If your administrative staff spends hours scheduling appointments every day, you’re probably looking for a way to manage appointments more effectively. If you are, it’s reasonable to ask how the world’s top clinics go about solving this problem.

The Cleveland Clinic, one of the biggest and most reputable US medical centers, streamlines appointment scheduling and provides a better patient experience through their MyChart app. In addition to scheduling appointments, patients can use this app to view their full history of appointments, check test results and outpatient progress notes, and chat with a doctor.

Another high-ranking US medical center, the Mayo Clinic, also finds it efficient to manage everything from doctor appointments to medical bills in their app. These are just two examples, but there are many more!

If you’re looking to develop a doctor appointment app, you’re in the right place. Today, we’ll talk about the benefits of this type of app, features to include, the cost of development, and success stories.

How to build a doctor appointment app
Source: dribbble.com by Sudhan Gowthan

Reasons to develop a doctor appointment booking app for your medical center

Why do medical centers automate appointment scheduling? The reasons are numerous. Developing a doctor appointment app is a win-win solution for clinics and patients.

With an appointment scheduling app, clinics are able to:

  • Improve their efficiency and streamline processes
  • Better manage staff scheduling
  • Predict and reduce appointment no-shows
  • Save time on administrative tasks
  • Avoid overbooking
  • Eliminate human errors (for example, misspelling a name or mistyping an appointment time)
  • Get insights into their performance (number of completed appointments and no-shows, full appointment history by patient) and compare their productivity

Patients are able to:

  • Access healthcare 24/7
  • Schedule and reschedule appointments any time from anywhere
  • Communicate with their care team in real time
  • Access and pay bills (if payment functionality is offered)

Features to include in your doctor appointment app

Although certain features are only apt for particular applications, some core features can be found in almost any doctor appointment app.

FeatureDescription
FeatureDoctor profilesDescriptionPatients should be able to browse doctor profiles to choose the doctor they like. Profiles should contain information on certifications, experience, competencies, and languages spoken. It will be useful if you include ratings and feedback from previous and current patients so users can know whether a doctor met the expectations of past patients in terms of communication, treatment, competence, etc.
FeatureSearch for a doctorDescriptionLet patients search for healthcare providers by specialty, ratings, experience, and location.
FeatureBook and manage appointmentsDescriptionPatients should be able to schedule an appointment with a doctor using a calendar. Also, make sure users can cancel and reschedule appointments.
FeatureRemindersDescriptionPush notifications work well for automating regular interactions between patients and clinics, such as reminding patients about appointments. You may consider notifying patients a few times so they don’t forget about an upcoming appointment, but be careful not to overdo it.

Doctor appointment app features you may find useful or want to include later:

  • Payments ― Allow users to access and pay their bills.
  • Online consultations ― Let users access their doctors through video or chat without going to the clinic.
  • Cloud-based e-records ― Allow patients to view test results, exams, radiology images, and prescriptions.
  • Medication tracker ― Offer reminders for patients to take medications and refill prescriptions.
  • Health tips and insights ― Regularly share useful guides to healthy living and advice on illnesses.

Examples of doctor appointment apps

To get a better understanding of what doctor scheduling apps look like and what features they include, let’s check out real-world examples.

Mayo Clinic

The Mayo Clinic is a medical center that has provided medical services to patients with serious and complex illnesses for more than a century. The Mayo Clinic has major campuses in three states ― Minnesota, Arizona, and Florida ― and dozens of locations across five states. To streamline their healthcare operations, better manage staff, and engage patients, the Mayo Clinic developed an app.

How to build a doctor appointment app for your medical practice
Source: edisonawards.com


With the Mayo Clinic app, patients can:

  • Book doctor appointments
  • View their appointment schedule
  • Get health recipes, fitness videos, and health tips and insights
  • Access test results, exams, and radiology images
  • Pay for visits to the clinic
  • Add health data from Mayo Clinic to the iPhone Health app
  • Communicate with their healthcare team

Health Buddy

The Health Buddy app was developed by SingHealth and is intended to work for a number of Singaporean health institutions including Singapore General Hospitals, SingHealth Polyclinics, Singapore National Eye Centre, National Heart Centre Singapore, National Dental Centre Singapore, National Cancer Centre Singapore, KK Women’s & Children’s Hospital, Sengkang General Hospital, and Changi General Hospital.

