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Doctor On-demand App Development: features, benefits & costs

For any area of life, whether it's work, transport, or sports, we always have an application at hand that will provide us with service 24/7, anywhere in the world. Health is no exception. If you have ever experienced acute pain after eating an unknown food on a sea cruise or waking up with a fever before speaking at a foreign conference, you can imagine how important it is to get timely medical help. Fortunately, a personal doctor on your smartphone is not a fantasy, but a reality.

In this article, we will explore the mobile health (mHealth) market and give you a thorough step-by-step guide on how to build a doctor-on-demand app and make it profitable.

Reading time: 9 minutes

Table of contents

    How does a doctor-on-demand app work? 

    Doctor-on-demand apps connect patients to healthcare industry specialists and provide professional consultations on the go. Generally, there are three roles in the app: a doctor, a patient, and an administrator. Each role requires different functions that do not intersect. The share of doctors and patients is almost equal. So paying careful attention to doctor-on-demand app development on both of these levels is important.

    Global telemedicine market share diagram

    So what do users do in doctor-on-demand apps?

    Doctors

    • Register and get verified
    • List their qualifications and achievements
    • Offer services based on their specialization
    • Choose ways of communication: video call, chat, offline appointment, or hybrid (online + offline) treatment plan
    • Fill in patients medical records

    Patients

    • Register
    • Fill in the information about their health
    • Search for doctors by various criteria: name, specialization, location, reviews, time of response
    • Select payment methods
    • Review their medical history after appointments

    Administration

    • Verify doctors
    • Provide ways to connect doctors and patients by video calls, chats, maps, immediate timetable updates and accurate search
    • Help schedule appointments — use calendar and booking features to book appointments online or offline
    • Notify on the upcoming appointments — push, SMS, email
    • Ensure smooth operation of the online payment system
    • Guarantee security and confidentiality

    Doctor-on-demand apps market 

    According to Zion market researchhttps://www.zionmarketresearch.com/report/mhealth-apps-market, the global mHealth apps market is growing annually by 38.26%. By 2025, it’s estimated to reach $111.1 billion.

    ​​ Statistahttps://www.statista.com/statistics/671374/global-telemedicine-market-size/ report is also encouraging. The forecast made for the worldwide telemedicine market shows that in the year 2030, the revenue will amount to $460 billion.

    Projected global telemedicine market between 2019 and 2030

    Many factors have contributed to the growth of doctor-on-demand services:

    • Increase of offline health care costs
    • COVID-19 pandemic
    • Digitalization of all areas of life, including health care
    • High quality of online health service (narrow specialists, doctors that are not available in certain areas, top-ranking professionals)
    • Convenience of the telemedicine services (no lines, no travel time, no papers — all data is online)

    For all of these reasons a medical consultation app is a must on a modern person’s smartphone.

    Top 3 doctor-on-demand apps 

    If you’re going to make a doctor-on-demand app, check out the leaders of the market and the main features that popular applications incorporate.

    DoctorOnDemand

    One of the market pioneers, this consultation app provides 24/7 virtual healthcare. Hundreds of medical professionals, available here, are licensed and certified. The main features of this telemedicine app include video calls, an elaborate search function, and integrated maps that allow users to find nearby pharmacies and contact them.

     

    DoctorOnDemand app not only has a wide range of therapists and physicians but also upscale psychiatrists and psychologists who provide mental health treatment.

    Medici

    This telemedicine app offers multiple healthcare services. It’s a family savior in the full sense of the word — even pets can get an online treatment, as the list of app doctors includes veterinarians. The distinguishing feature of the Medici app is an opportunity for a patient to invite his own doctor or healthcare provider to join the service. There is also a group chat where a council of several specialists can be arranged.

    This doctor-on-demand app allows patients to get connected to their own pool of family doctors. And healthcare workers, on the other hand, can manage their clients and get quick access to their history.

    Telehealth 

    Telehealth app is famous in the healthcare industry for connecting doctors and patients either by video or by audio and text. Users who live in remote areas or have a slow internet connection can choose the options that require less mobile data to access the service.

    Another eye-catching feature of this doctor-on-demand app is starting video appointments instantly, no login or password required.

    Benefits of developing a doctor-on-demand app 

    We’ve gathered all the advantages of doctor-on-demand apps, both for doctors and for patients.

