Telemedicine has experienced a surge in popularity due to the pandemic and is expected to remain in high demand for the foreseeable future. Significant advancements have been made in the delivery of remote healthcare services. And each telemedicine app development company aims to dramatically improve access to healthcare, mainly for people living in rural areas. Thus, with just a few taps on a screen, patients can easily connect with their doctors and receive treatment, regardless of the distance between them.
In addition, there are opportunities for further improvements in telemedicine by minimizing in-person clinic visits, enabling patients to communicate instantly with medical professionals through text messages and emails, and facilitating remote monitoring. But the field of telehealth also struggles with flaws and has a long way to go to enhance the overall patient experience. Fortunately, it is possible with a reliable tech partner like Exoft. This article will explore some issues that need to be addressed in developing telemedicine software.
Key Challenges In Telemedicine App Development
Despite being a significant innovation, telemedicine has its critical drawbacks. There are several challenges associated with developing telehealth mobile apps to resolve. One of the primary challenges facing telemedicine is ensuring security, privacy, and compliance. The relevant applications handle vast amounts of sensitive health data, which understandably raises patient concerns about the risk of information breaches.
But it is vital to note that no universal law holds all violators accountable. Instead, companies must comply with various standards and regulations in different countries, making creating medical apps more complex and costly. In the United States, telemedicine apps must comply with the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) and the Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health Act (HITECH). Meanwhile, the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) applies to the European Union.
Besides the issues with security, privacy, and compliance, there are some other potential challenges to consider.
In telemedicine apps, high availability is essential to avoid delays or interruptions in treatment that can lead to severe health-related risks. Even as the user base grows, the system must maintain excellent performance and fast response times. Implementing a microservices architecture may aid in scaling the app more rapidly and reducing downtime caused by unforeseen errors. But such an approach may involve extra expenses.
Information Gathering & Processing
Collecting and processing data is a great challenge faced by software agencies creating telemedicine platforms, particularly when handling large volumes of real-time information. For instance, remote patient monitoring (RPM) systems produce massive amounts of telemetry data like heart rate, blood glucose and oxygen levels, arterial pressure, and so on. That can adversely affect the performance of telehealth apps and relevant databases.
Integrating telemedicine software with devices, healthcare systems, clinical environments, and workflows can be a challenging development aspect. For instance, wearables and sensors produced by various manufacturers can utilize different application programming interfaces (APIs) and communication protocols. That may add significant complexity to a telehealth development project. Incorporating legacy systems that use outdated techs and architectures can further compound the issue, leading to performance inefficiencies.
Healthcare Data Consolidation
Data consolidation is increasingly complicated as telemedicine platforms expand to integrate more data sources. Suppose healthcare organizations manage patient monitoring, video calls, and other remote care practices with multiple applications. In that case, their system must deal with structured and unstructured information in different formats. So, it is vital to unify the data before uploading it to the electronic health record (EHR) system.
Lack of Training
Insufficient training is often recognized by healthcare professionals and patients as a primary obstacle to adopting telemedicine. That is particularly crucial for the growing number of the older population. The people in this age group may struggle to navigate a telehealth solution, making it essential for healthcare organizations to build user-friendly and intuitive apps. At the same time, promoting doctors to utilize a telemedicine tool efficiently requires providing relevant video tutorials or specific training.
Investing in telehealth may become a significant deterrent because of the high cost of specialized equipment required. But in many cases, providing remote care only demands a computer and a headset for physicians. Research has demonstrated that telehealth is a valuable investment that can lower healthcare organizations’ expenses. Therefore, to avoid overspending on hardware or software that may be too complex for your needs, evaluating your telehealth program’s technical necessities is crucial before purchasing any tools.
Telehealth services are subject to varying coverage and reimbursement policies, which constantly change from state to state. The coverage for these offerings provided under Medicare and Medicaid insurance programs also differs depending on the state. And the ambiguity surrounding these policies is a source of frustration for providers and can make implementing telehealth services more complex. Thus, it is vital to keep updated on any changes in laws and regulations in the states where you operate to avoid legal issues.
To conclude, developing telemedicine apps can be challenging due to various obstacles. As these software solutions can directly impact people’s health, additional effort is needed to build, scale, maintain, and secure them. Consequently, there are strict regulations healthcare organizations must comply with, including numerous standards and acts. And to meet these requirements, it is essential to cooperate with a reliable healthcare software development company with the expertise in creating robust telemedicine platforms.