An Overview on Development of Video Consultation Healthcare App in React Native Using Twilio

An Overview on Development of Video Consultation Healthcare App in React Native Using Twilio
Since the introduction of mHealth apps, healthcare organizations have witnessed a sea-change in the way patients relate to doctors. Now the patients have more control over their medical decisions and the overall system has become more patient-centric. Owing to this, a variety of mHealth apps have emerged in the market and a video consultation healthcare app is one such innovation. Such an app enables the patients and doctors to communicate instantly in case of an emergency or at times when it is not possible to visit the hospital. The doctors can send e-Prescriptions via online channels and provide medical assistance. So, offering customers the facility of a video calling healthcare app can always be a lucrative decision for any medical body or even an individual practitioner.
Today’s topic is about creating a video consultation healthcare app. We will consider the React Native framework for this purpose since React Native development services are a perfect pick for developing native-like cross-platform apps. Also, we will talk about Twilio as a cloud communications platform that is being widely used in video calling apps. Let’s get started with exploring the importance of a video calling healthcare app and understanding what Twilio is. Thereafter, we’ll discuss the process of how to create the app.

The importance of the Video Calling Feature in a Healthcare App

The video calling feature is indeed a revolutionary offering! It elevates patient-doctor communication to the next level in a telemedicine application. The video conferencing approach offers an in-person-like doctor consultation experience to the patients availing of online healthcare services. This way, medical service providers can reach out to a greater number of patients regardless of their location. Also, patients need not take the effort to pay a visit to the clinic for minor ailments or follow-up doctor consultations. Hence, a video calling healthcare app is preferred by modern-day customers.

What Is Twilio?

Twilio is an American cloud-based service or cloud communications platform as a service (CPaaS). It acts as a powerful communication tool and bridges the gap between various mobile devices, other systems, services, etc., and telephony. In React Native development, APIs offered by Twilio enable the developers to implement several communication services like making and receiving audio/video phone calls, sending and receiving text messages, etc. These services also include AI bots, emails, etc. In this process, in addition to audio/video calling, other features like account recovery, phone verification, in-app calls or in-app chats, etc. can also be worked upon.
To integrate Twilio into the app, React Native developers will need existing knowledge on Twilio, Cocoapods, React Native Navigation, React, etc.
Here Are A Few Top Benefits of Using Twilio
  • Twilio is quite easy to learn and so, there are a plethora of developers available.
  • It follows a standard method of communication: HTTP.
  • Switching between technologies is also much easier.
  • Owing to Platforms as a Service (PaaS), capital costs are somewhat lower. Even the deployment costs are lower and they increase gradually as the company grows.

Key Steps for Creating a Video Calling Healthcare App in React Native Using Twilio WebRTC

While using Twilio WebRTC for the video calling healthcare app, React Native app developers should follow the step-by-step procedure as given below. This procedure is divided into two major parts where the first part is about generating a token using Twilio and the second part talks about installing dependencies using a React Native starter kit. Also, we will consider a React Native Android app for now. So, let’s get started with the first part.

Part 1: Token Generation With Twilio

Twilio provides both IOS/Android SDKs and JavaScript. But for React Native, Twilio does not provide any direct support. So, the React Native developers can use the JavaScript SDK for a few services but this isn’t possible for other services, because to a great extent it depends on browser APIs. There is one more alternative and that would be by porting the native Android/IOS SDK to React Native. So here, we have used this combination: Twilio Video (WebRTC) for React Native.
Firstly, create an account on Sign-up for a trial and verify your credentials such as phone number, email, etc. You will now be directed to the Dashboard.
You will need an ACCOUNT SID along with an API key and a Secret key for generating a token. For generating an API key, navigate to API keys through the settings. The creation of the API key here will give both the Secret key and the API key. It is now possible to generate a token by using npm install which uses npm package. The tokens can also be generated in multiple languages as well. The identity value should be changed for every token as the same token cannot be used at different places.
There is one more way to create a token by the use of Twilio tools. Click on Twilio tools and write an identity and a room name. This will generate the access token. Securely save these keys for the later part.
The Twilio part of the video consultation healthcare app ends here. Now let us start with the React Native development part.

