Before you consider the technicalities of building an app for booking doctor appointments, take a look at these metrics.
- Health and medical scheduling app has grown exponentially in the past five years. North America has a 37% CAGR.
- Demand for doctor appointment app development has increased, as many hospitals recognize that an app saves patients and staff time.
- IoT, cloud, and artificial intelligence technologies will drive the growth of doctor appointment apps –the technology is available and becoming less costly to run.
- HIPAA-as-a-service platforms have given medical scheduling apps an almost-automated and seamless HIPAA regulatory compliance.
- The Global Pandemic caused by Covid 19 renewed fears of contact. People would love to join in interviews with their doctors over skype or an app. The fear of sitting in a hospital’s lobby while nurses and sick people pass by and make contact is real.
- The online doctor appointment app development market is estimated to grow to over $600 million in the next six years.
How long does a patient take to schedule an appointment with a doctor? A study by Accenture revealed that an average of 8 minutes would pass before a patient can schedule an appointment. A lot can happen in eight minutes. With doctor appointment mobile app development, it’s easier for healthcare providers to short-circuit the time-to-doctor and get an appointment within a minute.
6 Steps to Doctor Building App Development
Get Your Doctor’s DataBase
A doctor appointment app serves a primary function: it connects patients to doctors. Therefore, before you even start building your app, you need a database of doctors.
Start by organizing a list of the clinics your app will work with and the doctors in each clinic.
If your database of doctor-app is limited, you can upload public databases of available doctors. Websites you should check for public doctors’ databases include Doctor.com, BetterDoctor, 1UpHealth, and Doctor Database.
Create a Prototype
After gathering and organizing your doctor database, you must create a prototype. A prototype is the first user-base product of your app. Your staff and select testers should test the prototype. The visuals and navigation of your app are essential to your audience; hence you need to develop your visuals to create an excellent UI and experience.
Feedback is essential in the prototyping phase, as it would help you identify potential loopholes that may mar the user experience. Prototyping tools like Figma, Sketch, and AdobeXD, offer excellent front-end creation tools.
Select a Scheduling API
A scheduling engine is the central processing part of your app. You can either create a scheduling engine from scratch (which is costly and time-consuming) or use one of the most popular scheduling APIs from Timekit, Acuity, or OnSched.
While using an off-the-shelf API creator like Timekit will save you time and money, you may not have extensive flexibility for customization. It’s like building a website from scratch with codes compared to using a CMS tool like WordPress.
Bottom Line: If you use a scheduling API/SDK, you will have limitations with your UI/UX—and your designs will often have to align with the API’s ready-made specifications.
But you can accelerate and redefine the process using plug-and-play solutions.
Create the Code
Coding is the foundation of your doctor appointment app. Hiring a cross-platform developer can be hectic, especially if you are unfamiliar with coding. Follow these processes to ensure a smooth development process:
Factor in coding from the beginning of the project: While people often design an app’s visuals first, it’s important to set up a development team from scratch. The team will work hand-in-hand with the designer in the design process, removing redundancies and back-and-forth.
Look for cross-platform developers: Developers with immense knowledge of React Native and Flutter are better equipped to handle the development of your mobile app. Cross-platform coders can create codes for both Android and iOS.
Transparency: Hire a coding team that is communicative and transparent with the project’s progress. Speak with people such team claim to have worked with. It’s important to hire a developer that will stick to plans, budget, and timeframe.
Ensure that your doctor booking app development process is HIPAA compliant. It will be quite a stir if HIPAA suspends or requests for changes in your app after weeks and months of planning and building.
Below are checklists you should consider:
– SSL connections
– HITECH Act consideration
– GDPR and HIPAA-as-a-Service cloud platform compliance
– PHI data encryption compliance
After building your doctor appointment app, you need to conduct quality assurance testing, from the UI/UX to the functionality of the codes, security, and the app’s ease of use. There are different doctor appointment booking app development test teams. We have your staff and friends, and family that tests the user experience. Doctors test the functionality of the app from a medical professional perspective, select testers test the app’s functionality from a user’s perspective, and technical & development testers find loopholes in the code and the app’s general sustainability.
Build an App for Booking Doctor Appointments: Researching the Competition
Market research is the backbone of a successful business. Let’s explore some of the best doctor appointment apps on the market today.
For more than a decade, ZocDoc has evolved into a trusted intermediary between doctor and patient. With ZocDoc, a patient can schedule an online or in-person appointment with a doctor within a minute. The ZocDoc app is operable on the web and on Android and iOS.
ZocDoc does not charge the patients to use its services. The app has a subscription model for doctors and a ‘Sponsored Result’ feature that shows patients-sponsored doctors and hospitals that tally with search keywords. ZocDoc understands the need to speak the patient’s language, hence, using simpler terms to represent medical jargon.
Launch year: 2007
HQ: New York, NY.
Funding: $223 million
HealthTap is another medical scheduling app. With a few taps, you can get access to some of the best medical professionals in the United States. HealthTap is HIPAA compliant and offers a seamless and easy-to-use interface.
Funding: $88.3 MILLION
Platforms: Mobile and web applications. For mobile, doctors’ apps are different from patients’ apps.
Practo has become a household name in Asia, where it offers healthcare software development services, including booking appointments for traditional or online consultations.
Practo was founded in 2008 in India
Funding: $251.2 million
The doctor’s appointment and medical scheduling app world is ever-growing: demand is high and represents almost all demography. Everyone gets sick every now and then, and an app that instantly connects them to doctors and reduces wait times is the appointment app. And, of course, after you build an app for booking doctor appointments, you must extend funding to the marketing team to spread the word about your new app.