Building a Medical App for Physicians and Patients: Facts, Examples, and Techniques


Foreword: This article refers to the how to create healthcare apps for patients and doctors series of articles. If you’re somehow related to the medicine or medical app development, we recommend you to look through this collection to learn more about every aspect of healthcare app development.

For now, let’s concentrate on rather a business point of view when creating a care coordination app and medical apps for physicians and patients.

Apps for healthcare workers and care coordination app are relatively new category in the world of mobile development and it’s not that common since such apps are highly niche- oriented. The purpose of these mobile products is to create a close communication between medical workers and a patient, monitor patient’s vitals and exchange the related data between doctor(s) and a patient. Undoubtedly, such apps might be included in the healthcare mobile app development trends soon. Let’s see why.

Even in far 2011, the stats we provided below had already pointed out that both docs and patients are avid users of mobile devices and clinical apps. One study, held in Canadian medical school, among the students and healthcare professionals, showed that more than 80% of respondents had used mobile devices and iOS medical apps to communicate with colleagues about patient care via e-mail, telephone, and text messages. They mentioned texting as more suitable means of communication compared to phone conversations or in-person meetings.

Now that we have all the data needed, let’s briefly touch on how care coordination mobile apps and doctor consulting apps can get even better and transform the realm of medicine.

Let’s look at the particular patient care app example and make short overview of it.

Among different apps for healthcare workers we’ve found a care coordination project worth to pay attention to - Stitch. Consider this as a chat platform between the members of a medical staff and communication between a physician and a patient. People behind Stitch offer 3 different types of this product:

  • Stitch Connect - serves its purpose as the messaging and work coordination platform for medical teams;

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  • Stitch Engage - created as a chat platform, to conduct video calls and exchange files between doctor and patient;

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Stitch Manage - helps doctors to manage files which contain data about patient’s health

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Given the fact that our teamhas participated in the development of apps for healthcare workers and patients too, we'd like to share a few useful tips regarding the development of similar projects.

Here are some of our recommendations on how to create a clinical app with proper security measures and functionality.

The customer has had a plan to build a healthcare app for patients and doctors that would include the following features and functionality:

  • Real-time communication: messaging and video/audio calls;

  • Bluetooth integration of app with the weight scales, blood pressure measuring device, etc. for a patient to take body measurements, observe and share them with the doc; the opportunity to convert the weight items;

  • Instant and secure health data sharing between patient and doctor(s);

  • Notification system for docs, every time, when patient’s health records change;

How such features can be of use for doctor consulting apps and other android or ios medical apps for physicians?

Apart from looking for, booking a needed doctor and receiving online examination, users would be able to use more specific functionality, like

  • Take vitals measurements and instantly share the results with their doctor(s)

  • Use other various medical devices along with the app with no effort

  • Integrate the measurements data from the medical devices with the clinical app

  • Communication and coordinate work wisely within your medical team

Pay attention to notifications that automatically report to the doctor about the patient’s state of health. This feature can possibly save someone’s life one day. It definitely saves time for both, doctors and patients, making the process of treatment and communication always available and more comfortable.

All of the functionality for medical apps for physicians and patients provided above might be fundamental for, for example, B2C doctor consulting marketplace development.

Read also about what other useful AI-based features you can implement for a doctor consulting app development: Building a React Native Marketplace

Technology for healthcare app development + security

Our personal recommendation for rapid and profound building apps for healthcare workers and patients is that you can use the following app development technologies:

  • React Native for the native look and functionality for both, Android and iOS development. With the help of React Native ble-module, we can create an effortless Bluetooth integration of other devices with the app

  • WebRTC for audio/video chat and files sharing in a real-time mode and security measures. With WebRTC technology we’re able to ensure safe peer-to-peer connection

Previously we wrote about how to implement secure real-time communication (with code examples) in the same care coordination app we’ve dealt with. Drop by for the good read anytime you want to know more on the technologies applied and overall outcome.

Possible challenges when building medical apps for physicians and patients

Integrations and not suitable tech stack choice

Although we state that with the help of React Native and React Native modules, like BLE, Bluetooth integrations with the apps for healthcare workers are made effortless, you should know that there might be some device incompatibility and measurement items conversion issues. Before the implementation of Bluetooth functionality, you should learn more about the device you’re planning to use via Bluetooth along with the app. As we’ve already mentioned, care coordination mobile apps are specialized products and require good performance rates. That’s why technology choice matters here.

We’ve decided on React Native and WebRTC, since both our client and us agreed upon the current choice. You can opt for any technology you want for medical app development, but learn about the one you’re up to use attentively, what it’s used for, what are the special features and what are the dangers using this or that platform. Watch out for the difficulties that might emerge when working on WebRTC implementation for React Native. Given the fact that React Native is a relatively new technology and frequently updates, there might be some limitation which you can face in the process of either care coordination or doctor conslting app creation.

To ensure better workflow, please read: React Native Limitations and Best Practices To Deal With Them

Where and how to use the combination of care coordination mobile apps and doctor consulting app

The navigation and design for medical apps for physicians and patients play a huge role in the creation of healthcare products. First of all, these should be understandable for both patients and doctors and contain all the required functionality. There might be some difficulties if you would want to implement the use of care coordination mobile apps among your medical team or even in the clinique’s entire organization. What you need for this stage is time for everyone to adjust to the app, learn how and when to use it. If you succeed, you and your medical facility might become pioneers in the adoption of care coordination mobile apps and healthcare mobile solutions.

Ways to earn money on healthcare apps for patients and doctors

You can introduce special pricing plans meant for different types of medical instances (i.e.: 'Corporate plan' for the entire hospital). Or refer to the Freemium model and grant your customers the opportunity to buy the product with the most required features included. Doctor consulting app and care coordination mobile apps development is not an ordinary one and requires a lot of aspects to consider and include, about which we wrote in Doctor Booking App Development: Here`s What Your Users Need with all the details revealed and described.

The finish line

The creation of branch-oriented apps, especially healthcare mobile solutions, like apps for healthcare workers and patients, should be meticulously planned. These aren’t products-for-fun type. Such projects have a clear purpose to enhance and simplify the interaction between caregivers and patients. What matters even more, is that such healthcare apps for patients and caregivers might save people’s lives.

Have something to say? Apiko team is always open for discussing unique ideas regarding the apps for healthcare workers and patients.