Telemedicine for Pediatrics: Use Cases, Success Factors, Investments
In healthcare software development since 2005, ScienceSoft designs and develops telemedicine software to provide continuous remote pediatric care.
Telemedicine for Pediatrics In Brief
Telemedicine for pediatrics enables remote care to children at homes, preschools, schools, etc., using audiovisual communication, messaging, image sharing. Telehealth provides faster access to care, improves treatment of children with special care needs, reduces the number of ER visits.
EHR, practice management system, LIS, imaging software, other healthcare software.
$150,000 - $400,000 depending on the required functionality (e.g., RPM, complex data analytics increase the costs).
Telemedicine application for pediatrics includes the following elements:
App for parents or other caregivers
To request real-time appointments for a child with a doctor, message a doctor to consult on new symptoms (e.g., fever), log and track a child’s symptoms and vitals in the app, watch educational videos on the child’s condition, attend support group meetings, etc.
App for medical staff (physicians, nurses, physiotherapists, etc.)
To conduct online appointments, manage pediatric patients’ treatment plans and medication, schedule therapy sessions and consultations with other specialists, monitor a child’s health state.
Video streaming server
To enable real-time communication between doctors or nurses and pediatric patients and their caregivers via video conferencing.
Cloud data storage and processing module
To collect and process pediatric patients’ data (e.g., videocalls history, symptoms log, medication intake log), medical staff data (e.g., schedules, contacts), images shared by caregivers and medical staff in the app (e.g., photos of skin conditions), video calls recordings, etc.
Admin web panel (for hospital supervisors, administrators, etc.)
To view the list of current app users, manage access to the pediatrics telehealth app, manage medical staff’s schedule, etc.
Depending on the healthcare organization’s business needs, ScienceSoft creates a different functionality set for a telepediatric solution. Here, we list some common features:
Synchronous communication with pediatric patients
- Scheduled or on-demand video appointments for primary care, follow-ups, regular check-ups (appointment recordings can be accessed later by the doctor or a caregiver).
- Group and individual physical or behavioral therapy sessions.
Asynchronous communication with pediatric patients
- Electronic pre-visit questionnaires to gather initial information on a child’s condition.
- Instant text messaging (e.g., for parents or other caregivers to get medical advice from a specialist on medication side effects, new disease symptoms and their alleviation).
- Store-and-forward functionality for a child’s caregiver to share files important for diagnosing (e.g., photos of wounds, skin conditions, UV scans from third-party imaging providers).
Patient treatment and medication management
- Custom or template-based treatment plans and consultation summaries (created by a doctor and available for parents/caregivers).
- Online medication prescription and refill.
- Sending an online prescription to a selected pharmacy.
Pediatric patients’ condition monitoring
- Log of a child’s symptoms (e.g., headaches, fatigue, hyperactivity).
- Log of a child’s vitals like body temperature, heart rate, etc. (vitals can be entered manually by caregivers or automatically using smart connected medical devices).
- Nutrition journal (e.g., for children with diabetes, obesity, ADHD).
- Log of lifestyle (e.g., sleep, screen time) and physical activity (can be monitored using a sensor or a smart medical device).
Patient data analytics
- AI-based detection of symptom patterns (e.g., hyperactivity due to high sugar intake).
- Identification and alerting doctors and caregivers of abnormal patient vitals.
- Dashboards with children’s health state based on the collected vitals, logged symptoms, appointments’ records (for medical staff).
Patient/caregiver support and education
- Online education and support groups for caregivers of children with chronic diseases (e.g., diabetes, COPD).
- Self-learning videos or interactive materials (e.g., games), e.g., on chronic disease management, first aid, adapted for children of different age and caregivers.
- Forums for emotional support for parents or other caregivers.
Patient data security
- Multi-factor authentication for pediatric telehealth app users.
- Application access and identity management.
- End-to-end data encryption (e.g., of PHIs, appointments recordings).
- HIPAA and HITECH compliance.
- Parent/caregiver consent collection before a telehealth visit.
What patient group benefits most from telepediatrics? ScienceSoft’s Healthcare IT Consultant Alena Nikuliak shares her thoughts:
"In my practice, many healthcare organizations providing pediatric care choose telemedicine for chronic disease management. Patients with diseases like asthma, COPD, type 1 diabetes generally don’t require immediate medical interventions but benefit from regular consultations with doctors. Telemedicine solutions help pediatricians monitor children’s vitals and symptoms, adjust the drug dosage, and educate children and their caregivers on disease management to improve outcomes."
By integrating a telepediatric solution with medical IT systems, ScienceSoft creates a possibility for a healthcare organization to leverage various child data for safe diagnosing and care. Below, we show key integrations for telemedicine software for pediatrics.
- To provide a medical specialist with an integrated view of a child’s medical history (including chronic conditions, allergies, known chronic diseases of family members, etc.).
- To enable automatic visit record exporting to EHR.
- To log visits in EHR/EMR for billing purposes.
- To provide further access from EHR to insurance verification, e-prescribing, accounting software, payment gateways, etc.
Smart medical devices or biosensors
To collect vitals of a pediatric patient (e.g., heart rate, body temperature) and send them to the telehealth app server for processing.
