Telemedicine App Development: Planning, Sourcing and Costs

Telemedicine App Development | Detailed Roadmap - ScienceSoft

In software development since 1989, ScienceSoft uses 16-year expertise in healthcare IT to advise on and develop reliable telemedicine software.

Telemedicine App Development In Brief

The development of a telehealth app MVP may take around 4-8 months for the development, including steps like requirements engineering, project planning, UX and UI design, app development and launch. The project requires a team of a project manager, a business analyst, a regulatory consultant, UI and UX designers, front-end and back-end developers, QA and DevOps engineers, and the development costs start from $150,000.

Telehealth Solutions

ScienceSoft illustrates how telemedicine technology is used in specific fields of healthcare and outlines features, beneficial integrations and success factors for the following solutions:

Telemedicine App Development Plan

Depending on a telemedicine application’s specific features and scale, the development plan steps and their duration may differ, some of them may overlap with each other. Below we present a generalized process outline based on our 16-year experience in healthcare IT projects.

Step 1. Telehealth app requirements engineering and software planning

Duration: from 4 weeks.

  • For product companies: Telemedicine app market and competitors research, target customers identification, and a telehealth app idea productization.
  • For healthcare organizations: Business needs specification and telehealth software requirements elicitation.
  • Listing and prioritizing telemedicine software features (e.g., symptom-based doctor search, real-time video communication between doctors and patients), creating user scenarios for patients, doctors, admins; for telehealth products – splitting features into subscription plans.
  • Gathering compliance requirements for applicable regulations (e.g., HIPAA, HITECH) and standards.
  • High-level integrations design (e.g., with EHR, Health Information Exchange, Laboratory Information System), preliminary HIPAA-compliant software architecture design, tech stack selection, identification of needed software licenses.
  • For telemedicine products: Customizations design – to define telehealth app capabilities allowing the customers to modify certain app modules.
  • Preliminary budget planning.

The phase deliverables include:

  • General telehealth software requirements specification.
  • Telehealth app feature list.
  • High-level telehealth app architecture design.
  • Preliminary budget.

 Step 2. Project planning

Duration: from 2 weeks.

  • Project scope.
  • Software development life cycle model (e.g., Agile methodologies such as Scrum, Kanban, are effective for complex projects requiring team flexibility).
  • Budget plan.
  • Project schedule, iterations, milestones and KPI plan.
  • Software development risk assessment and a risk mitigation plan (covering such risks as delays in the development, third-party medical software integration issues, etc.).
  • Assessment of the telehealth software usage risks (e.g., potential app misuse, risks to patients’ health) and mitigation plan. 

Step 3. UX and UI design

Duration: from 2 weeks.

  • UX design – identifying main user scenarios (e.g., video appointment scheduling, prescription renewal) and visualizing the core functionality of a telehealth application (e.g., patient-doctor messaging, vitals’ tracking), mapping convenient user journeys (for patients, physicians, nurses, administrators).
  • UI prototyping – to visualize how the telehealth app will look.
  • UI design – to create attractive graphic interface elements.

ScienceSoft’s tip: To develop the telehealth software faster, ScienceSoft often runs the UX and UI design stage simultaneously with the project planning stage.

The phase deliverables include:

  • UX wireframes.
  • User interface design document (all screens, assets, and source files).

Step 4. Telehealth application development and launch

Duration: starting from 2-6 months for the minimum viable product (MVP).

  • Back-end and front-end development of the telehealth app – to create the server side of the application and APIs and transform UI design elements into a functioning user side.
  • Testing – runs simultaneously with development to check a telehealth app’s functional requirements, identify and fix software defects, verify telehealth software security and HIPAA compliance, test usability and stability of the application.
  • Revision of software usage risks – addressing the new risks, and actualization of the mitigation plan.
  • Revision of telehealth software documentation – if the requirements changed during the app development.
  • App certification according to relevant standards – e.g., 21 CFR 11 – for apps dealing with electronic prescriptions, IEC 82304-1:2016 – if the app presupposes integration with medical sensors or devices.
  • Pilot roll-out – to present the fully developed app to the focus group (e.g., a group of doctors and patients in the healthcare organization), get their feedback, and improve the telehealth app accordingly.
  • Telehealth app launch.

