Doctor apps are already changing the healthcare sector and how doctors work. Healthcare providers are likely to engage into healthcare mobile app development that brings convenience to their practices. Medical apps for doctors can simplify interactions among experts and patients, give access to medical and patient data, and foster quick collaboration among healthcare professionals. There are many different types of medial apps for doctors, all solving different problems. If you’re looking to develop a mobile health application, the first thing to do is understand the market and its players. In this article, we’ll try to make it easier for you to explore the market of medical apps and understand the essence of health app development.
Doctors perform many different functions and they need applications to assist them with those functions. Let’s classify mobile healthcare applications by type and see some real-life examples.
It’s hard for doctors to keep all medical information about diseases and drugs in their heads. In addition, there are many medical articles with new experiments and findings doctors need to keep track of. Care providers want to be up on the latest advancements, but it’s hard to be around a computer all the time to do research and read information. Here’s where medical reference apps come in.
Medscape is a point-of-care application that lets physicians, medical students, nurses, and other healthcare professionals access medical news. It also has sections about drugs, diseases, and conditions. Medscape shows 3,200 clinical procedures enhanced with 2,500 images and over 150 videos.
Epocrates is another reference app. With Epocrates, doctors can review drug information and check drug interactions. Medical providers can use Epocrates to identify pills by code and physical characteristics by pointing the camera at them. The application also gives access to medical news and research, lets doctors check out which medications are covered by insurance, and performs calculations such as body mass index and glomerular filtration rate.
The VisualDX application is a reference tool, educational tool, and one of the most popular medical diagnosis apps. It includes more than 3,000 diagnoses and over 41,000 medical images. With VisualDX, medical providers can validate diagnoses by comparing the app’s images with a patient’s presentation. Doctors can build a diagnosis based on patient symptoms. The app includes over 43,000 cases of drug reactions and can assist doctors with on-the-spot patient education using real medical images. The app also has quizzes that let doctors test their knowledge and compare themselves with colleagues via leaderboards.
- search via categories and filters
- access to information about drugs and diseases
- images and videos of medical procedures and diseases
- access to research and medical articles
- medical calculators (body mass index, glomerular filtration rate, etc.)
- medical tests and quizzes
At SteelKiwi, we look at each project individually. To aggregate medical reference information, our developers use parsing. We can break HTML pages into tags in order to scrape the information we need. For this, we usually use Scrapy, a library that helps us extract data from websites.
How do care providers connect with other doctors? They visit conferences, call each other, or reach each other via email. This takes time, however, and can take too much time when a doctor needs to get a reply to make a vital decision on time or when they want advice on a rare case. Healthcare professionals can be equipped with a mobile application that includes a network of their colleagues and a powerful community they can turn to at any time.
DailyRounds is an India-based medical startup. It combines two main services: a social network and a medical journal. The app lets care providers connect with each other to share practical advice and tips. It also gives access to a drug database and lets users upload and view medical case files. DailyRounds covers key national and international events and provides tutorials. Medical content is updated weekly to let users challenge themselves with new clinical cases and images.
Figure 1 allows doctors from all over the world to connect. They can securely share X-rays and images with other healthcare professionals to discuss cases they may never see in their own practices. With Figure 1, care providers can expand clinical knowledge and access a community of millions of healthcare professionals. For real-time feedback, healthcare professionals can page other specialists. This tool is especially useful for those who treat patients with rare cases in remote locations.
Among Doctors is a social networking application for medical providers with discussion boards and international job postings. With Among Doctors, you can create private groups and collaborate with other professionals. Only verified physicians can join this network. There’s also a possibility to find or create events in your area of interest.
- chat options
- file and image sharing
- access to medical content
- access to medical events
The most important part of any social network is its users. If you have a big network of care providers, it can be easier to attract users. If you don’t have a big network, you’ll need to come up with incentives for users to join your network. These incentives can include a job board (like Among Doctors) or a drug database (like DailyRounds).
Care providers monitor a patient’s health from the first appointment through discharge. They look through numerous lab results on paper to make informed decisions. A mobile solution can bring order to this paper chaos. Healthcare professionals can also do some things remotely with a digital solution, such as giving orders to nurses or prescribing further treatment.
The VitalHub Chart app gives clinicians real-time access to patient information from hospital Electronic Medical Record systems. Healthcare providers can see quick summary views and view patient charts, lab results, critical results, orders and statuses, medication history, and allergies. The application provides different layouts for different medical staff — such as physicians, nurses, and pharmacists — to fit specific workflows.
