The number of telehealth visits increased by 50% during the first quarter of 2020 compared to 2019. With the skyrocketing cost of hospital stays, the decline of physical visits due to the pandemic, and the inability to properly staff remote locations, it is no wonder that we have experienced such a boom in the telehealth niche.
We have numerous telehealth solutions: video conferencing, smart devices, asynchronous videos, etc. Some help avoid hospital visits while others help doctors discuss their patient’s conditions remotely. In this article, we are going to explore remote patient monitoring software development. Such solutions allow patients to avoid or shorten hospital stays because doctors can track health condition data, assess it and provide recommendations remotely. This software is mostly used for monitoring patients with chronic diseases such as diabetes, heart diseases, smoking and/or alcohol-related diseases, etc.
Remote patient monitoring (RPM) technology is a rapidly developing niche that drives cost reductions and higher levels of patient satisfaction. It is estimated that the global RPM technology market will reach 30 million US patients by 2024 and $1.7 billion by 2027. RPM solutions help hospitals cut costs significantly since it reduces the chances of hospital readmission by 76%.
Taken from: https://www.businessinsider.com
Remote monitoring solutions are becoming the new norm for healthcare providers. Now, it’s hard to attract new patients and retain the old ones without it. The implementation of RPM technology can help institutions reach a 90% patient satisfaction score. The statistics also reveal the fact that physicians are likely to lose patients if they do not offer telehealth options because one out of every 4 patients is ready to change healthcare providers to access this service.
To stay ahead of the competition and successfully satisfy the patient’s needs, it is essential to learn how to develop a remote patient monitoring system. In this article, we will explore the several types of RPM apps, best practices of their development, and how to build a remote patient monitoring software step-by-step.
Most Common Types of Remote Patient Monitoring Apps
There are numerous ways to monitor health conditions remotely, and these are the most common types of remote patient monitoring apps:
IoT Medical Application
Such devices as glucose trackers, wearables for heart attacks, asthma monitors, etc., collect data about vital signs, send it to the healthcare providers and generate alerts in emergency cases. Therefore, telehealth monitoring solutions must be compatible with most wearable medical devices.
Patients receive questionnaires and report their current health state. Such apps are unbelievably easy to implement and require minimal development efforts. Questionnaire apps do not demand massive investment on the side of healthcare providers: they do not require any purchases for patients or the providers. However, this kind of app may be less accurate. Yet, it is one of the best solutions for tracking depression and other mental illnesses.
Video Conference App
With video conference software, patients can get examined, get recommendations or prescriptions without getting to the hospital. This type of app is one of the trickiest to develop since it contains numerous features like electronic medical records, e-prescriptions, conferencing, queue management, billing, etc. However, it is one of the most preferred options by both patients and medical workers. For providers, these apps are the best for tracking and monitoring patients remotely.
Precision Medicine Solution
Precise medicine solutions are created for research: they anonymize patient health data and present analytics about the health condition of a study target group. They also help to understand the current state of public health. It does not, however, connect doctors and patients like previous solutions do.
Need help developing remote patient monitoring app?Reach out to Langate
Remote Patient Monitoring App Development – 8 Best Practices
The competition in the RPM market is growing steadily. Therefore, healthcare SaaS providers have to thoroughly analyze user’s needs to attract a larger audience and get high satisfaction rates.
Luckily, competition also means that you can learn the best practices from other organizations. In this block, we will highlight tips on how to create a remote patient monitoring app that truly makes a difference.
Pay Attention to Patient-Friendly UX/UI
Healthcare solutions are used by people of all ages. Consequently, you must keep in mind that not every user is a tech-savvy gen Z or millennial when building your remote health monitoring system. RPM software needs to have a simple and intuitive interface. Avoid overly complicated medical terms or if they’re necessary, be sure to provide definitions and information about them.
It is also essential to consider the inclusivity of your app: many of its users may have visual, hearing, or other kinds of impairments. Therefore, you have to have accessible fonts and font sizes, alternative text, the size of buttons, etc.
Consider Battery Optimization
Those RPM solutions that connect to wearables and other IoT tracking devices workday and night… It is important to have a reliable battery for constant monitoring, uninterrupted data exchange, and timely notifications to prevent potential issues.
It is an essential feature for medical workers, but it can be quite difficult for patients to ensure. They use their mobile devices for other activities and could run out of battery life often. If you forget to optimize the RPM app for effective energy consumption, you are likely to not fulfill the main aim of the medical app and may have negative reviews from unsatisfied users.
Therefore, use BLE (Bluetooth low energy) technology to connect with IoT devices, limit background processes, and create a dark mode.
Offer Offline Connection
A dead battery is not the only thing that prevents uninterrupted data exchange. Sometimes there are problems with Internet connection, especially in rural areas. You have to be sure to take care of two things: notifying users about the loss of internet connection and keeping the data up-to-date and accessible.
As for the second issue, it is recommended to create a solid caching mechanism. So while the connection is gone, the app can continue to store data and will be able to send it to the cloud as soon as the connection is back.
Enable Geolocation Feature
Yes, you create a remote patient monitoring application to monitor vital signs rather than all aspects of a patient’s life. However, geolocation is essential in case of an emergency: doctors need to know where to find patients who need emergency services, and patients may use the feature to find hospitals nearby.
Take Care of Security and Compliance
Privacy concerns are one of the major reasons why doctors and patients are hesitant to utilize technology in healthcare. Medical records cost hundreds of dollars on the black market and contain a lot of Protected Health Information (PHI) such as: billing information, social security number, family information, addresses, etc. Therefore, both parties want to ensure that the application is very secure and the data leaks are unlikely in telehealth remote patient monitoring for healthcare providers.