ScienceSoft’s tip: When our customers' telehealth app needs early stakeholder or market validation, we usually start with MVP (minimum viable product) development. ScienceSoft develops core intended app functionality with simple UX and UI design, and then adjusts the telehealth app MVP (e.g., enhance user experience) and prioritizes developing secondary features based on stakeholder or user feedback.

Development phase deliverables include:

  • Developed and deployed telehealth application.
  • Detailed architecture design.
  • Application’s source code.
  • Test documentation
  • App setup guide, admin guide, support guide, user guide (for patients and for doctors).

Step 5. Telemedicine software maintenance and evolution

Duration: continuous.

  • Telehealth software and underlying infrastructure support and maintenance – to mitigate incidents, fix revealed defects and facilitate smooth work and evolution of the app.
  • Telehealth software security audits – to regularly verify PHI security, test the application and its infrastructure for HIPAA compliance.
  • Telemedicine software evolution – to roll out new features and improve software based on the analyzed feedback from clinical staff and patients.

Consider Professional Services for Telemedicine App Development

ScienceSoft has 16-year experience in developing software for healthcare and knows how to create a telemedicine application for safe and convenient care delivery.

Telemedicine app consulting services

  • Defining telehealth app features based on needs analysis.
  • Selecting telemedicine app tech stack and designing architecture.
  • Suggesting relevant advanced technologies (IoT, AI, machine learning, etc.).
  • Helping comply with healthcare industry regulations (HIPAA, HITECH).
  • Planning a telemedicine app development roadmap.

Telemedicine app development services

  • Telemedicine software requirements elicitation.
  • Drawing up a holistic feature set.
  • Designing UX and UI.
  • Telemedicine application development and testing.
  • Designing and implementing integrations with third-party software (e.g., EHR, CRM, practice management software).
  • Telehealth application launch.
  • Telehealth application support and evolution (if required).

Our Customers Say

We engaged ScienceSoft to build an Android app that complements our web-based platform for our patients. They advised and successfully lead the way from end to end through the technical challenges and considerations with development of the app. We have also engaged them to introduce a few enhancements to the app and would certainly consider ScienceSoft as a technology partner in further software development initiatives.

Justin Turner, CTO, Chiron Health

Project manager

Creates a telemedicine app project plan and supervises it, assigns tasks to the project team, monitors delivery timing and budget, mitigates risks (e.g., lack of resources or capabilities, delays), and ensures smooth communication within the team.

Business analyst

Elicits telemedicine software requirements, outlines features, tech limitations, defines necessary app integrations with other healthcare software (e.g., EMR, practice management software).

UX designer

Designs end-to-end user experiences and interactions with a telehealth app based on the UX research, creates wireframes and prototypes, tests telemedicine app usability.

UI designer

Designs an attractive visual interface of a telemedicine app.

Back-end developer

Builds the server side of a telehealth app.

Front-end developer

Creates the user side of a telehealth app.

Creates a test strategy, designs, executes, and maintains test cases according to it, reports telemedicine software defects.

Sets and maintains the telehealth application development infrastructure, automates software development and delivery, monitors telehealth application security, performance, availability, etc.

Regulatory consultant

Advises on the software architecture components, optimal technologies, development process, and project documentation management to ensure HIPAA and HITECH compliance.

In-house telemedicine app development

Pros: Telehealth app development is fully under your control.

Cons: High risk of delays or quality issues due to the lack of necessary resources or expertise.

Part of technical resources is outsourced

Pros: Easy access to high-profile healthcare IT expertise (e.g., in remote patient monitoring, IoMT) while retaining high control over the telehealth app development process.

Cons: Need for establishing smooth communication and cooperation processes with the outsourced talents.

All technical resources are outsourced

Pros: Cost-effective resource allocation, well-established communication within the team and availability of necessary technical capabilities.