- access to Electronic Health Records (EHRs)
- patient lists and charts
- ability to place lab orders
- reporting of lab results
- prescription management
- notifications about critical patient health results
- different interfaces for different medical staff
A medical application can conveniently manage patient medical records and significantly simplify the search for data needed for diagnosis. Integration with Apple HealthKit can also help healthcare professionals receive data about patient health. Our developers recommend using a Core Data or Realm mobile database to store data in a medical app. For notifications, we recommend using plain APNS or FCM.
It’s hard for clinics to keep a handwritten journal of appointments. What if someone cancels and forgets to call? The best doctor on demand apps allow care providers to automate appointment scheduling. There’s no need to call a clinic and book the old way since everything can be done via an application. With an app, clinics will always get notified about changes and keep track of patients coming their way.
At SteelKiwi, we’ve built a doctor appointment app for Qatar, Dubai, and Bahrain. The Meddy application presents care providers’ schedules in a visually pleasing way and monitors staff availability. Hospital staff can set appointments, edit them, and control appointment statuses. With Meddy, patients can tie their phone numbers to their profiles so they can answer basic questions just once when they schedule their first appointment. For future bookings, this basic information is pulled from the database automatically. When scheduling an appointment, the hospital staff can type in a client’s phone number to choose a patient under that account from a drop-down menu.
Another app from this category is Zocdoc, which has made it big across the US. Zocdoc lets healthcare professionals see patients every time they’re available. Patients can use the app to find doctors within their insurance networks.
Zocdoc users can book appointments with various medical providers whose profiles are accompanied by reviews, professional statements, credentials, and information about languages spoken. The application is great for care providers who are just starting out as well as those with established practices, helping them fill in their free time slots.
- find nearby in-network care providers
- search for doctors by speciality, location, availability, or health insurance network
- view appointment slots
- book at any location with a tap
- handle doctor calendars
- integration with top payment gateways
- view booking history
- edit and view appointments (including past and cancelled appointments)
Developing a medical application with a booking feature will allow patients to avoid waiting in line. At any time, even at night, users can take advantage of online booking. Booking can be done via a custom calendar or a time and date picker. For payments, you can use Omise or Stripe. If you want to let users interact on your platform via chat, you can use WebSocket technology to build messaging functionality.
To better serve their patients and be within fingertip reach, care providers can make use of telehealth applications to let patients have an online doctor visit. The best doctor on demand apps allow care providers to connect with patients via a mobile device and give consultations online, eliminating the need for patients to visit medical centers. Some patients are stuck in bed or in a severe condition, but with apps they can reach a care provider in no time. That’s why a doctor appointment app ranks the highest for patients who want to connect with a web doctor.
We’ve developed a doctor on demand app that lets physicians interact with patients remotely. This online doctor app has two layouts: one for healthcare professionals on iPads and one for patients on iPhones.
Patients communicate with doctors by chat, video, or audio calls. Care providers can offer all options of getting in touch or limit the services they offer and can set the cost of their services. Doctors can create profiles, which are displayed in the patient app along with ratings, reviews, and number of cases seen. Care providers can make notes about their contacts and review the history of all activities done using the platform. Clinicians can see a description of a patient’s symptoms and illnesses, the timeline of their illnesses, and photos or other files that are attached. Doctors can also leave a consultation summary with further recommendations. Patients can share medical reports, X-rays, CT scans, MRI scans, and immunization records with care providers privately. Healthcare professionals can make notes about their contacts within the app and review the history of previous consultations.
KRY is an example of a telehealth app that’s revolutionizing medicine in Sweden. The app offers access to a doctor online. Before an appointment, care providers can read patients’ symptoms through the app and view photos that patients provide. During a video consultation, a web doctor can give prescriptions, advice, or a referral to a specialist. A consultation costs $25. Patients can pay through the application.
Sometimes cases aren’t severe. To save the time of human doctors, intelligent algorithms and machine learning can substitute an actual care provider via chatbot-like experiences. These digital solutions can refer patients to real physicians if necessary. Take Ada as an example. Ada is a London and Berlin-based doctor on demand free app which positions itself as an AI-powered personal health companion and telemedicine application. It has a conversational interface designed to help patients answer a series of questions in order to detect what might be causing them to feel bad. If needed, Ada then offers patients a remote consultation with a human healthcare provider via text.
- personal profiles
- voice or video calls
- view attached files like X-rays, scans, etc.
- leaving notes
- write prescriptions
- payment gateways
When building a telehealth app, we recommend using the following technology stack. To enable video and audio calls, use Twilio. To implement chat options, use WebSockets, Socket.io, or PubNub. Omise, Stripe, or Paypal can help you integrate a convenient payment gateway.
HealthKit software from Apple and Google Fit from Google to assist in healthcare mobile application development
Now that we’ve highlighted features, let’s talk about technologies such as HealthKit and Google Fit that can be easily integrated into a mobile medical application.
