Here’s what it takes to build an exceptional telemedicine experience that engages and retains more patients.
•Published: Oct 27, 2021
Modern technology has fueled the success of telemedicine, which allows doctors to treat and diagnose their clients from home, even if they’re thousands of miles away. Statista expects the telemedicine market to reach a whopping $459 billion by 2030.
Telemedicine combines the use of online chat and video conferencing to make healthcare accessible from anywhere. While telemedicine has been on the rise for quite some time, the COVID-19 pandemic accelerated the industry’s growth. Telemedicine was the top option for doctors for providing healthcare to their patients while respecting social distancing.
Building a telemedicine platform, however, comes with its own unique challenges and technical complexity. You have to consider industry-specific security measures and optimize the user experience for both patients and doctors. That way, you’ll create a safe telehealth platform that not only stands out from the growing competition of telehealth tools but also retains more patients.
In this blog post, we’ll cover the key elements you must consider during telemedicine software development for the best patient experience. You’ll also learn how the Stream Chat API improves telemedicine communication with engaging chat messaging features, security compliance, and a partnership with Dolby.io to enhance video calls.
Comply With Online Data Regulations
Telemedicine companies must comply with various security laws to keep their patients safe. Not doing so can lead to them paying significant fines and putting themselves at risk for cyberattacks. Here are the primary compliance regulations that telemedicine companies must respect as part of telemedicine software development:
- Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA): The HIPAA is a list of regulations from 1996 that set boundaries on how companies can manage patient data to better protect users. It seeks to find a balance between providing high-quality healthcare and keeping patients safe.
- SOC-2: The SOC-2 is a data protection law from the American Institute of CPAs that concerns any company that stores user data in the cloud. It defines the criteria for managing patient data across five trust principles: security, availability, processing integrity, confidentiality, and privacy.
- General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR): The GDPR is a ruling from the European Union on the personal data protection of its members. It’s going to concern you directly if you plan to make your telemedicine platform available from any EU country.
How the Stream Chat API Helps:
The Stream Chat API is encrypted end to end, which makes it compliant with important regulations such as HIPAA and GDPR. It does so by encrypting the messages between different users so that only the intended recipient can decrypt them. Stream is also SOC-2 compliant.
Using the Stream Chat API, you’ll reduce the technical difficulty of making your product compliant and focus on building the rest of your telemedicine platform. Click here to learn more about how Stream keeps your telemedicine platform safe and HIPAA compliant.
Build an Engaging Chat Messaging Experience
Chat makes it possible for patients to message and ask their questions to doctors 24/7 while allowing them to respond at their convenience (unlike via phone, where they have to be put on hold). It also allows doctors to follow up with patients after a call, such as sending written instructions on using a prescription or tracking their treatment via reminders.
That said, building a chat option in telemedicine software development from scratch is a complicated process. You must implement many complex features — like typing indicators and read receipts — and you’re likely to run into some reliability issues down the road. Your chat feature must also come with the ability to share files such as PDF documents and threads to better organize patient questions.
Another thing to think about during telemedicine software development is your chat’s scalability and how it will support a growing user base. If your chat’s infrastructure isn’t strong enough to handle more bandwidth, it’s going to get buggier and slower as more patients sign up, which will impede your product’s growth.
How Stream’s Chat API Helps:
Stream’s chat API lets you build an efficient, feature-rich chat experience for your telemedicine platform while reducing your time-to-value. Here’s what your platform gets access to as part of the telehealth API suite during its software development:
Pre-Loaded UI Designs
The Stream Chat API comes with various customizable UI designs that you can integrate instantly within your telemedicine platform to save you time. Each UI design comes with its own light, dark, mobile, and web version to speed up the process of building your chat.
Regardless of whether you have 1,000 or 1 million patients, Stream’s Chat APIs support your telemedicine platform as your business grows. Our infrastructure allows you to adapt to your growing bandwidth and ensure that your chat feature remains reliable.
Flexible Chat Messaging Options
The Stream Chat API comes with various components you can include in your chat tool to improve your patient experience. These include secure file sharing, thread replies, emoji reactions, message reactions, read receipts, and user presence to track when the patient or doctor was last active.
Sometimes, a one-on-one consultation won’t be enough to solve the patient’s needs. Stream’s Chat APIs come with the possibility of creating different group chats so that other health professionals such as nurses or other caregivers can join in to find the correct treatment.
Adopt High-Quality Audio and Video
To optimize the telemedicine experience, you can’t do without high-quality audio and video. They’re what will recreate a real-life consultation and get the most out of communication so that doctors can correctly assign the right treatment for their patients. Doctors also won’t be missing any important details from their conversations with their patients.
For example, one way that high-quality audio improves the telemedicine experience is by reducing the risk of misdiagnosis. It helps doctors hear the symptoms of their patients clearly during their consultations, such as coughs. From there, they can better identify the following steps to take, such as providing them with the appropriate prescription.
Poor audio quality, on the other hand, forces patients to repeat themselves throughout their consultation. It creates an uncomfortable experience, especially if the patient is discussing delicate health issues.
By combining high-quality audio with HD video, you can create an interaction for doctors and patients that feels more real. HD video also allows doctors to view physical symptoms more precisely, such as cancer moles.
How Stream’s Chat API Helps:
Stream is a partner of Dolby.io, which comes with a suite of video and audio APIs to deliver high-quality calls between doctors and patients. You’ll have the APIs that you can use for the following use-cases for your telemedicine software platform:
Spatial Audio for 3D Immersive Calls
Dolby uses spatial audio technology for a more immersive audio experience. It balances the dynamics of each speaker during conference calls so that no voice overlaps.
Video and Audio Recording
Stream’s integration with Dolby.io provides doctors with the ability to record video calls with their patients. They’ll be able to go back to it for future reference during their healthcare service.
The partnership includes HD audio up to 30 FPS. The HD video is compatible with all mobile devices and browsers while optimizing for bandwidth simultaneously.
Background Noise Reduction
With the Dolby.io integrations, you’ll be able to eliminate any background noise or nuisance that creeps into your calls. It contributes to a more productive discussion and reduces distractions during patient calls.
Step up Telemedicine Software Development to Engage More Patients
Optimizing your patient experience correctly as part of telemedicine software development allows you to retain more users, provide doctors with all the tools they need to get the most out of each patient call, and deliver patients with better healthcare. It contributes to making healthcare more accessible to everyone from anywhere.
Ready to learn more about Stream Chat? Sign up for your free Chat trial to explore how the API can look in your telemedicine platform.