Part 2: Installing Dependencies Using a React Native Starter Kit

Here we will be using React Native starter kit that can be copied from the GitHub link- You need to run the command- “npm install –save” in the terminal project directory and then write the required code in App.js file.
Make sure that all the required dependencies are installed by the execution of the command- “npm install” in the project directory. Also, you need to make some configurations for utilizing Twilio and also use audio, camera, etc.
For making the goto Android folder, you should add the following code lines in settings.gradle file-
include ‘:react-native-twilio-video-webrtc’
project (‘:react-native-twilio-video-webrtc’).projectDir = new File (rootProject.projectDir, ‘../node_modules/react-native-twilio-video-webrtc/android’)
Now, go to Android > app > build.gradle file and search for dependencies. After that, add the below-mentioned code in the block.
compile project (‘:react-native-twilio-video-webrtc’)
Also, add the below-mentioned code in Android > app >SRC> main >JAVA> com > reactnativestarter >
import com.twiliorn.library.TwilioPackage;
After this, replace the getPackages() method with the required code.
Now for requesting the permissions from the user, it is essential to modify AndroidManifest.xml by adding the required code in this file. Also ensure that in your Twilio account, the client-side room creation is enabled.

Running The Application

Finally, when all the steps are implemented and the code is executed, run your React Native healthcare app by the execution of the command- “react-native run-android” from the terminal window.

Final Verdict:

Here we have developed a simple React Native app to demonstrate the video-calling capability of Twilio. But we just need to remember that a few things like user connections, user access token generation, room creation, etc. must be very diligently handled on the backend.
Would you like to develop a Video Calling healthcare app with Twilio implementation in React Native as outlined above? We hope the aforesaid steps will be helpful to React Native developers. However, creating a video app in React Native using Twilio and crafting a healthcare app in general, involve a lot of complexities and compliances to be followed. For any technical assistance in creating a customized doctor-on-demand video consultation healthcare app, avail of professional services. We are an experienced and competent React Native app development company in USA and India with 12+years of experience in this domain. We’ve created success stories for many businesses around the globe.

What are the healthcare app development requirements?

What are the healthcare app development requirements?
healthcare app development
If you look at various industries, they are evolving and expanding one after the other with the help of mobile technologies. The healthcare industry is also reducing the technological gap in the era of current global changes. The increasing popularity of mHealth has helped this industry to bridge the gap. In addition, digital transformation’s benefits helped mobile healthcare open up new opportunities for mobile apps and startups.
There are some categories in this mobile healthcare industry. Every category covers different needs and is growing in a different direction. You can immediately get billions of customers across the globe by investing in this industry. The process of developing a mobile healthcare app is quite complicated. It requires specific permissions, regulations, and a DEM team’s proficiency. This rundown of healthcare app development needs can help you start your project.

Concept of Healthcare App Development

Developing a healthcare app involves planning, designing, and developing. It also ensures value proposition and compliance. Commonly used healthcare apps aim to enhance hospital experience, assist medical services, and transform health records into digital data. These healthcare apps can be divided into two types based on purpose –
Apps for Doctors
These apps help doctors monitor patients, schedule appointments, and other advanced solutions.
Apps for Patients
These apps help patients book appointments, offer online consultations, and receive quick support with recommendations.

Think About This Before Starting Your Healthcare App

Identifying the starting point for creating your healthcare app sometimes becomes tough. We can split this into these stages – planning your business, developing it, and marketing. Based on this division, consider the following six aspects while starting with your app.
  • Knowing the Target Audience: Since you are not developing an entertainment app, the healthcare app should focus on customer requirements. You can consider customer needs such as medicine delivery, tele-health, and health tracking.
  • Creating User Guide: This mobile app aims to provide more comfort. It indicates that UX/UI design needs to be as simple as possible. You can also provide a user guide if needed.
  • Communication Portals: These apps are targeted to address health issues. The users of these apps want to communicate with experts and require constant support. You can make your app more reliable by providing support functions.
  • Convenient Design for Users: These apps can be less interactive and sweet but are user-friendly and straightforward.
  • HIPAA Compliance: Your app must comply with the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act to be considered professional.
  • Validating Your Idea and Functionality Testing of the App: Once you deploy your app, you should test it among real users. Thus you can validate its functionality and also adjust it to user requirements.

