Telemedicine Solution Overview
Our company has designed a mobile-based telemedicine solution for a large African telecommunications provider.
This project began in 2018 with the goal to make healthcare more accessible for the population by connecting patients and doctors via the mobile application.
Challenges of Introducing a Telemedicine for the African Market
We faced some specific challenges in the African region that had impacted our development approach of telemedicine solution:
- Low ratio of doctors per thousand of citizens cause the situation where medical facilities are few and far between, so the appropriate technology should provide patients with a convenient entrance for e-medical care.
- Lack of PCs among the population while people mostly use smartphones, so the mobile devices with the mobile internet should be considered as the points of connection for the end-users. That’s why we developed a mHealth app (mobile-based telemedicine platform), to make the portal for both patients and doctors “right in the pocket”. Moreover, it enables doctors to serve more patients with just a smartphone, so it is a platform any healthcare service provider will want.
- Low overall digitalization leads to loss of patient history, which may affect establishing the correct diagnosis. That’s why we included an EHR module to gather and store patient data in one place for being available per demand in any location.
Our Approach to Delivering mHealth App Suitable for African Market
We came up with a solution of the mHealth application, that contains the next features:
- Messaging service
- “Hello Doctor” search
- Prior authorization
- Patient profile
- Doctor profile
- Appointments scheduling
- Electronic health records
- Patient history management
- Electronic payments
- Corporate programs support
- Blog with health tips
The system is designed to cover the needs of doctors, their medical providers, and patients: individual and corporate.
Providing a mHealth App with Videoconferencing
The value videoconferencing brings for the mobile telemedicine application is truly tremendous. It turns the mobile application into the portal for the individual full-suited medical consultation.
So, there is no need for travel and time expenses – doctors can diagnose patients right from their healthcare facilities regardless of the location, which may lead to serving more patients with ease. The mHealth solution not only contains the video-consultation but also accommodates the doctor with the tools to interact live with the patient’s records during the consultation. That provides a doctor with “a personal touch” to the patient and helps to establish the diagnosis and provide high-quality care, something all patients need and appreciate.
Enabling “Hello Doctor” Search and Online Appointments Scheduling
With our “Hello Doctor” searching module we enabled the patients to find the appropriate medical care in an understandable way through modern UI.
We included such search criteria as the doctor’s name, specialty, hospital, availability. When selecting a physician, a patient can make a rational decision about a doctor based on recommendations from both fellow patients and other doctors, different certifications, and pricing. The module offers the opportunity to book medical appointments electronically in medical institutions or online. So, the patients can review a doctor’s profile and book an appointment quickly and easily, leaving reviews themselves following their appointment.
Providing Doctor and Patient Profiles in mHealth App
Our delivered solution helps doctors to track and manage their patients’ treatment progress, and maintain communication with the patients. After authorization, the doctor can access from his profile a list of the consulted patients, see their medical records, access knowledge base, and consult with other doctors.
In our developed mHealth app a patient is able to review all his consultations with doctor’s notes, his medical records, treatment history and is able to manage and edit his personal data and access his virtual wallet.
Saving and Managing of Patient History in mHealth App
The patient history of consultations, doctor’s notes, and diagnosis, prescribed treatment – these are the components of the patient health records and are essential for the long-term holistic care of each patient. When the patient data is stored in one place, different doctors, hospitals can request permission to access a patient’s record and therefore, serve their purpose.
The patient is able to review its own medical data and grant access to his records during the telemedicine consultations, allowing the doctor across the health system to make more informed decisions.
Adding Electronic Payment to mHealth App
We ensured transparency and reliability of the payment within the mHealth application.
By executing the integration with the local e-payment provider, we created the virtual wallets for the users, where users can pay and receive the cost for the consultation right through mHealth application.
There are such wallets available:
- For the health providers, where they receive money for the doctor’s consultations;
- For the individual patients, that enable them to pay for the platform services;
- For the corporate patients, that contain a predefined amount of funds, put by the employers.
Enabling Corporate programs in mHealth App
Our developed mHealth app gives the employers an opportunity to register their workers in the application and provide them with prepaid plans for the doctors’ consultations. Management of the corporate programs is very flexible. It offers the next features for corporate clients:
- Employers can add multiple accounts for their employees that become the patients on the mHealth platform;
- Employers can define various health treatment plans for their employees and receive corporate discounts;
- Employers can open/register different wallets within the developed payment system.
Creating Blog as Engagement Tool for mHealth App
For the mHealth app we included a blog with health tips that attracts people seeking medical help and searching for the answers to their health-related questions.
Telemedicine content marketing is one of the best practices that help to engage more patients to the mHealth app by providing the users with benefit-rich insight into trending health topics. The developed blog contains free content that is accessible for the non-authorized users and is used to drive traffic and interest, to increase visibility and awareness of the mHealth platform. As a bonus, more content is available for authorized users, so it may raise awareness about health and helps to improve health outcomes as well.
Stages of Development
- At first, we performed initial market research, identified the main needs and challenges.
- After a complex analysis, we formed our vision of the solution, defined the features and the characteristics of the system.
- The user-centric design was created and the development has started.
- Additional improvements were implemented and the telemedicine platform has been successfully delivered
1 Project Manager/Business Analyst, 1 UI/UX Designer, 2 Backend developers, 2 Frontend developers, 1 Mobile developer, 1 QA.
Java 9, Spring Boot 2, Oracle database, React, Android.
Business Value Delivered
- The developed solution accelerated the use of telemedicine in the African market
- Made medical care more accessible for individual patients
- Helped doctors to treat more patients with just a smartphone
- Improved the situation with the digitalization of the health records
- Enabled corporate programs with accessible healthcare for the employees
- Enlighten the population with the health-related knowledge
- Increased the traffic and conversion of the mHealth app with the health tips blog
Expanding our Solution to Other Markets
Thinking beyond the local challenges, now we see a picture of the world that is connected via mobile devices.
The capabilities of the videoconferencing technology truly break down geographical barriers that have impeded patient access to medical services especially with smartphones.
The developed mHealth solution is not bond to the market of implementation and can benefit any healthcare system in the world. For both sides, healthcare providers and patients, convenience and accessibility are key for future cooperation.
With rich Abto expertise in healthcare including AI-driven medical travel platform and medical practice management software, we can develop a similar system satisfying the local needs or optimize the existing one, as well as integrate it with the global digital health initiatives.