Digital technology has evolved over the years, and almost every sector has taken the benefit of this advancement. If we have to name one industry that has got the most out of it, that is the healthcare industry.
The healthcare industry has seen various changes over the years with the incorporation of technologies, interoperable data with the increasing need for better and faster customer service.
Who would have thought that doctors would be able to connect with their patients irrespective of the geographic constraints?
Well Radio News Magazine of 1924 presented that with the help of futuristic visuals where kids sat around the video screen, connecting with a distant doctor. The idea at that time might have seemed a bit unrealistic and foolish but almost 100 years later, here we are bringing the picture to reality.
Thus, the idea of online healthcare is nothing new, and it has been here for years. Health care app development was first invented during the late 1960s. However, constant barriers resulted in the slow progression of the same.
The last few years have witnessed a boost in the telehealthcare industry due to the increasing demands and technological advancements. In 2019, the online healthcare industry was worth $41.63 billion. In 2020, it saw a staggering growth of 91. 7%, making it $79.9 billion. The numbers are speculated to increase further by 2025, valuing at $191.7 billion.
The Impact of Covid on Healthcare Industry
The rise of the COVID-19 pandemic was fearful and brought global misfortune. However, this pandemic came as a blessing in disguise for the healthcare sector. To combat the dangerous effects of the virus, healthcare app development companies and large health organizations have made constant efforts to reduce the number of physical visits to the clinics and adopt virtual consultation as much as possible. According to The Commonwealth Fund, the on-patient visits reduced by up to 60 per cent during the early April 2021. The need for online healthcare and virtual consultation increased with the onslaught of COVID in various countries. As evident by the image below, the number of people who were unaware of telemedicine till February 2020 reduced drastically till May 2020.
COVID-19 pushed the world into survival mode, resulting in innovations and modernization, providing healthcare providers opportunities to leverage the technology in the right direction. In fact, the patients who were infected with COVID-19 or had symptoms utilized the online healthcare consultation to connect with their medical consultants. Over time, the users have learned to adapt to technology like video consultations and hence, they rely more on virtual consultation over physical ones.
Online healthcare was once seen as the stopgap measure during this unprecedented time, but a survey by Doctor.com reveals that virtual healthcare is here to stay and thrive. As per the survey, 73% of patients wish to use healthcare app even after the pandemic gets over. About 50% of the healthcare executives predicted that almost a quarter of outpatient care, long-term diagnosis, elective and preventive care would shift to telehealth consultation by the end of 2040.
Health Care App Development Trends
In the previous section, we have learned that online healthcare has proven efficient and valuable for outpatient visits. What was once considered the ad-hoc service has become an effective and permanent solution for the healthcare industry. The use of online healthcare visits has increased from thousands of visits in a week to around a million, making it a viable choice. In fact, McKinsey’s research shows a significant change in the number of people using telehealth in 2019 versus the ones using it now.
It is evident from these given data and stats that online healthcare is here to stay, and it is going to evolve year after year.
Benefits of Developing a Health App
The increasing demand for health care app development is attributed to the various benefits that have outnumbered physical patient visits. In this section, you will get details into various benefits of building a health app.
Benefits for Patients
One of the major USP’s of health care app development is that it offers convenience.
The virtual visits have some significant benefits:
- Better Healthcare Access:
Even post COVID, online healthcare will have a massive role in boosting the healthcare ecosystem in remote and underserved areas. In developing and underdeveloped countries, the ratio of healthcare app development companies to patients is significantly low. Well, it is just 40 doctors over 100,000 people. Healthcare access can be enhanced with the virtual technology in force. This can improve the quality of online healthcare in remote areas that lack qualified physicians.
- Lower Costs
For the people living in rural areas, the cost of travelling to urban healthcare providers for routine visits could be a pain point. The virtual consultation costs about $40-$50 per visit. This is half the cost of an in-person visit. Patient’s hassle of travelling to their medical specialist and associated cost can be reduced by using virtual channels.
- Treat Urgent Symptom
No matter which location the patient is in, they can get immediate attention if urgent medical attention is required. As pointed out by the American Medical Association, this is directly related to improving the relationship between patient and healthcare provider, affecting the quality of care.
Benefits for Healthcare Providers & Caregivers
Healthcare providers such as doctors, nursing homes and the likes of long-term care centers need robust solutions to manage their large workforce, and scale their business.
- One-on-one Communication between Specialized Doctors & Nurses
Apart from connecting the patients to doctors, a health care app can seamlessly connect different doctors from different specializations. Thus, doctors can get assistance from the specialized physicians about their patients. This helps the caregivers to build extensive relationships and also seek advice on what is out of their specialization. Similarly, nurses can stay in touch with the head medical specialists that can guide them with medical attention in real-time.
- Reduce Time On Consultation
Health application development can save on-site visit time for both the patients as well as the healthcare givers. Some onsite visits could be a time-consuming method to solve patients’ issues that could be done online. With improved one-on-one communication through virtual visits, the bond between the healthcare providers and patients can also be improved.
- Reduced Costs
Using the devised workforce management solutions for the online healthcare consultation, healthcare organizations can reduce the costs of staffing and spending on the physical patient care. Also, individual doctors can save the costs of setting up a physical clinic and rather invest into virtual clinics.
The Future Prospects of Online Healthcare
Online healthcare is the key to drive changes to our health ecosystem. According to a survey by the Deloitte Center for Health Solutions and the ATA by 2040, the use of technological insights and digital tools, computed data and the empowerment of the consumers will boost healthcare like no other sector.
Healthcare apps have enabled patients to share their data securely and seek the required consultation from anywhere. Well, online healthcare such as video communications is just the beginning. The use of robotics and automation processes could further bring about personalization making telehealthcare more adaptable and agile than ever.
Further, the online healthcare consultation will drastically reduce the patient no-show rate. At present, the urban clinics see a patient no-show rate of about 10 percent to 20 percent. Prior scheduling, effective communication and reminders updates through in-built mobile apps is empowering healthcare. This also drastically reduces the patient’s no- show rates from 20 percent to 5 per cent. Healthcare mobile app development companies are set to ablaze in the coming years with adoption in various types of fields. As evident from the above image, even the inpatient services will shift dramatically to virtual care.
Online healthcare has come a long way. With one-on-one consultation and effective communication, patients can seamlessly connect with the healthcare providers of their choice. With the right set of technology and suite of tools that ease the communication between the healthcare providers and patients, virtually enabled healthcare service is no more an illusion.
Panther, understands the need of health care providers and has catered to multiple clients in healthcare. If you are looking to develop a healthcare app for your business, Junglework’s Panther solution is worth checking out. Hope this guide has helped you know what online healthcare is and how to map your path to success by creating the virtual consultation app for your healthcare business.
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