Requirements for Developing the Healthcare App

  • Healthcare apps are unlike entertainment apps; they have a detailed approval procedure. Depending on their target market, these apps must be GDPR-compliant and meet the HIPAA standard. They also need to match the regulations of security and privacy.
  • The HIPAA Compliance applies to every medical app that involves the collection, possession, and distribution of healthcare information. So if you are willing to launch your healthcare app on the American market, it must meet HIPAA standards.
  • The apps that are GDPR-compliant follow the rules related to the collection, storage, and usage of personal data across EU countries. In May 2018, these rules were introduced, and governments have applied considerable fines for breaking them.
  • Different markets have different laws and regulations. For example, the PIPEDA act has been imposed in Canada for using personal info in apps. The Data Protection Act 1998 is considered a guide for healthcare apps in the United Kingdom.
  • Performing online payment transactions through healthcare apps is another important aspect while creating a secure app. A PCI SSC organization assists with compliance with the necessary aspects and receiving a license.
  • Instead of a cross-platform, you can prefer native application development, which is more secure. These apps deliver smooth and reliable performance when developed and designed for a specific operating system.
  • It is mandatory to follow the guidelines and rules of the Apple App Store and Google Play Store related to handling sensitive and personal data. This helps in getting their approval while developing a healthcare app.

The Process of Healthcare App Development

After understanding your goals, healthcare app developers usually start with an idea and develop the app. Once your purpose is defined, you can proceed with the implementation of the project. Here’s the roadmap for healthcare app development!

Identifying Challenges

It is essential to identify the challenges before you start developing your app. There are some possible challenges, such as competitors, required features, barriers, and regulations.

Knowing the Target Audience

Identifying your audience helps you decide on a strategy and build the best app that addresses users’ requirements. The parameters for research can be age, gender, interests, location, and average income.

Creating an Interactive UI/UX

The significance of design is undoubted, and we have already mentioned that. Users pay attention to your design, and hence it must deliver functionality.

Choosing Monetization Model

Your app must have a business model with an action plan to generate revenue. It can be in-app ads, premium features, or subscriptions.

Building MVP

Verify your concept and project with a Minimum Viable Product and improve it further based on user feedback.

Characteristics & Features of a Promising Healthcare App

healthcare app development company
You can consider the following core characteristics of healthcare apps –

Reaching the Population

You can reach a broader population that uses smartphones through your app. This feature of mobile apps has significantly changed the healthcare industry.

Availability of Apps

The penetration of the technology can be better with device compatibility and simplicity of apps.

Accessing Wireless Internet

The internet connectivity for mobile phones is a powerful weapon that can keep us connected whenever needed.

Tethering with Individuals

Better support can be delivered with detailed information about the user and reduced delays in communication that give more precise data.

Live Video Conferencing

The live video conferencing feature will help patients consult with doctors in real-time, without having to visit the clinic. This approach is super convenient in cases of minor ailments or follow-up doctor visits.

Integration with Wearables and Medical Devices

Integration with wearables and other medical devices will help doctors to access the medical data of patients collected by these devices. This way, doctors will be able to make data-driven treatment decisions for obtaining the best results. Also, medical providers will be able to provide patients with a detailed statistical report about their health condition and progress. Such an engaging experience will be popular with patients.

Integration with EMR/EHR

This feature is an important requirement for telemedicine apps. EHR (Electronic Health Records) digitally stores crucial patient data like lab test reports, medication records, radiographic pictures, etc. EMR (Electronic Medical Records) tracks the medical treatment history of patients. Healthcare apps integrated with EHR/EMR systems consolidate patient records in a single place, process patient data fast, and eliminate redundant data. This not only saves time for doctors & patients but also facilitates telehealth billing.


I hope, this post has provided a clear idea of the best practices to follow for healthcare app development and the important features to consider. If you are looking for an experienced, connect with us to build your app.