The rise of telemedicine apps in this Coronavirus flu season: How digital healthcare apps can help people?

8th Apr 2020
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The coronavirus pandemic is forcing nations into lockdowns. People cannot step down the streets for even essential services. People demand consulting doctors if they are unwell. But, hospitals and clinics are filled with cases of the coronavirus. The panic-stricken people needed doctor consultations but could not access the hospitals. COVID-19 is inflicting cases and casualties at an alarming rate. At the time of writing this article, the casualties have risen to 70,000, affecting more than 1.2 million people. 


Now, people can gain access to doctors instantly from the comforts of their homes. Our modern technology has paved a way to do just that. Smartphones are proving to be an elite companion this quarantine season. People can rely on smartphones to get whatever they need. Food and groceries are delivered at the doorsteps through online platforms. The healthcare industry, too, has seen the need for telemedicine app development for people in need. And so, on-demand doctor apps are beginning to rise in popularity during this pandemic season. 


An on-demand doctor app development involves certain key features. These key features are to be integrated into the app to increase productivity. Let us take a look at the rise of these on-demand doctor apps. We shall also discuss the key features to be integrated into the app. 


‘People are Nosophobic’ 

Nosophobia is the irrational fear of contracting a disease. Coronavirus has instilled people with nosophobia. Now, what makes people acquire this nosophobia. Here are the causes, 

  • People are exposed to high media coverage about the disease. 
  • People are thinking about the risks of transmission, so often. 
  • People who have suffered a traumatic health issue beforehand. 
  • People who happen to meet patients with illness constantly.  

There is no doubt that people are highly exposed to media coverage about COVID-19. The death toll by this pandemic creates a paralyzing effect on people. Moreover, people value the risk of transmission so high. Hence, even an ordinary cough or cold takes root in the minds of the people. It is the mind that is the first enemy to any human being. 


‘Online Doctor consultation platforms to the rescue’ 

People are inclined towards their smartphones for services. On-demand doctor apps are providing online consultations with doctors. 


Let us take a look at the rise in numbers of these online platforms, 


  • According to Statista, the telemedicine market will generate a revenue of $41.2 billion by 2021. 
  • Push Doctor, a Manchester-based online doctor platform, has seen medical consultations shoot up by 70%. 
  • AccuRx, a London-based healthcare platform, saw the rise in video consultations with the doctors by 20,000 on a single day. 
  • Siilo, an online chat platform for medical practitioners, saw a 500% increase in the number of downloads overnight. 
  • The online telehealth app, AmWell, has seen a 400% surge in download rate nationwide. 
  • In areas where the spread is increasing, the numbers rose to as high as 650%. 
  • Teladoc, an online healthcare platform, saw a 50% spike in visits in the past week. 


Statista

All these numbers signify that the market is rising in the wake of the pandemic. Capitalizing the moment by providing quality doctor consultations can be greatly profitable. There are multiple telemedicine software solutions available in the market. Make sure you integrate these features into the developing app. 


‘The Doctor’s companion - Electronic Health Records, (EHR)’ 

People are seeking online consultations with specialized doctors. Doctors, however, need to know the complete medical history of the patient before the consultation. These health records greatly aid the doctors in providing medications to the patients. People find compiling and maintaining these medical records difficult. For improved efficiency and safety measures, these health records are stored online with proper security encryptions. This paves the way for the easy accessibility of a patient’s history by a doctor. Every medical history of  patients is made available to doctors. Moreover, doctors can share the patients’ medical reports with different specialists through the app. It must be duly noted that these health records of patients’ are securely kept in the database with proper encryptions. “EHR makes business much easier. It saves the cost of paper and printing and helps to streamline the cost of storage”, says Dr. Jameca Woody Falconer, a popular psychologist. 

 

‘Not just appointments but also video consultations’ 

Various online platforms are offering online appointments. This makes patients skip the queue. However, people still have to reach clinics or hospitals for consultation. People demand convenience. The online video consultations do just that. People access doctors instantly through the app, not just the doctor’s hallway. With emerging trends of EHR, consultations are made online. Online prescriptions are sent by doctors. This video consultation benefits people even in remote portions of the country. 


Distance isn’t an issue when it comes to video consultations. People can access specialists across the globe through these online platforms. According to the management consultant firm Mckinsey, “Telemedicine trials have shown results that remote consultations cost 30% less than in-person visits.” 


‘Pharmacy on the go’ 

The online prescriptions fed by the doctors are made available to the patients. Now, patients needn’t go to the pharmacy store to buy medicines. With the help of online medical delivery platforms, medicines prescribed by the doctor reaches the patients’ doorsteps. Even the integration of on-demand pharmacy delivery with the telemedicine app is possible. However, it is advisable to approach a third-party pharmacy delivery platform. This feature could mean patients get complete healthcare services with their on-demand apps itself. With just a few clicks, patients can consult the concerned doctors. Doctors, upon viewing the EHR of the patients, and consulting with the patients, prescribe medicines to the patients in the form of an online subscription. The patients, then submit the prescriptions to a pharmacy delivery app and get the medicines delivered at their doorsteps. 


Wrapping up, 

With the coronavirus pandemic still hanging around, patients and people need medical checkups and consultations. With Governments encouraging online GPs, this can be the right time to develop a telemedicine app. Apps like Practo, Push Doctor, etc., have already begun video consultations. By connecting the best and specialized doctors in the town, with the people in need, the reliability of people towards the app increases. This market is proving to be worthy enough for a potential investment. So, integrate these key features in your app and thrive in the market! 

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