Mistakes to Avoid While Developing a Telemedicine App for Your Healthcare Practice

| Author , tagged in telemedicine
Cloudticity, L.L.C.

The pandemic showed a major in most healthcare providers, in that patients had to be in close proximity to doctors and medical staff. People could no longer be able to meet their healthcare professionals, as that would put them at risk of contracting the virus. Therefore, a new market has emerged that connects patients with their recommended doctors.

And with the way the market is growing, companies are capitalizing on this new trend with their telemedicine apps. So if your company happens to be starting one, then here are a few mistakes you will need to avoid to succeed.

Mistakes You Should Avoid

Every good telemarketing app needs to focus on the services it offers and how to get them to their clients best. Managing these services can be a difficult task, and understanding what not to do can help you build a loyal customer base. So without further ado, here are some of the most serious mistakes you should avoid while working on the app.

1. Working With the Wrong Software Development Company

As we mentioned above, the first thing that any startup should focus on is its goals. Determine the practice you would like to provide services for, and then find a development team that can help you create that platform. And here is where people run into the first issue.

You might choose a company that does not have experience with medical apps, but the team has experience developing apps. Or you might start working with an experienced firm, but they do not meet the GDPR or HIPAA regulations.

A good telehealth app requires integration that creates a complicated workflow. Therefore, you only want to trust professionals with the responsibilities of your app. Some of the things that you should look for include:

  •   The development team protects data effectively and offers you oversight
  •   They continue to support the app after developing it
  •   They comply with local medical requirements such as the GDPR and HIPAA
  •   They can effectively integrate electronic health records and other systems into your app
  •   Should have a cloud-based storage and computing model

2. Building Too Much Too Soon

Over ambition can be a worrying sign, especially when dealing with heavy competition. As a relatively small-scale operation, you want to get users' attention instantly. And that can be difficult to do when bigger and more prominent apps keep stealing the spotlight. While having all of the features that users want makes them more convenient, none tend to stand out.

So instead of trying to be a jack of all trades, you should try to consider specializing in a specific service first. You could offer better messaging and communication options for deaf or blind people and slowly integrate the features you left behind.  

Additionally, building your app natively on public clouds like Amazon Web Services (AWS) or Microsoft Azure allows you to take advantage of out-of-the-box services like Amazon Chime or or Amazon Medical Comprehend that you can plug into your app. This can simplify the development process and help you get to market faster, while enabling you to focus your resources on custom features that may help your app stand out.

Having too many features right from the get-go also means that you will be stretching yourself too thin trying to cater to each one.

3. Keeping the Patient Waiting

When a patient goes to a hospital, they have a certain set of expectations. They go there knowing that they will have to wait for their appointment, usually taking some time. Usually, a nurse will come to them and perform a small check-up, after which they will have to wait a little longer.

On the other hand, patients have very different expectations when using these telehealth apps. When a doctor has made an appointment with them at a specific time, they are not expecting to wait any longer. Patients can feel stuck or undervalued when they have to stay without knowing when the doctor will be back. And if they hang up to check what is wrong, they risk losing their appointment entirely.

Make the patient feel valued by ensuring that the doctors can meet with their patients at the right time. If the issue is technical, make sure that the development team starts working on it as soon as possible. Furthermore, you can set up a timer to show patients when the doctor will be ready, so they do not have to wait. You can even send them a link to the appointment in a message when the doctor is prepared to see them.

4. Not Testing Your App Properly

One of the biggest mistakes that you could make before releasing your app is not to check it. QA testing is an integral part of developing any application, as it contains to see if the application is in proper working order. They will check to see if there are any glitches in the app or if the app crashes when performing a specific sequence of events.

If the app goes to the client in an unfinished state, they might stop using it. Or worse, they might negatively rate your app online on various social media platforms. Not only can that be detrimental to the growth of your application, but it can also change the perspective of the people using your app.

5. Not Adding Staple Features and Extensions

As people start using an app, they become accustomed to how it feels. So if another app doesn't have specific features that make using the app easier, customers will not shift. These features include insurance integration, EMRs, ePrescriptions, and eReceipts, among many others. Each of these features streamlines the experience of using the app.

To find out if these integrations will be possible, you will have to contact your development team. They can inform you of the feasibility of these different integrations, as well as if you can sustain them in the future.

6. Not Checking If Your Malpractice Insurance Covers Online Consultation

The only thing protecting a doctor from losing everything they have built because of a single mistake is their malpractice insurance. However, these contracts can usually have very strict guidelines for where the coverage applies. If you are starting to offer your practice through an app, you should first contact them and ask if your coverage applies to the online consultation.

You will also have to consider the complication that comes with patients in different states. Offering your services to them can be risky, especially since your malpractice insurance might not apply to that state.

Even though you will help people across state lines without moving from your desk, it brings complications. Before letting the app go live, you should first ask your insurance provider what states it covers you in. You should also ask them if your malpractice insurance applies to the online consultation.

7. Only Offering Video Calls

Many telehealth apps come with integrated video calls. It is the primary way people talk to their health care professional of choice. However, only having video calls as the direct way to contact a doctor is not very inclusive. Some people prefer texting their doctors, whereas others might choose not to show their face and talk to the doctor on voice calls alone.

You should offer your clients a wealth of options in how they wish to communicate with you. Adding a messaging feature can also send out alerts to your patients or reminders about their appointment.

Even if most patients prefer using voice or video calls because it is still much more convenient, it is still good to have the option.

8. Not Accounting For Scalability While Developing the App

When working with a development team to perfect the formula for your app, you will always start by making a plan. This plan will usually include features that you will add to the app, along with all of the platforms that it will go on. It will also dictate how the app will work and who will benefit most.

Although planning is an essential part of any business, most people do not consider the scalability of their operation. For example, they do not consider which platforms the app will work on. Other things that developers fail to consider include:

  •   The type of customer support throughout the app
  •   The features that should go in the app from the start and what can come later
  •   Security measures to protect the confidential information of clients

These are just a few of the things that you will have to consider before you finalize the plans for your app.


The app you create will help individuals get the care they need without leaving their homes. But with the amount of competition that you will face, you need to make your app stand out right from the start. And by avoiding these mistakes, you can be sure to keep these types of errors to the minimum.


Rahul Varshneya

About the author:
Rahul Varshneya is the co-founder and president of Arkenea, a custom healthcare software development company. Rahul has been featured as a technology thought leader across Bloomberg TV, Forbes, HuffPost, Inc, among others.


Get the free eBook, Best Practices for Telemedicine Apps on AWS.

EBook: Best Practices for Telemedicine Apps on AWS

TAGGED: telemedicine

Subscribe Today

Get notified with product release updates and industry news.