Over the past few years, telemedicine has moved into the mainstream, bridging the gaps between patients, doctors, and healthcare systems. People are now seeing how easy it can be to meet their healthcare needs while staying at home. But what about our furry, scaly, and feathered friends? Through an app for online vet consultations and prescriptions, pet owners can quickly get an assessment of their pets’ health and nutrition and even order medications.
Gains for pet owners are obvious. First, there’s no need to bring pets to a clinic to figure out what’s wrong. Plus, an online vet visit app allows pet owners to stay connected to their vets 24/7. As for clinics, they can gain recognition, grow their business, and increase customer loyalty.
In this article, we cover everything you need to know about vet on-demand apps including features, the flow of the consultation, and the development process. You’ll also find out about our own team’s experience developing a vet app. Ready?
How do vet on-demand apps work?
Before COVID-19, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) had prohibited vets from diagnosing and prescribing medications via online vet appointment apps. This decision stemmed from owners’ inability to precisely explain their pets’ symptoms, which could pose difficulties for accurate diagnosis and prescribing.
However, the coronavirus pandemic has forced the FDA to reevaluate its previous restrictions. The FDA is now allowing telemedicine apps to connect veterinarians and pet owners, thus transforming the pet healthcare system.
Modern telemedicine apps for vets and pet owners offer two main communication options:
Video calls — Instead of going to a clinic, pet owners can book an online appointment and allow vets to examine their pets via the camera on a mobile device.
Texting — This option is often used not only by pet owners seeking immediate help but also by those who already know their pet’s diagnosis. Pet owners can contact vets via messengers to clarify medications or diet schedules.
Additionally, vets can use telehealth apps to check pets' medical histories and give prescriptions online.
Steelkiwi’s note: Most pet insurance plans cover accidents, illnesses, and routine exams. E-visits are a relatively new service from vet clinics, so pet owners need to check their individual plans before scheduling to see if e-visits are covered.
Vet consultation app development
Using phone and video technology to diagnose animals and educate their owners is a breakthrough. But to allow vets to offer their services, a vet telemedicine app should offer a wide range of features.
Best veterinary apps of 2020 with telemedicine features
Anipanion is a vet telemedicine application that offers an instant chat connection between clients and veterinarians. With Anipanion, pet owners can provide pictures, videos, and brief summaries of their pets’ conditions. Or they can request and schedule video consultations. The application also allows pet parents to store medical records.
With this vet on call app, vets can integrate virtual appointments into their patient medical records and create virtual consultation summaries.
GuardianVets is another telehealth platform built for veterinary practices. This mobile application offers quick appointment scheduling, chat and video communication solutions, and after-hours support.
With the GuardianVets mobile application for online vet consultations, veterinarians can create case documentation, record calls, use analytical dashboards, and generate prescriptions. Apart from scheduling video calls and using mobile chat options, pet owners can receive notifications and reminders and leave feedback on the quality of consultations.
TeleTails is developed to fully integrate into a veterinary clinic’s workflow and replace in-person visits. The application provides veterinarians and vet medical teams with a set of communication tools for video chats and instant messaging.
In TeleTails, users can freely move between live video consultations and message-based communication. When an online veterinarian consultation is completed, it’s archived automatically in case details will be required in the future. As for payments, they’re securely processed directly through the app.
TeleVet allows pet parents to schedule virtual consultations with text, pictures, and videos. After a consultation is assigned to a specialist, the pet owner can chat with the vet to provide details. When treatment is prescribed, the app offers to schedule a follow-up appointment.
A follow-up is usually scheduled to review the details of a previous consultation and discuss the recovery process. Vets that choose TeleVet can also use it for automated marketing and for setting up promo codes.
Petzam users can schedule and receive online veterinary services through live video streaming to show their pets’ health issues and behavioral changes. The app doesn’t offer automatic call data archiving, however. Notes must be entered by vets as with traditional medical records.
Petzam is a simple and easy-to-use mobile application. At the end of a video call, pet parents are charged for the online appointment based on the vet’s rate. Owners can pay for consultations in the app.
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Steelkiwi expertise: Our contribution to vet app development
Our development team was approached by an emergency veterinarian who decided to develop mPet, a mobile application that would allow pet owners to manage their pets’ health in a better way than through spreadsheets.
Having analyzed the market and veterinary recommendations, we built and launched an MVP version of this vet application for Android and iOS users.
After registration, a user creates one or multiple profiles (one per pet) and inputs important general and medical information about those pets that later can be altered and supplemented. Apart from storing and sharing pets’ health data, mPet users can find useful links to hotlines, pet food stores, vet services, trails, and pet-friendly beaches and parks.
The post-MVP version of mPet will become a full telemedicine app that includes chat and video call features, allowing vets and pet owners to communicate online.
Get in touch to launch your own vet app development project
Exploring the market and thinking about the prospects of telemedicine app development for vets and pet parents? Steelkiwi offers experience, a team of dedicated developers, and complete support from ideation to app design, product development, and launch. Contact us right away or take more time to read about our expertise and get back to us when you’re ready to develop your own digital product.