak took place, these applications soared new heights of popularity. And it’s easy to understand why- it’s because these apps offer a convenient and accessible way for patients to receive healthcare services from the comfort of their own homes.
With the rise of digital technology and adoption of smartphones across the globe, telehealth has become an essential part of the healthcare landscape today. That said, not all telehealth apps are created equal. Let’s explore the top 6 features that every telehealth app should have to provide the best possible care for patients.
1. Video and audio communication
The most important feature of any telehealth app is the ability to have a live video or audio conversation with a healthcare provider. This feature allows patients to receive medical advice and care from the comfort of their homes. The quality of the audio and video should be high, with minimal lag and clear audio. This feature allows for remote consultations, diagnosis, and treatment recommendations, making it possible for patients to access care regardless of their location.
Some of the things that healthcare app developers can do to enhance audio and video when building a quality telehealth app are:
Optimize the app for low bandwidth networks: One of the most significant challenges in offering telehealth services is the quality of Internet connectivity. Many patients and healthcare providers still don’t have access to high-speed internet connections. Thus, the app can be optimized in a way that it provides a smooth video and audio experience, even on low bandwidth networks. For this, adaptive video streaming technology can also be used, which adjusts the video quality to the available bandwidth.
Use the Latest Video and Audio Codecs: Developers can use the latest video and audio codecs to ensure that the telehealth app provides high-quality video and audio. Codecs compress video and audio data, making it easier to transmit over the internet. These codecs can be used to provide high compression rates without compromising the video or audio quality.
Implement echo cancellation: Echo cancellation is a technique that eliminates the echo that occurs when the sound from the speaker is picked up by the microphone. This is a common issue in video conferencing and can interfere with the communication flow. If this technology is implemented in a telehealth app, it can ensure that the sound heard by the patients or doctors is clear and devoid of echoes.
2. Electronic health records (EHR) integration
Integrating EHR with telehealth app can help streamline the process for both patients and healthcare providers. This feature allows healthcare providers to access patient’s medical history, medication lists, and previous diagnoses, and access other important information. This enables them to provide more accurate diagnoses and personalized treatment plans. By integrating EHR with the telehealth app, patients can share their medical information securely and efficiently, which eliminates the need for manual data entry.
3. Appointment scheduling and reminders
A telehealth app should have an easy-to-use scheduling system for patients to book appointments with healthcare providers. The app should also send reminders to patients before their scheduled appointments. This feature can help reduce the number of missed appointments, improve the patient experience, and increase patient satisfaction. With an appointment scheduling and reminder system, patients can stay on top of their healthcare needs and receive timely care.
4. Remote monitoring
Remote monitoring allows healthcare providers to monitor patients’ health status from afar. This feature is particularly useful for patients with chronic conditions or those recovery after surgery or operation. Remote monitoring can help detect early warning signs of complications and prevent hospitalization. This feature allows for continuous monitoring of vitals, such as blood pressure, blood sugar, heart rate, and oxygen saturation. Healthcare institutes can use this data to make informed decisions about the patient’s care.
5. Prescription refill requests
A telehealth app should allow patients to request prescription refills from their healthcare provider easily. The app should notify the provider of the refill request and allow them to approve or deny the request. This feature can help patients manage their medication and avoid running out of prescription medications. It can also reduce the number of phone calls or in-person visits patients need to make to their health professionals. Thus, not only it saves time for both the patient and the doctors, it also ensures that patients’ health is never compromised due to late delivery of medication.
6. Secure messaging
Secure messaging allows patients to communicate with their hospital or medical professional in a secure and private manner. They can ask questions about their health, share concerns, or provide updates on their condition. Healthcare providers can respond with advice or recommend further care as needed. This tool can help patients receive help whenever they need and get their health-related concerns addressed without having to booking appointments or waiting in lives.
One thing to remember here is that security is a critical aspect of all telehealth services. Thus, when developing a telehealth app, the devs can enhance its security by using encryption to protect the video and audio data. Encryption ensures that the data transmitted between the patient and healthcare provider is secure and cannot be tapped into by unauthorized agents such as hackers and cyber criminals.
To sum it up, telehealth apps have become important for countless people across the globe who don’t have access to conventional healthcare services or are simply unable to access or afford these services even when they are available. Telehealth apps are, thus a good alternative that’s gaining popularity with time.
Even though telehealth apps are widely adopted by demographics in different regions, there are hen considering a telehealth app, it is essential to look for features such as video and audio communication, EHR integration, appointment scheduling and reminders, remote monitoring, prescription refill requests, and secure messaging. By building a telehealth app with these features, a healthcare company can offer their patients best possible care from the comfort of their own homes.
With more than 19 years of experience - I represent a team of professionals that specializes in the healthcare and business and workflow automation domains. The team consists of experienced full-stack developers supported by senior system analysts who have developed multiple bespoke applications for Healthcare, Business Automation, Retail, IOT, Ed-tech domains for startups and Enterprise Level clients.