Comprehensive Guide on Developing an Outstanding Telemedicine App!

Comprehensive Guide on Developing an Outstanding Telemedicine App!
“The global telemedicine market was valued to be 40 Billion USD in the year 2019. By the year 2026, it is expected to grow exponentially and cross 175 Billion USD”
These statistics forecasted by Statista, a renowned market research and statistics portal, indicate the soaring scope of the telemedicine apps and similar other healthcare IT services. The transformations that these digital advancements have brought in the healthcare domain are revolutionary. Especially in today’s unprecedented times of COVID-19 pandemic and lockdown situations, these solutions are all the more in demand. No wonder why several hospitals, healthcare providers, and even individual practitioners are looking forward to developing customized telemedicine apps and software solutions
If you too are here for a comprehensive knowledge of telemedicine app development like a doctor-on-demand app, this blog is for you. We have outlined the vital details required in the development process. Let’s delve into details.

What is a Telemedicine App?

Telemedicine apps, also known as telehealth apps are the tools used for the delivery of healthcare services by the providers to the patients, usually from remote locations. These healthcare apps use new-age technologies to ensure relentless communication between both parties and bridge the gap between them. These facilitate the diagnosis, assessment, and treatment of the patients without the need to be physically present at the hospital or clinic. Thus, the telemedicine apps are widely being used for remote medical assistance as people are increasingly drawn towards such advanced technologies to monitor their well-being.
Healthcare organizations or individual care providers deliver various services to the patients. Based on the services, these apps can be categorized as
  • Apps to find general physicians or specialized doctors and book appointments like doctor-on-demand.
  • Interactive apps to communicate via phone calls, video calls, etc. with care providers or physicians for consultation.
  • Smartphone-based apps to exchange health records, prescriptions, etc.
  • IoT-based apps using wearable devices or other medical devices for remote monitoring of health conditions like sugar levels, heart rate, blood pressure, etc.

Top-notch Advantages of Telemedicine App Development

Patients get instant access to all kinds of healthcare specialists without the need to travel to their clinics or hospitals as they can consult the doctor through the app itself using video/audio calls and one to one chats. Minor health issues like fever or cold can be addressed immediately using video calls and also patients can get ePrescriptions through the app. All the records are saved digitally and there isn’t the need to maintain the paper records. These apps provide them authorized permission to text the doctor and enable healthier conversations. They can easily and conveniently access these apps from any device sitting at the very comfort of their homes. It lowers the cost of traveling and saves efforts, thereby ensuring better satisfaction.

Advantages for Care Providers

Using these telemedicine solutions, care providers can simultaneously treat more patients. It enables extensive patient reach. They can remotely monitor the discharged patients’ health. These apps offer them the freedom to better manage their work leading to fewer missed appointments or cancellations. Also, these apps enhance the collaboration with colleagues on patient cases. Saved medical documents, integration with EHRs or EMRs, etc. help the doctors to monitor the patients efficiently, ensure better patient engagement, and improve decision-making.

Significant Steps to Create a Telemedicine App

  • Research about the target patients, competitors, best telemedicine apps in the market. Collect and analyze the data to plan the project with attention to detail.
  • Decide whether you want to develop an MVP or a fully-functional app and decide the features accordingly.
  • Choose the right platform, whether Android, iOS, or both and web applications according to your end-goals, target demography, budget constraints, etc.
  • Brainstorm on the right technology stack for backend development, frontend development, database, cloud environment, payment gateways, etc.
  • Choose between Custom build and SAAS (Software as a service). SAAS does not allow much customization whereas custom build can be personalized both look-wise and functionally.
  • Design the app for a captivating look and feel considering the factors like user experience, user interface design, etc. since aesthetics hold monumental importance.
  • Choose rich telemedicine API that allows integrating real-time communication like WebRTC, OpenTok, Twilio, Acuity, etc.
  • Ensure top-grade security and HIPAA Compliance for protection and privacy of sensitive medical data and personal information.
  • Once developed, test the app rigorously for final quality assurance. Make sure it works flawlessly and as planned.
  • Deploy the app live into the app stores for the target customers to download and start using it.
  • Ensure timely maintenance and upgrading of the app as per the latest trends and requirements of the patients, as they are crucial to provide better services.

Set of Crucial Features to be Incorporated

For architecting a successful telemedicine app, it is crucial to have at least the basic features in the app. So whether you decide to go with an MVP model or want a fully functional app with advanced features, we have listed important features accordingly.

Feature Set for an MVP Model

  • Appointment scheduling option for booking appointments, rescheduling, cancellations, etc.
  • Detailed profile creation
  • Communication facility through In-app chatting, audio/video calling, etc. for on-the-spot consultation with patients
  • Geolocation integration for knowledge of the address of the respective doctor, clinic or hospital
  • Multiple payment gateways for safe and secure transactions
  • Backend database i.e. cloud storage for recording communications, storing medical records, etc.

Advanced Feature Set for a Full-fledged App

  • Reviews and rating option for patients
  • Group chatting and calling functionality for doctors to collaborate with his colleagues and the patient.
  • E-Prescription module for enabling patients/doctors to access prescription of medicines and drugs remotely
  • Integration with EMR for instantly accessing accurate patient health data for better diagnosis
  • Ability to integrate with EHR using wearable devices, IoT devices, and health kits like Apple’s Healthkit and Google’s Googlefit to fetch health data and thereby get a better understanding of the patient’s condition.
  • A separate module for medical assistants to update notes, health data, etc.
  • Chatbots as a helpdesk alternative

Key Challenges Faced

While building telemedicine applications, you may face several challenges like language barriers where patients cannot communicate their health conditions correctly. Also, there could be other challenges in making the apps HIPAA complaint, implementation of UI/UX, backend integration, etc. The development team may even face some challenges while considering the scalability of the apps.
To mitigate the above challenges, businesses should consult healthcare app development companies for developing robust, secure and scalable telehealth apps.