Apple and Google have both developed ready-to-use solutions to help users collect health and fitness data.
Apple created HealthKit. Apple lets healthcare app developers add HealthKit to iOS and watchOS apps to create a more integrated user experience while maintaining users’ privacy and control over their data. HealthKit is a framework designed for healthcare and fitness apps, allowing them to work together and collate their data in a single health application.
Apple has three health-related products: HealthKit, ResearchKit, and CareKit. Each is designed with its own purpose. HealthKit allows users to track their fitness and medical data from their iOS devices and Apple watches. For example, a heart monitoring app and blood pressure tracking application could send information to each other from within HealthKit to develop a more comprehensive picture of a patient’s health, which is then sent to a physician via an application. Thus, HealthKit has the potential to help healthcare professionals track a patient’s health remotely and identify symptoms the moment they appear in order to improve patients’ outcomes.
ResearchKit is a framework for gathering medical data for the purpose of medical research. CareKit is a framework that helps users manage longer-term illnesses and chronic conditions, monitor recovery after surgery, and so on.
On the other hand, Google Fit taps into the fitness market and simplifies building fitness apps and devices. It comes in the form of an application that can be downloaded onto any Android device and uses the sensors already built into that device to track fitness data like steps taken, calories burned, and distance covered.
Google Fit has three main APIs: the Sensors API, Recording API, and History API. The Sensors API allows users to view available sensor data sources from connected apps and devices. The Recording API connects applications and devices to Google Fit. The History API provides access to and enables editing of a user’s fitness history. That’s how Android healthcare application development has evolved by means of the kit.
To integrate mobile medical applications with individual devices or existing healthcare ecosystems, developers use the best medical APIs, which are secure ready-made solutions that allow users to store and access health data. There are a great number of medical APIs that serve different purposes. They can help you create a medical app for iOS and Android. Let’s list some of them.
The Zynx Health API provides access to Zynx content in the Fast Healthcare Interoperability Resources (FHIR) standard. The Zynx Health API provides award-winning evidence-based content powering the healthcare ecosystem. The API starts with ambulatory care settings to post-acute care, homecare, and more. The API lets multiple platforms access accurate and relevant care guidance, such as analytics applications, financial applications, clinical applications, and workflow applications. Additionally, the API ensures interoperability of applications and care settings, providing the best clinical guidance possible across all tools. With the Zynx Health API, it’s possible to manage electronic health records, create population health systems, and provide better patient management.
The Human API has several medical and wellness blocks and allows users to manage patient profiles, provide access to vitals, store test results, and review prescriptions.
Developers are likely to use this API as it offers well-written documentation and clear guides for web, iOS, and Android healthcare application development.
BetterDoctor helps patients locate and choose healthcare providers, assisting them in learning more about care providers and making informed decisions when picking a provider. The BetterDoctor service has helped over 20 million people find the right healthcare professional.
HealthTap is an online health network that provides medical advice and answers to health questions from physicians. Users can ask questions and search for answers to their health needs. The HealthTap API allows developers to access the data and functionality of HealthTap for integrating with other applications as well as for creating new applications. Public documentation isn’t available, but interested developers can sign up to use the resources available.
Box is easy to use and allows you to securely manage your files. Healthcare apps can implement Box to store and share medical records, test results, and prescriptions.
Box offers an API and web and mobile SDKs. It can be used with a good number of languages and operating systems including Java, .NET, Node.js, Python, Ruby, Chrome, iOS, Android, and Windows.
Doximity connects patients and doctors, performing background checks on healthcare professionals who register with the platform. The Doximity API retrieves full information about doctors and their practices along with lists of their colleagues.
Before developers implement any API to exchange health data among networks, facilities, and patients, they need to make sure that the API addresses all security and privacy concerns, has access to databases, and provides exhaustive documentation.
Medical app development for doctors requires you to understand where digitalization is most needed. Care providers can be reluctant to adopt solutions if they can’t see the immediate value they will bring to their practice. Med apps can assist medical providers in their daily routines if they offer sufficient features. If you know a doctor’s pains well, you’ll be able to offer the best medical applications that clinicians are likely to adopt. What’s more, medical app development often involves handling sensitive data that should be protected at all stages.
Proper research and a deep understanding of the industry plus a skilled development team can translate into building mobile application for doctors. The best apps for physicians have excellent user experiences and great mobile medical app design — and our health app developers can help you with that!
If you need more information on how to build a digital ecosystem in your facility or you have an idea for startup, don’t hesitate to contact us. We’re a healthcare mobile app development company and will give you a rough price and conduct market research and business analysis to assist you in creating the best solution for your target audience. Explore our expertise here.