    For patients 🤒For doctors👨‍⚕️👩‍⚕️
    • Convenience
    • Quick response
    • 24/7, anywhere in the world
    • Saving travel and waiting time
    • Access to narrow specialists
    • Feeling secure having a doctor always at hand
    • Constant flow of patients
    • No paperwork
    • Less no-show cases
    • Setting own fees
    • Forming own schedule and keeping work-life balance

    Core features 

    Three whales on which the doctor-on-demand app rests — a doctor’s, a patient’s and an admin’s side — have core features to guarantee the best healthcare services experience.

    Nice-to-have features 

    Doctor-on-demand apps market is rather competitive. To stand out and achieve a better user experience, having core features may not be enough. Here are a few ideas on additional features to make a healthcare app indispensable for users.

    • Notifications not to miss the time of appointments and important messages
    • Reviews and ranking system to find the most relevant specialist
    • Loyalty programs to get some perks and benefits from being a long-term user
    • Newsletter with health-related articles and tips to be up-to-date with industries news
    • Video recording to rewatch the consultation with a doctor and recall what was forgotten

    How to make money with doctor-on-demand app  

    There are several ways to make doctor-on-demand mobile app profitable.

    • Commissions. Either from patients or from doctors or clinics. Commissions are the easiest and most natural way to get direct revenue for using the app.
    • Paid listing. Highlighting certain doctors with badges, special designs, and top lines in search charts. Paid promotion of clinics.
    • In-app ads. An easy way to make money on the app is adding other brands’ advertisements into your app. Keep the number of ads reasonable and make sure that users are not irritated. Better show ads based on the user’s history.
    • Subscription. Users can get discounts when using monthly or yearly subscriptions instead of paying for a service each time.

    Doctor-on-demand app development best practices 

    We’ve already discussed that on demand doctor appointment app development may require building core features, without which the app will not be competitive in the telemedicine market. What helps the app stand out are the little things.

    Check out these doctor-on-demand app development best practices that can make a difference.

    • Design. User experience needs to be flawless — the main features of the app need to be only a couple of clicks away. Bear in mind to spread this practice on all devices, as we did in online psychotherapy app. A desktop version displays the whole function block without distorting the proportions or making users scroll down.
    • Modern video communication capabilities. Allowing users to use group video calls or a chat in a separate window can become a valuable feature for effective consultations.
    • Security. The healthcare industry is all about trust. Doctor-on-demand apps should not only have a clear and stable payment system but security at all levels. Purrweb’s Clearstep app provides doctors with patient’s personal data that can be used only within the app.

    Tech stack for doctor-on-demand app development

    The technology required for a doctor-on-demand app development depends mainly on the platform we’re using. Be it a mobile (Android or iOS app development), web, desktop application, or all at once, the telemedicine app development tech stack will differ.

    • Electron.js for desktop doctor-on-demand apps. It allows developers to create cross-platform desktop applications using JavaScript, HTML, and CSS.
    • React.js and Node.js for web doctor-on-demand apps. React.js and Node.js are open-source JavaScript libraries that can help to develop a web doctor appointment app.
    • React Native for mobile doctor-on-demand apps. React Native is a framework used for Android and iOS app development. It helps to develop applications for two platforms using a single code base.

    We at Purrweb find React Native to be the best framework for cross-platform app development. You will need only one cross-platform team instead of two native teams to release your mobile app on iOS and Android platforms.

    READ MORE  The reasons to choose React Native for mobile development

    How to create a doctor-on-demand app

    App development process, no matter what type of app it is, generally looks like this: Project analysis ➡️ UI/UX design ➡️ App development ➡️ QA ➡️Release and post-release support. We thoroughly discussed all stages of developing all kinds of apps here.

    We at Purrweb always advise startups to build an MVP — Minimum Viable Product. It is the first version of your app. MVP can help you gather valuable user feedback and check feasibility, at the same time being a perfectly working application.

    Now let’s explore the mHealth app niche precisely. How to build a doctor-on-demand app and what steps are specific here?

    Step 1. Obtain medical certifications

    When you develop an app in a medical niche, it’s not enough to research the market and analyze your competitors. Every country demands different certifications you should get before launching an app.

    For a doctor-on-demand application to function in the US, it must meet the standards of HIPAA, FDA, HHS, and others depending on the provided services. European doctor-on-demand apps require EPSC certification.

