Doctor On-Demand App Development for 2021 (Technical, Business, Compliance Guide)
2 months ago
We all are aware of the worsening healthcare situation in Canada due to long wait times or not timely access to medical services.
It takes more than 22 weeks for getting specialized treatment after the referral from a general practitioner.
The proven and affordable solution here is the doctor on-demand app.
It does not only eliminate the challenges out of our healthcare system but also empowers the healthcare professionals to offer rapid and quality care to patients.
It is so popular among people that more than 60% of Canadians have nodded on the doctor on-demand option for the sake of rapid and quality care.
Top companies including Walmart are also adopting such an advanced yet easy care delivery model.
Walmart has tied up with a telemedicine company named ‘Doctor On-Demand’ to provide virtual care to its employees.
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How do telemedicine or doctor on-demand apps work?
It works similar to all on-demand apps where users book the service and receive it from the service provider.
The entire concept of on-demand apps is to provide the service immediately without making users wait.
For instance, Uber is an on-demand taxi app that provides users with a taxi service within minutes.
Similarly, the doctor on-demand apps offer users medical service through a healthcare specialist within minutes.
The following is the complete workflow.
1. Booking an Online Appointment with Doctors
- The patient adds all of his personal and health card details.
- The patient describes his symptoms by answering a few questions.
- The patient can now either select his preferred doctor from the list of available doctors or let the app’s algorithm search for the best doctor based on his symptoms and the type of care he is looking for.
2. Patient Onboarding
- The doctor sends the digital intake form to the patient which he needs to fill before or during the online consultation.
- Doctor and patient both can select the preferred communication method i.e., video call, voice call or chat.
3. Video Consultation
- Doctors can take patient notes besides video calls that are in-process.
- Doctors can take notes in customized templates or create a template from scratch.
- The doctor has easy access to the patient's medical historic data, thanks to the pre-filled digital intake form and EHR/EMR integration with the app.
4. Medical and Lab Referrals
- If specialized care and lab testing are required, the doctors can refer patients to labs, secondary care providers or hospitals for more specialized care.
- Here, the app reduces burdens for doctors by auto-filling 80% of details in referral notes and ensuring it is error-free.
- The doctor can explore the drug directory and write the prescription from the app itself.
- The app generates the PDF version of the prescription and saves it under the patient profile.
- The app shows patients the list of nearest or partnered pharmacies and asks patients to select a preferred one.
- Once the patients select a pharmacy, it asks patients to select between ‘home delivery’ or ‘pick up’.
- Once selected, the app automatically sends a prescription to the pharmacy and the patients get a notification when the prescription is ready to pick up or delivered at the doorstep.
- Doctors can charge patients on the basis of pay-per-visit and the different fees for the first visit and follow-up visits.
- With a built-in payment module, patients can pay the fee using several payment methods.
- If a patient is insured or has a valid health card, he needs to add his insurer details which get verified by the app itself.
- The built-in billing module enables doctors to submit the claim to the insurer or health ministry from the app itself.
Check out Canada’s top doctor on-demand apps
Before going for doctor on-demand app development to develop an on-demand app, you must study top similar apps already dominating the market.
Algo has a very useful feature. It allows patients to book immediate appointment with the doctors and also lets them schedule an appointment.
Algo also acts as the online pharmacy and allows patients to order medication from the app itself.
Maple is one of the very popular doctor on-demand apps in Canada which was founded by the physician after sensing the urgency for rapid care and how technology can make it happen.
It is available in all provinces of Canada and also accepts several private insurances.
Talking about its pricing, it charges $49 per visit during the weekdays and $79 per visit during the weekends and public holidays.
It also offers family membership which costs $50 per month for up to 50 visits per year!
Teladoc claims that using its app, patients can talk to Canadian physicians within an hour.
It offers 24/7 access to licensed physicians by phone, video or web.
On the Apple App Store, it has an average rating of 4.8 based on 767+ reviews in Canada.
- Tia Health
Tia Health is a kind of doctor marketplace where patients can explore all available doctors and book appointments with the preferred one.
It also lets users book doctor appointments for others. However, it does not offer any app.
What industry experts have to say about doctor on-demand and virtual care?
This has been the game-changing care delivery model.
According to Deloitte, the investment in virtual care will be increased by more than 25% in the coming 5 years.
These solutions aren’t just limited to online care delivery. But they also widen the scope for implementing automation in clinics to eliminate tedious administrative work.
For instance, virtual assistants can handle appointment scheduling, prescription orders, and transcribing clinician notes automatically.
Following are the 5 ways virtual health will revolutionize the healthcare industry.
Deloitte also found that by 2040, the majority of healthcare & wellness providers and entities will shift to virtual care and on-demand models.
How to start a doctor on-demand app startup or develop a doctor on-demand app?
It is easy. All you need to do is solve technical, compliance and business challenges associated with starting a doctor on-demand app startup.
So, our following guide will help you!
The best doctor on-demand app is all about rightly developed app modules and features.
But to achieve these features and app modules, you have to address the following technical challenges of on-demand doctor apps.
- EHR/EMR integration
- Video Calling, Chat, SMS API integration
- Payment API integration
- ePrescription module
- Billing module for billing codes of different provinces
- Health card number validation
- Technical requirements of data privacy laws
- Sophisticated matching algorithms
To understand this in detail, read our dedicated blog - A technical guide for telemedicine app development
Developing a compliant healthcare app or software is the major challenge.
Talking about Canada, there is a federal-level privacy law - PIPEDA and several provincial privacy laws apply to your doctor on-demand platform.
These laws have several operational and technical requirements which you have to adhere to.
If you fail to comply with these laws, you will be liable for a hefty fine.
Following are some of the regulations.
- Encrypt the data of patients once it leaves your internal firewalled servers.
- Have a mechanism to confirm whether the data is altered or destroyed.
- Only collect, use and disclose the PHI if the individual permits.
- Do not collect, use and disclose the information more than needed.
Read this blog to explore all regulations.
Because of the compliance challenge, it is always advisable to hire a technical partner who is well-aware of the Canadian data privacy laws.
Otherwise, you have to hire compliance specialists from other sources which will increase your budget.
There is cut-throat competition in the virtual care or doctor on-demand market.
With new products, it will be difficult for you to survive if your product lacks novel features and does not target the exact needs of the patients.
Following are two business advice our business experts would like to give you!
- Don’t just limit to online consultation. Integrate online pharmacy and healthcare eCommerce to sell drugs and wellness products from the same app. This will allow patients to get everything from a single platform and allow you to generate extra revenue streams.
- Try out some new ideas with your doctor on-demand app. You can try out Tinder-like functionalities where patients can explore doctor profiles by swiping left and book the appointment by simply swiping right on a doctor profile.
A very useful resource: Virtual care startup checklist
Check out our white-label doctor on-demand mobile and web platform
We are an Ontario-based healthcare-focused IT company. We have been proactive in the virtual care market for 7 years.
And because of industry-specific knowledge and experience, we are limitless when it comes to doctor on-demand or telemedicine.
With our healthcare app developers, designers, business experts and compliance experts, we develop custom as well as clone doctor on-demand platforms.
We also provide an outstanding white-label doctor on-demand solution that is compliant with all data privacy laws including HIPAA, PIPEDA, PIA, PHIPA etc.
These are some of its real screenshots.
The reason why we always deliver success to our healthcare clients is that we’re local experts and understand the Canadian healthcare system, market, and people!
And because of that, we prepare the strategy and build products that directly influence every Canadian’s life!