The importance of healthcare is increasing with each passing day. Technology is being incorporated into almost every industry. However, it has proved to be highly valuable in the healthcare industry. Traditional hospital visits are being replaced by teleconsultation software. Patients can now book appointments and attend sessions from the comfort of their homes.
The Covid-19 pandemic has increased the need for teleconsultation as it prevents any risk of infection. According to Singlecare.com, telehealth trends showed a 154% increase in telehealth visits during the last week of March 2020, compared to the same period in 2019. This indicates that doctors are using teleconsultation platforms to diagnose and treat their patients. Now patients don’t have to spend hours in the waiting room. They can simply book a session on a teleconsultation app and connect with a doctor.
Before we delve into how you can develop an on-demand teleconsultation software, let’s talk about what do we mean by teleconsultation and teleconsultation software.
What is teleconsultation?
Teleconsultation refers to the medical consultation that a clinician provides to a patient over a telecommunication platform. This mode of consultation involves virtual interaction between the patient and the clinician. Therefore, it doesn’t require any physical interaction unless the diagnosis or the clinician states that it is necessary.
What is teleconsultation software?
A software that is specially designed to help patients connect with clinicians for medical consultation is known as teleconsultation software. This software makes use of telepresence for communication. Clinicians provide diagnostic or therapeutic guidance on this platform. They can mention their qualification as well as their area of expertise on these platforms. Patients can book appointments based on the kind of expertise they are looking for from a clinician.
Now that we are familiar with the meaning of teleconsultation and its software. Let’s talk about how to develop on-demand teleconsultation software.
Steps to Develop an On-Demand Teleconsultation Software
1. Set Your Area of Expertise
Every clinician has an area of expertise. They can provide teleconsultation based on their knowledge of that area. For instance, a patient suffering from severe back pain should consult an orthopedist as their expertise is in the musculoskeletal system. The patients approach the clinicians based on their area of expertise. The experts should mention their area of expertise on their teleconsultation platform so that it is visible to the patients.
2. Incorporate a Teleconferencing Software
It is important that patients have a real-time experience with the doctors. This can be ensured by integrating teleconferencing in your teleconsultation software. The use of telepresence can help in improving the consultation process. If the patient can communicate with the clinician with ease, then a more effective teleconsultation solution can be provided. A clinician’s communication with their patient is very important because it helps in finding the correct diagnosis. Any hindrance or miscommunication can directly impact the patient’s experience. This can in return affect the evaluation of the problem. Therefore, features like chat messaging, audio calling, and video conferencing can be incorporated into the software.
3. Manage Appointment Bookings
A feature to book and manage appointments should be available in the software. With this feature, the patients can book appointments on the teleconsultation app. Once the booking is made, the clinician can keep track of all the appointments using the management feature present in the teleconsultation software. This will avoid any hassle of scheduling and managing the appointments. This feature is really helpful to both the patient and the expert as it saves a lot of time.
4. Set a Consultation Fee
Set the consultation fee that the expert is going to charge for the one-on-one sessions with the patients. It helps in gaining the trust of the patients as they can see the pricing on the teleconsultation app itself. In case they are comfortable with the pricing they may book an appointment with the expert. Keeping transparency can help in encouraging the patients to take consultation from your software.
5. Integrate medical security software
Integration of medical security software helps in securing personal health information. It helps in protecting the personal and medical data of the patients. As every time a patient’s reports are shared via the teleconsultation platform, it falls under the risk of getting into the wrong hands. These people may try to misuse the patient’s personal information. Therefore, to maintain confidentiality, encryption must be applied at all levels in teleconsultation software.
6. Remote Patient Monitoring
Sometimes certain patients require constant health monitoring. This may be because they are at a high risk of getting a health problem. In such cases, remote patient monitoring software plays a very important role in compiling the patient’s data. This data can be accessed by the clinician, and they can suggest treatment accordingly. Incorporating remote monitoring software will help the clinician in keeping track of the health of patients.
7. Instant Consultation
Sometimes patients require instant consultation. In cases like these, the teleconsultation doctor must be available. A feature to access instant consultation can be incorporated into the software. So every time a patient requests for instant consultation, the doctor will receive a notification on their system. This way the patients can access instant teleconsultation even if the doctor isn’t online.
8. Simple User Interface
The user interface should be easy to use. Patients should be able to navigate through the teleconsultation app without any inconvenience. The application should be so simple that even a tech-illiterate can learn to use it. If the user experience is good then the patients would be encouraged to take teleconsultation from the doctors. A complex user interface will discourage the patients from seeking consultation. In addition to user interface, the user experience should also be very good.
9. Manage Billing & Payments
It is important for the clinicians to keep a track of payments received from the patients. The teleconsultation app should include an option for payment every time a patient books an appointment. Receipts should be generated once the payment is made by the patient. To maintain the record of payments, a recurring bill software can be integrated. Payments can be accepted by setting a payment gateway that is available for the doctor.
10. E-Prescriptions for Patients
Whenever a clinician has to prescribe any medication to a patient, they prepare a handwritten or typed prescription. However, that isn’t possible on a teleconsultation platform. As a result, e-prescriptions replace the handwritten prescriptions. An e-prescription can be generated after the session is completed. The doctor can add the necessary medication for the patient in the e-prescription.
In conclusion, the above steps sum up the development journey of on-demand teleconsultation software. However, there are many more things that can be improvised once the software is established.
Benefits of Teleconsultation Software
- No expenditure on traveling: Patients don’t have to spend money on traveling to a hospital or a clinic. They can seek consultation from the comforts of their home.
- No wastage of time: Traveling to a hospital and waiting in a lobby can take a lot of time. This doesn’t happen when the patients use teleconsultation software.
- Book a time slot that suits you: A patient can book an appointment for a time slot that suits them. They can check the availability of the clinician while booking an appointment.
- Choose your expert: A teleconsultation software allows the patients to choose an expert of their own choice. This means that they can choose them based on the expertise they are looking for. For instance, a person with heart problems would seek consultation from a cardiologist.
- No risk of infection: A patient is more susceptible to catching an infection if exposed to the environment of a hospital. This risk can be eliminated by making use of teleconsultation software.
- Location isn’t a problem: Sometimes patients want to consult doctors who live in a different region. However, this isn’t an issue if the patients use teleconsultation software. They can contact any expert irrespective of their or the expert’s location.
- Reduction in outpatient visits: Teleconsultation apps reduce the number of patient visits. This is because most of the patients are just there for consultation and don’t need to get themselves admitted.
- Work from home is possible: Usually, doctors have to stay at the hospital or their clinic to provide consultation to the patients. By using teleconsultation software, they can provide consultation from their homes as well.
- Reduction in overhead costs: Operating from a clinic can increase the cost of maintenance of the workplace. It can also add to expenses like providing salary to the receptionist or assistants. Teleconsultation eliminates the requirement of additional help.
- Appointment management is easy: Doctors have to rely on their receptionists to keep track of appointments. However, teleconsultation software compiles the data of all the appointments in one place.
- Allows to help more patients: Teleconsultation software helps the doctors in providing service to more patients. This is because the location isn’t a barrier and the doctors can provide consultation to patients who live in other regions.
If you are looking for a platform that will help you develop your teleconsultation software, then Panther is the solution for you.
Panther helps in creating on-demand consultation verticals. Our technology solutions help in improving the quality of your project. We have a team of technology experts who specialize in creating highly customizable consultation platforms. Feel free to contact us, we’ll guide you through the process.
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