    Step 2. Choose principal functions

    What is the main thing a doctor-on-demand mobile app’s user wants? Analyze your target audience and select 2 or 3 main functions that will distinguish the service from others. That may be group video calls, synchronization with smartphone’s health trackers, speedy scheduling, chatbots, etc.

    Step 3. Provide data security

    As we’ve previously discussed, trust and security are pillars of the healthcare industry. Ensure that doctors get thoroughly verified and patients’ data is protected. For example, only doctors and patients themselves should have the access to EMR (electronic medical record). To respect the patients’ privacy administration should not be able to view any EMR or other personal health information.

    And last but not least — provide a secure payment gateway for in-app transactions.

    Step 4. Develop impeccable UI/UX

    ​​The app will have separate parts for doctors, patients, and administrators. All three parts will have different functionality, user interfaces, and technical feasibilities. You don’t want to mix them up.

    Step 5. Build a doctor-on-demand app and test it

    Choose your desired platforms and hire a team of developers or a mobile app development company. The cost of a doctor-on-demand app is mainly determined by this stage.

    Step 6. Release 

    You’ve gone through all the stages of the doctor-on-demand app development process and are ready to release a working telemedicine app.

    How much does it cost to develop a doctor-on-demand app? 

    Here’s Purrweb’s doctor-on-demand app development cost and timing breakdown. Bear in mind that these are approximate numbers — we based them on our calculation of an app that has basic functionality: no admin panel or video.

    StageEstimation in hoursApproximate costs
    Project analysis40$800
    UI/UX design180$8 100
    App development1500$54 000
    QA (Quality Assurance)concurrently with the development$10 000
    Project managementduring the whole project$11 000

    Overall, you will need approximately $83 900 to create your own basic functionality app. And the application development process will take 1720 hours, which equals 2-3 months.

    Depending on the staff involved and the desired functionality, the doctor-on-demand app development cost can be lower or higher.

    Case studies

    We at Purrweb are familiar with building successful mHealth apps. Here are some insights from our doctor appointment apps portfolio. You can read more about the design and development process of these projects in our other articles.

    Online psychotherapy service

    Patients can be sure that with our online psychotherapy service app they get the best mental health treatment, as the doctors are carefully selected. Having downloaded the app, a specialist undergoes a detailed registration process and an interview to prove his qualification.

    In order to work effectively, he needs to meet certain requirements such as answering patients within 6 hours, updating the calendar, and opening at least 5 slots per week. This is controlled by a powerful scheduling feature.

    On the user’s side, it’s all smooth and easy with plenty of features to satisfy any need — a chatbot, calendar, notes, video calls, and a window management feature. You can minimize a call window and continue using the app.

    For more ideas on the app’s 100 screens design, check the full article: How to develop an online psychotherapy service in the UK and not go crazy

    My Therapy Assistant app screenshot

    Online psychotherapy app

    Clearstep

    Clearstep doctor-on-demand app (known as Lytic Health at the time we designed it) helps automatically determine preliminary diagnoses and schedule appointments. The crucial feature here is a chatbot that collects primary information about the patient’s symptoms and thus frees up the doctor’s time.

    Another unique feature is a clear dashboard. Thanks to it, a doctor can see relevant information about all his patients, sort them according to the urgency of the case and quickly access one-on-one chats.

    Purrweb’s design helped the startup to get a $400 000 investment and proceed with an upscale doctor-on-demand app development. How did we do it? Read about it in our article.

    Wrapping up

    In this article we’ve discussed mHealth market and the development of a doctor-on-demand app — features, benefits, and cost. We’ve also shared a detailed step-by-step guide on niche-specific points that need to be taken into account, and our own cases of successful doctor-on-demand app development.

    Have an app idea in mind? Let’s discuss how much does it cost to build your future app! Fill in the form below and we will contact you in 24 hours.

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    FAQ s

    • What do you need to build a doctor-on-demand app?

      There are several points you need to remember while building doctor-on-demand apps. You should obtain medical certifications, choose principal functions, provide data security, develop impeccable UI/UX, release an MVP and get feedback.

    • What is the cost of on demand doctor application development?

      How much does it cost to build an app? Doctor on demand apps with basic functionality may cost around $83 900 to develop.

    • How long does it take to create a doctor-on-demand app?

      Average doctor-on-demand apps can be built in 4 months.