Investing in cybersecurity in healthcare is essential to comply with all the legal regulations. Otherwise, you not only risk damaging your reputation, but you may also encounter hefty financial penalties. With just a single HIPAA violation, healthcare providers can receive a fine of up to $50,000. The fine can grow up to $1.5 million if the organization experiences more breaches throughout the year.
Enable Voice Search
Voice search is gaining popularity and over half of the adult population is already using it in their Internet browsing routine. This feature is especially helpful in hospital monitoring apps for patients who have trouble typing, have visual impairments, or need help urgently.
You can use Google Assistant, Siri, and Alexa to provide voice search to any type of device.
It is important to track not only current data but data history as well. It helps patients and doctors monitor health patterns to better understand the correlation between health conditions and diets, sleeping schedules, physical activity, weather, etc.
Do not forget to provide visual data representations for easier and more accurate assessments.
Create Both Web and Mobile Versions of an App
Remote patient monitoring solutions are designed to connect patients and medical professionals. Consequently, you have to consider both sides during remote patient monitoring app development.
Patients are more likely to use the mobile version of the app on their phones and tablets. Care teams usually work with computers to do analytics and provide recommendations. Still, they want to get notifications about emergencies on their phones to always be in the loop.
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Patient Monitoring Software Development Process
Once an organization decides what type of RPM app they need and what features it should have, they must plan how to develop an effective remote patient monitoring app.
The next step is one of the most responsible and time-consuming: making a remote patient monitoring solution. Learn more about phases of remote patient monitoring app development and start looking for the right team!
Step 1: Research
Every successful and on-budget project starts with a solid plan. The more attention you give to this phase, the less likely you are to run into unplanned costs, deadline extensions, and a launch full of bugs.
During the research phase of developing a remote patient monitoring product, you should think about:
- The primary category of patients the app would serve
- Patients’ and medical experts’ expectations and how to meet them
- RPM systems that are already on the market: what best and worst features They have, how you can do things differently, what else you can bring to the table
- App’s benefits for investors, patients, and doctors
- Regulations and compliance, the medical field is full of them
- The most important features and helpful add-ons
- Design requirements
- Tech stack
Step 2: Selection of IT Engagement Model
Before starting to work on the project, you need to choose the IT engagement model based on your internal expertise, expectations from the developers, and business goals. Here are the most popular models of cooperation with the software development teams:
- In-House Team: By hiring a team of in-house engineers you’ll have full control over the development process; however, you’ll need to cover extra expenses for hiring and employing the developers. This approach works best for companies that already possess strong internal experts in development and have large budgets.
- Dedicated Team Model: If you want to outsource certain tasks, you can consider hiring a dedicated development team. Companies choose this cooperation model, when they want to lower the development costs, access industry-specific expertise, and have a vendor be responsible for communicating with developers.
- Outstaffing Model: Businesses turn to an outstaffing model when their in-house development team needs an extension- you “rent” additional employees to help finish a project alongside your in-house team. Outstaffing allows clients to manage the developers on their side and don’t spend resources on hiring and employing talents.
- Technology Partner: The technology partner does not only perform the assigned development tasks, but profoundly analyzes the current state of your business, your needs, and goals, and offers the best-fitting solution. This cooperation model is the right choice for companies who don’t have good tech talents on their team and want a vendor to perform the role of a CTO.
Step 3: Prototyping
Research is essential, but you must test the theories and solutions you come up with. Sometimes it turns out that assumptions, even if they are data-driven, are far away from what works in reality.
To test research results, developers usually create a minimum viable product. An MVP has the main features and proposed design. Based on the reviews of the first users, you can improve the proposed plan. It would be more expensive and a lot more effort if you had to make the changes at the last moment.
After creating a prototype, you should make a detailed timeline, task list and set a more accurate budget.
Step 4: Development
After you have the timeline and tasks, it’s important to thoroughly plan the software development process. Good project management would help you avoid many challenges that may arise along the way. At this stage, it is important to check in with the teams regularly, discuss any issues and improvements, and keep everyone on track with deadlines.
Step 5: Testing
Testing is an essential part of any development process. It helps to release a good project rather than fixing the issues based on user reviews. Obviously, you can’t test everything since RPM apps will be used on various systems and devices. Still, you will be able to fix the major problem and satisfy most users.
Step 6: Ongoing Improvements
It is also important to realize that the app will need constant improvements, especially in terms of security, and frequent updates. The technology moves forwards swiftly, and we surely can expect new features of RPM. Make sure to monitor the industry trends to quickly adjust to the ever-changing users’ needs.
Langate has been working with healthcare technology for more than 17 years now. During this long journey, we have learned how to deliver the best user experience to doctors and patients who struggle with technology. By knowing how to develop HIPAA- and GDPR-compliant solutions, we always make sure that your software corresponds to all legal regulations and provides maximum security.
If you need remote patient monitoring system developers with vertical-specific expertise, do not hesitate to reach out! We have software engineers, testers, designers, and project managers in the team who profoundly analyze your needs and offer the best ideas on how to build a remote patient monitoring platform that would successfully serve its users.
RPM apps are a huge step towards more effective healthcare that can meet patients’ needs and reach as many people as possible. The solution helps both patients and hospitals cut costs and save a lot of time otherwise spent on commuting or monitoring at the hospital.
At Langate, we can help you go through all the steps of healthcare remote patient monitoring system development effortlessly. We will always be there to support you for further updates and improvements. Contact us today to get closer to the realization of your bravest ideas.