Medical imaging software
To provide medical staff with direct access to pediatric patients’ medical images (e.g., ultrasound scans).
Laboratory information system
To provide medical staff with access to pediatric patients’ test results (HbA1c level, common blood count, etc.).
Practice management system
- To provide in-app access for an administrator or caregivers to healthcare specialists’ schedules.
- To automate billing for healthcare services, streamline accounting, etc.
Demand for telemedicine-enabled pediatric health services is on the rise. In 2020, Stanford Children’s Health network introduced telemedicine and replaced around 30% of in-person appointments with its help.
To enable the successful adoption of telepediatrics software, ScienceSoft's consultants recommend focusing on:
Stability of audiovisual communication
– online visit interruptions (e.g., glitches, sound interruptions) can decrease the efficiency of a child’s health examination, physical therapy sessions, etc., so stable videoconferencing is essential for a quality online appointment with a pediatric medical specialist (e.g., physician, psychologist).
Attention-grabbing techniques during an e-visit
– as children can be easily distracted by external factors, they need to be encouraged to pay attention to the visit. To ensure that, the app should have interactive UI, animated elements (e.g., icons, doctor’s screen background), gamification (e.g., for patient exams).
The investments in telehealth software for pediatrics depend on the required feature set. For a full-fledged telehealth solution of average complexity (e.g., featuring online appointments scheduling and conducting, messaging, image sharing, health parameters tracking), the development investments range from $150,000 to $400,000. The investments may increase if advanced features like complex data analytics, remote patient monitoring, etc., are introduced.
Telehealth solutions for pediatrics generally reach 100% ROI in ~6 months (it depends on the number of visits, the number of pediatricians providing telehealth services, etc.).
Key financial outcomes
Increased visit attendance thanks to no need to travel to the hospital for children and their families.
Reduced hospitalizations related to chronic diseases due to continuous health monitoring of pediatric patients and timely care delivery.
Decreased operational expenses per visit from the healthcare organization’s side.
Examples of Telemedicine for Pediatrics
- Kaizer Permanente Northwest implemented telemedicine into pediatric gastroenterology practice. Within a year, 54% of completed appointments were virtual visits.
- The Bleckley County Board of Education used telehealth to expand access to primary and specialty care services within 17 school-based health centers in 4 public school systems.
ScienceSoft's healthcare IT experts suggest that you develop a custom telehealth app for pediatrics if your organization needs:
- Functionality 100% tailored to your healthcare organization’s specifics and its IT environment – to ensure the convenience of the pediatric care application, implement advanced functionality (e.g., chatbots collecting pre-visit information, healthcare data analytics), cover all the necessary operational areas (e.g., recording of a doctor’s time spent with a pediatric patient, automatic patient records creation and invoicing).
- Connectivity with medical devices – for smooth connection to ensure correct health data transfer from any brand of smart devices and automatically collect health parameters of pediatric patients for easier health condition monitoring and analysis. For example, in one of our projects, we complemented a communication tool with vitals collection functionality enabled by Bluetooth sensors.
- Automatic translation of in-app messaging and multilingual interface – to provide care to larger patient groups using one pediatric telehealth platform.
- Teleresearch features – to conduct pediatric clinical researches among the geographically dispersed communities using a telehealth application. It helps broaden the population base under study and improve collaboration between researchers and institutions.
Bringing in 17 years of experience in healthcare software development and healthcare IT consulting, ScienceSoft designs and develops software for care delivery and health state monitoring of pediatric patients.
Consulting on telemedicine software for pediatrics
What we do:
- Elicit the requirements for a telehealth app for pediatrics.
- Elaborate on the app features, suggest advanced functionality.
- Plan architecture of a telehealth app for pediatrics, design integrations with third-party healthcare software (e.g., EHR/EMR, LIS).
- Choose a viable and cost-effective tech stack, decide on the use of ready-made components (e.g., to enable video streaming, messaging).
- Estimate needed development project investments and a payback period.
- List potential risks (of app development, app use, etc.) and create a risk mitigation plan.
- Guide to regulatory compliance of the app (e.g., with HIPAA, HITECH).
Implementation of telemedicine software for pediatrics
What we do:
- Gather business and operational requirements for a pediatric telehealth app.
- Suggest, map, and prioritize app features.
- Create a scalable pediatric telehealth app architecture.
- Plan user journeys and design intuitive UX.
- Design sleek UI of the app.
- Integrate the pediatric telehealth app with the healthcare IT environment (e.g., EHR, practice management system).
- Develop and test the telehealth app in 2-4-week iterations.
- Ensure HIPAA, HITECH, FDA compliance of the app.
- Support the application.
ScienceSoft's Customers Say
We engaged ScienceSoft to build an Android telehealth app for various medical specialties that complements our web-based platform for 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
ScienceSoft is a US-headquartered international IT consulting and software development company with 17 years of experience in delivering healthcare solutions. Being ISO 13485 certified, we design, develop and test telemedicine software for pediatrics according to the requirements of the FDA and the Council of the European Union to ensure safe and efficient healthcare delivery to children.