Final Words:

For a decade or so, telemedicine app development has gained traction and has turned out to be a lucrative investment for healthcare companies and other hospital bodies. It not only ensures better hospital management, but also contributes to enriching patient experience. It also offers a competitive edge over other top players in the market.
With this, we come to the end of this article. We hope this blog was helpful. Do comment and let us know your thoughts.
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Actionable Tips for Top-grade Security in Mobile Apps!

Actionable Tips for Top-grade Security in Mobile Apps!
Mobile apps have brought a revolutionary shift in everything around us. It has made a paradigm shift in how businesses and individuals operate in their respective capacities. This has helped to connect with the target audience very easily thereby boosting the profits in a big way. No wonder there is a huge demand for mobile application development worldwide. However, with the development of apps, come security nuances that businesses should not ignore. If the apps are not well-engineered against security threats, they can become an easy target for hackers to do malicious activities.

Do you know what the hackers with malicious intention do?

  • Tamper your app’s code and reverse-engineer to create a hoax app containing malware.
  • Hack customer data and use for fraud or identity theft
  • Induce malware in the apps to access data, grab passcodes for screens, store keystrokes, etc.
  • Steal sensitive data, intellectual property, business assets, etc.
  • Access your IP and launch harmful attacks
Would you ever want something like this happening to your app? Never! So, mobile app security cannot be taken for granted. Yet, it is quite shocking that over 75% of the mobile apps fail to meet the basic security standards.
This blog outlines the crucial security measures that every mobile application development company must employ in their apps. Before we delve deeper, let us quickly glance at some common security lapses that could occur while architecting mobile apps.

Notable Security Lapses in the Mobile Application Development Process

  • Not checking the cache appropriately and not using a cache cleaning cycle
  • Not doing thorough testing of the app
  • Applying weak encryption algorithms or no algorithms at all
  • Utilizing an unreliable data storage system
  • Neglecting the Binary protection
  • Picking up a code written by hackers by mistake
  • Neglecting the transport layer security
  • Not ensuring the server-side security

Best Practices to Enhance Mobile app security

App-code Encryption:

Encryption of the code and testing it for vulnerabilities is one of the most fundamental and crucial steps in the app development process. Before launching the app, mobile app developers protect the app code with encryption and practices like obfuscation and minification. Also, it is necessary to code securely for the detection of jailbreaks, checksum controls, debugger detection control, etc.

Data Encryption:

Along with the code encryption, it is essential to encrypt all the vital data that is exchanged over the apps. In the case of data theft, hackers shouldn’t be able to access and harm the data without the security key. So, key management must be a priority. File-level encryption secures the data in the files. The encryption of mobile databases is equally important. Also, various data encryption algorithms can be used like Advanced Encryption Standard (AES), Triple data integration standard, RSA technique, etc.

Robust Authentication:

If the authentication is weak, severe data breaches can take place. Hence, it is imperative to ensure a powerful authentication in the apps. Make sure that your app only allows strong passwords. Utilizing two-factor authentication is a good practice. Also, biometric authentications like a fingerprint, retina scan, etc. are widely being used these days in mobile apps to assure high security.

Protecting the Binary Files:

Negligence towards binary protection gives a free-hand to hackers for injecting malware in apps. It can even cause severe data thefts and lead to monetary losses ultimately. Therefore, binary hardening procedures must be utilized to ensure the protection of binary files against any threats. Several hardening techniques like Buffer overflow protection or Binary Stirring can be applied in this scenario.

Servers’ and other Network Connections’ Security:

The security of servers and network connections is an integral part of mobile app security as these are a leading target of hackers. To keep them secure, it is advisable to use an HTTPS connection. Also, the APIs must be thoroughly verified to shun from the spying of data that is transferred from the client to servers. Another security measure is to scan the app with the use of automated scanners frequently. Also, enhanced security can be ensured with encrypted connections or VPN i.e. a virtual private network.

API Security:

Since mobile application development hinges so much with the APIs, protecting them from threats is not an option but a necessity. APIs are the channels for the flow of data, functionality, content, etc. between the cloud, apps, and users. Vital security measures like authorization, authentication, and identification help in the creation of a secure and robust API. To enhance the app security, an API gateway can be integrated. Moreover, for secure communication between APIs, mobile app developers can use various authentications like OAuth and OAuth2.

Exhaustive Testing and Updating the Apps:

To speed up the time-to-market, testing usually falls to the sideways. But this step helps to avoid any anticipated security loopholes in the apps. So, before launching the apps and even after their launch, rigorous security testing must be conducted. Thus, potential security threats can be identified and resolved proactively. Also, updating the apps from time-to-time will help to eliminate the security bugs apart from other issues that arise in the apps after it is out in the market.

Code Signing Certificates:

Code signing certificates help in enhancing mobile code security. In this process, the certificate authority needs to digitally sign the scripts and executables. These certificates help in authenticating the author and assure that the code won’t be edited or tampered by anyone else. A Code Signing Certificate is a must for every publisher or mobile app developer.

Final Verdict:

Thousands of mobile apps arrive in the market daily but if they aren’t protected well, they can pose a threat to the entire system. Needless to say, hackers and fraudsters are lurking around to steal important data and destroy app security. On the contrary, a well-secured mobile app can prove to be highly efficient, reliable, and profitable for the business as well as the end-users.
So we can conclude that mobile app security holds the utmost importance in the whole process. A smart strategy along with the guidelines mentioned in this blog can help you build a powerful impeccable app with high-level security.
We hope this blog was helpful to you!
Do you have any other mobile app security measures to add to the above list?
Please comment and let us know your thoughts.
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