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
Healthcare app development
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. This app enables the patients and doctors to communicate instantly in case of an emergency or when it is not possible to visit the hospital. The doctors can send ePrescriptions online and provide medical assistance. So, having an Online Medical Consultation App with a video calling facility can always be a lucrative decision for any medical body or even an individual practitioner.
So, 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 what Twilio is and then the process to create the app.

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 Cocoapods, React Native Navigation, React, etc. Twilio

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 React Native Healthcare App with Video Consultation using Twilio WebRTC

While using Twilio WebRTC for the healthcare video calling app, a React Native app development company 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 https://www.twilio.com/. 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- https://github.com/flatlogic/react-native-starter. You need to run the command- “npm install https://github.com/blackuy/react-native-twilio-video-webrtc –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 > MainApplication.java
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 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 Consultation healthcare app with Twilio implementation in React Native as outlined above? We hope the aforesaid steps will be helpful to React Native developers. For any technical assistance in creating a customized doctor-on-demand video consultation healthcare app, Contact Biz4Solutions, a highly proficient Healthcare app development company with 11+years of experience in this domain.

React Native or Flutter? A Brief Guide to Choose the Best Framework!

React Native or Flutter? A Brief Guide to Choose the Best Framework!
React native Vs Flutter app development
React Native or Flutter?
Which hybrid framework to pick for my upcoming app development project?
Which one will aptly fit my business requirements?
Well, if such questions arise in your mind, this blog-post is for you. Here, we will do a comparative analysis between React Native and Flutter based on certain important factors. It will provide clear visibility to entrepreneurs about the strengths and weaknesses of these leading frameworks. So without much delay, let’s quickly get into the details.

Comparative Analysis: React Native App Development Vs. Flutter App Development

React native Vs Flutter framework
Introduction in a Nutshell
React Native:
  • React Native was officially released in March 2015 and its latest version is 0.63.
  • React Native is a framework employed for creating native-like applications.
  • This free and open-source framework is developed by Facebook.
  • React Native App Development has been leveraged by giants like Facebook, Skype, Tesla, Instagram, Pinterest, Bloomberg, Wix, SoundCloud, etc.
Flutter:
  • Flutter was developed by Google in Dec 2018 and its latest version is Flutter 1.22.
  • It is a portable UI toolkit employed for the creation of natively-compiled applications across mobile, desktop, and the web.
  • This too is a free and open-source platform.
  • Today, being as young as just 2 years, Flutter app development is preferred by Google for Google Ads app, by Alibaba for Xianyu app, by Hamilton Musical for Hamilton app, and also by eBay, BMW, Square, etc.
Platform Supported by Each
React Native:
Android, iOS, Mac, Linux, Google Fuchsia, and Windows.
Flutter:
Android, Android TV, Windows, iOS, tvOS, and macOS.
Key Features to Consider
React Native:
  • Code-sharing
  • Fast-refresh property
  • Modular and intuitive architecture
  • Support to NPM libraries
  • Better Accessibility
  • Support to CocoaPods
  • UI-focused design
  • Strong community to support
  • Stable, tried, and tested
Flutter:
  • Code-sharing
  • Hot-reloading
  • High-level customization possible
  • Has its own rendering engine
  • Easy access to Native features and SDK- Software Development Kit
  • Growing community to support
  • Scalable and Flexible
  • Good Widget library
  • Huge support for automated testing
Performance Expectations
React Native:
Comparatively, React Native is less performant than Flutter. The use of JavaScript Bridge for communicating between native modules and the involvement of third-party libraries results in lower performance in this framework. For improving performance, one can make use of third-party libraries like Proguard which optimize the bytecodes further. Besides, elements like Slowlog can also be utilized for setting performance timers for tracking performance issues and resolving them.
Flutter:
Flutter, by default, has native modules available and so, it doesn’t need a bridge for communicating between the native modules. The Skia graphics library is used during Flutter app development which enables the UI to be redrawn every time with every single change in the app view. Consequently, even at 60 FPS, Flutter performs much efficiently.
UI Components and Ability to Customize
React Native:
React Native comes with just a few basic but outstanding components that are adaptive to a platform, like a slider, button, or a loading indicator. However, there are plenty of 3rd party components available in this framework; but using them requires extra effort and time of the React Native Developers.
Flutter:
Flutter comes with its own set of rich customizable widgets and they are rendered and managed by the graphics engine of Flutter Framework. It supports the Material Design and also saves time. This imparts a great look and feel to the apps.
Ability to Develop Complex Applications
React Native:
React Native is suitable for building complex applications and also gaming apps. But this process involves JavaScript along with the utilization of some native development skills.
Flutter:
As of now, Flutter isn’t suitable for handling complicated projects. But since it is a good choice for MVP development, startups can go with Flutter app development.
Programming Languages Used and Availability of Developers
React Native:
React Native makes use of JavaScript for building software applications. JavaScript, being one the most extensively used programming languages, is familiar to a host of developers. Consequently, React Native developers are readily available for varying project requirements.
Flutter:
Flutter makes use of Dart language which is a client-optimized language as per Google. Its recent version is 2.10.4. Dart is quite easy to learn and use, however, it isn’t that popular in the developer community as this language is newer in comparison to React Native. Hence, it is a challenging task to hire Flutter app developers who are highly skilled.
Use Cases of Both Platforms
React Native:
  • Applications with simplified UI
  • Simple cross-platform applications
  • Applications with reusable components
  • Applications that work with synchronous APIs
  • Quick prototype apps
  • Applications that have close to native appearance and performance with responsive UX using FlexBox
Flutter:
  • MVP apps
  • Applications that function with OS-level features
  • High-performant applications with Skia rendering engine
  • Applications with material design
  • Applications having vast data integration
  • Flexible UI with high-level widgets
Time-to-market
React Native:
Much faster when compared to native app development. However, since it utilizes native elements and bridge, which may make the React Native mobile app development process a bit longer.
Flutter:
Similar to React Native, Flutter too, is faster when compared to native app development.
When it is Not the Right Fit?
React Native:
  • When your app needs custom communication via Bluetooth as that can be tricky to implement using the React Native framework.
  • When your application needs to handle some uncommon or particular tasks like calculations in the background.
Flutter:
  • When your application needs multiple interactions with an OS or needs to use less popular native libraries.
  • When you want an app that supports 3D Touch. Flutter does not support 3D.
  • When you require a minimalistic UI, but significantly depends on the usage of the phone hardware.

Wrap-up:

So far, we have discussed several parameters and compared React Native and Flutter based on those parameters. In our upcoming blog, we will discuss a few more important parameters to compare these frameworks.
Both of these frameworks are quite popular, and so, we cannot conclude that one of them is better than the other. It solely depends on the end goals of your project. But depending on these parameters, you can definitely decide whether to partner with a React Native App Development Company or a Flutter App Development Company for your project.
I hope this was an insightful read and will help you make an informed decision while choosing any of these frameworks.
Besides this, if you have anything more to share with us on this topic, you may write in the comments section.