Source: singhealth.com


With Health Buddy, patients can:

  • Make, reschedule, and cancel appointments
  • Check real-time wait times
  • Pay bills
  • Order medicine
  • Get wellness tips and videos
  • Find a general practitioner nearby

MyHealth

MyHealth is an app developed by Stanford Health Care. It integrates with the Epic electronic health record (EHR) system. This application also uses HealthKit to import health and activity data from third-party devices by companies such as Fitbit.

Look at what the former CEO of Stanford Health Care, Amir Dan Rubin, says about building MyHealth:

At Stanford Health Care, we are reinventing how health care is delivered and our new custom MyHealth app is an important milestone in our efforts. We provide care for some of the most technologically sophisticated patients in the country, whose lives revolve around innovation. After carefully evaluating all of the available mobile technologies, we recognized that to meet the needs and expectations of our patients we had to develop our own solution that worked seamlessly with our existing electronic health record system.

How to build a doctor appointment app
Source: scoop.it

With MyHealth, patients can:

  • Schedule video visits and in-person appointments
  • Check in for appointments
  • Pay medical bills
  • Manage prescriptions
  • Access test results
  • Receive the latest health information
  • Get step-by-step directions to appointment locations
  • Communicate with their healthcare team

How much does it cost to build a healthcare app based on our experience?

Now that you know what features the world’s top medical centers include in their apps, let’s talk about the cost of developing a a custom doctor booking app. But before we go any further, we’ll outline our approach to development and the things we pay attention to.

When it comes to developing any medical app, we look to privacy and security standards. To understand which regulations your app will be subject to, it’s important to examine the functionality your app will include, the region it will be used in, and the type of data it will store and transmit. For more information on the regulations your app will be subject to, read our article on privacy and security in healthcare. We also use encryption to ensure that users’ protected health information (PHI) is safely stored and transmitted within the app.



Read also: How to Build a Secure Medical Mobile App in Six Steps


A platform to book appointments with doctors

One of the appointment scheduling platforms we’ve built is Meddy.co. Our task was to craft a platform that integrated with the existing Meddy.co database of doctors and hospitals in Qatar and the United Arab Emirates (UAE).

With Meddy.co, users can search for a particular type of specialist by selecting/indicating their country, city, and local area. To make the search more precise, we enabled filters for type of treatment, clinic, subspeciality, nationality, country of education, language(s) spoken, and gender. Once a user is done choosing a doctor, they can proceed to scheduling an appointment.

The platform also features a blog where users can find useful tips on treatments.

How to build a doctor appointment app
Source: meddy.com

The Meddy.co platform took us 850 hours to develop:

  • UI: 71 hours
  • UX: 45 hours
  • Frontend: 256 hours
  • Backend: 328 hours
  • DevOps: 52 hours
  • Quality assurance: 98 hours

For more information, read the full case study.

Connecting patients to doctors

Another medical project we built focuses on connecting doctors with patients through mobile devices. Our task was to craft two native applications: an iPad app for doctors and an iPhone app for patients. Using this solution, doctors can store patients’ medical records, manage their own schedules, and get paid for appointments. The app for patients features search, video consultations, medical prescriptions, and medication ordering.

How to build a doctor appointment app
Source: steelkiwi.com

These two applications took us a total of 2,246 hours to develop:

  • UI: 207 hours
  • UX: 170 hours
  • iOS: 895 hours
  • Backend: 810 hours
  • DevOps: 66 hours
  • Quality assurance: 98 hours

For more information, read the full case study.

Want to start your doctor app development?

If you’re interested in building a medical app with Steelkiwi for booking doctor appointments or if you have any questions on how to build this type of app, message us. We’d be happy to help!

Meanwhile, we suggest that you read the articles below to learn more about software development in healthcare:

You’re also welcome to check out our products page to see what medical projects we’ve built so far.