Cons: Coordination of the team (often geographically dispersed) and risk management are on your side.

Fully outsourced app development

Pros: Full responsibility for the telehealth app development process and resources lies on the vendor.

Cons: High dependency on the vendor and increased vendor risks.

According to HIPAA, if you opt for outsourcing any development activities, you should sign a Business Associate Agreement with a vendor having access to PHIs (protected health information) to ensure data security, solid encryption methods, security practices documentation, and emergency protocols.

ScienceSoft’s tip: If you want to incorporate Software as a Medical Device features (e.g., heart-rate monitoring using a smartphone) into your telemedicine application, we recommend paying attention to FDA registration of your software and checking if your vendor works according to IEC 62304:2006/Amd 1:2015 and ISO 13485 standards. In its telehealth software development projects, ScienceSoft is ready to comply with the stated requirements.

Need Help in Telehealth App Development?

Being ISO 13485-certified to design and develop medical software according to the requirements of the FDA and the Council of the European Union, ScienceSoft is ready to help you create a reliable telemedicine application with a tailored set of functions for virtual care delivery.

HIPAA-Compliant Clouds ScienceSoft Recommends for Telemedicine App Development

Based on our successful telehealth applications development projects, we suggest you choose a HIPAA-compliant cloud platform that allows secure PHI storage, processing, analyzing, and sharing.

Amazon Web Services (AWS)

Best for: hybrid cloud and IoMT

Description

  • AWS has been recognized as a Leader in Gartner’s Infrastructure & Platform Services Magic Quadrant for 10 consecutive years.
  • A wide array of HIPAA-compliant cloud services (e.g., for telehealth, PHI storage, IoMT device management, analytics, data sharing, etc.) for cost-effective app development.
  • Services to seamlessly align the on-premises and cloud infrastructure (e.g., AWS Outposts).

Pricing

Price can be calculated by your request.

Microsoft Azure

Best for: IoMT and machine learning

Description

  • Microsoft holds the second place in Gartner Magic Quadrant for Cloud Infrastructure and Platform Services.
  • HIPAA compliance is ensured by ISO/IEC 27001 certification.
  • Numerous HIPAA-compliant services for PHI storage, data management, machine learning, IoMT, etc.

Pricing

Price can be calculated by your request.

Google Cloud Platform

Best for: highly variable telehealth app load

DESCRIPTION

  • Google Cloud Platform is on the third place in the Leaders category of Gartner Magic Quadrant for Cloud Infrastructure and Platform Services.
  • 90+ HIPAA-compliant cloud services (e.g., Google Cloud Load Balancer, Google Drive, Cloud IoT Core, Cloud SQL, Cloud Storage) for streamlined telehealth app development.

Pricing

Price can be calculated by your request.

Telemedicine App Development Costs

Costs to build a telehealth application vary depending on the following factors:

  • Type of a telemedicine application (web, mobile, desktop).
  • For mobile telehealth apps: the number of supported platforms (iOS, Android).
  • Number and complexity of features (e.g., adding remote patient monitoring functionality will highly influence the cost).
  • Number of user roles (e.g., patients, doctors, administrators).
  • Telehealth application performance requirements (e.g., an expected number of simultaneous appointments and sessions).
  • Necessary data storage capacity.
  • Number and complexity of integrations with relevant healthcare IT systems (e.g., EHR, practice management software, LIS).
  • Telehealth software integration with remote patient monitoring devices.
  • Scalability needs.

Here are sample costs for telehealth software development (excluding infrastructure costs):

Healthcare organization (with 1-50 doctors)

From $150,000

Healthcare product company

From $250,000

Get to Know the Cost of Your Telehealth App

To make sure your digital initiative will pay off, ScienceSoft is ready to calculate the cost of your telemedicine application and provide its ROI.

About ScienceSoft

ScienceSoft is a US-based international IT consulting and software development company. Our 32-year experience in software development and 16-year expertise in healthcare IT helps us create telemedicine applications aimed at providing reimbursable care remotely.