Development of An Online Medical/ Pharma App like Practo
Welcome to the era where medical apps like "Practo" are revolutionizing the healthcare industry!
The ongoing pandemic has made people across the globe more health-conscious than before. People are no longer taking sick symptoms to be "mild". Instead, they are venturing out to find medical assistance immediately. It is quite risky for consumers to step out of their house to book an appointment with their doctor and, more so, stand in long queues to wait for medical assistance and buy medicines. An app is the perfect solution for people to adopt time-saving and safe methods over the traditional and time-consuming procedure. Even for medical professionals, it is very difficult to prioritize every patient. Medical apps can ease the entire process and make it highly convenient and risk-free for doctors to attend to more patients.
An online healthcare app (like Practo) offers features like doctor appointment booking, finding specialized doctors according to patient needs, booking lab tests, ordering medicines online- all at the leisure of their homes and at a convenient time. This can be a bliss for working professionals who cannot pick out time from their busy schedules to visit a hospital or a medical store in the customary way.
Take a look at some interesting statistics about the Online Medicine Delivery Market:
The online healthcare and pharmacy market size is estimated to grow USD 107.5 billion by 2026 from USD 49.43 billion in 2021 (Source )
The online pharmacy market is predicted to grow at a CAGR of 16.81% between 2021 to 2026(Source )
In the US alone, the total spending’s on prescription medications is approaching $500 billion a year and growing up to 7% annually
47% of consumers use the internet to research doctors, 38% research hospital and medical facilities and 77% book medical appointments
We hope these statistics are enough to convince you that now is the perfect time to develop a healthcare app to cater to the needs of doctors and patients. This article will guide you through the important factors to consider while developing such an app so that your business stands apart from the competition in the market.
Proposed Business Model of Medicine Delivery Apps
Your application will serve as a bridge between doctors, patients and pharmacies. Think of it as a two-step process, where the first step is to consult a doctor and the second to order the prescribed medicines from the app. This is exactly the model followed in the 'Practo App".
Here is how a typical medical/ pharma delivery app should function:
Patient books an appointment with a doctor of required specialization
The doctor prescribes some medicines based on diagnosis
The patient uses the ePharmacy dashboard on the same application to place an order for the medicines, upload the prescription document and makes the payment
After verifying the prescription document, the payment is accepted, and the order is placed
The ePharmacy dashboard is stocked with medicines from pharmaceutical companies and distributors
Once an order is approved, the delivery partner will deliver the medicine to the patient's location
Must-Have Features to Include in the app
Let's take a look at the features which are absolutely essential in your application.
#1 Features for Patients or Users
Registration/ Onboarding: Quick and easy registration via the phone number, google account etc., for new users. Next, an easy login once registration is done.
Find Doctors: Search doctors based on various criteria like location, specialties, hospital, etc.
See Doctor Details: Users can view selected doctor's qualifications, consultation fees, credentials and feedback or reviews from their patients.
Book Appointment: Patients can book an online consultation appointment with the Doctors as per the latter's availability.
Online Communication: Users can consult doctors through online chat and video call
Upload documents: Upload prescription on the dashboard to order medicines
Payment Gateway: Users who avail a paid consultation with Doctors can use various gateways to make the payment.
Order Medicines or Health Supplies: The app can include a section for users to upload the prescribed medication from the doctor and order medicines/ health supplies from the same portal. Again, this is a well sought-after feature to avoid patients from stepping out of their homes to medical stores. Once the order for medicines is placed, your application can coordinate with a logistics company to deliver the supplies.
Blog: Users can access health-related posts by Doctors and other health experts
Doctor-Patient Forum: A dashboard where users can raise health-related queries and get free answers from specialists only. Users should not be allowed to reply to other users' posts to avoid the spread of false information.
#2 Features for Doctors
Registration/ Onboarding:Quick and easy registration via the phone number, google account etc., for new Doctors on the app. Easy login through once registration is done.
Profile: This is an important section where Doctors can create their profile by entering details like name, location, practicing hospital, specialty, gender, qualifications, upload certificates/ documents to support their education. The profile with relevant keywords will be visible to patients seeking medical help.
Appointment Scheduling: Doctors can view and manage new patient appointments or reschedule existing ones.
Online Consultation: Doctors can consult with patients online through online chat and video calls. They can also scan and upload medicine prescriptions in the chatbox.
Upload Documents: Send scanned documents as a prescription in chat
List of Patients: Doctors can view the list of patients and their medical files for future reference.
Patient Reviews: Doctors can see the feedback of patients.
Blog: Doctors can write articles on topics related to health to gain wider exposure to users registered on the app.
Doctor-Patient Forum: A dashboard where doctors can answer the queries raised by users.
#3 ePharmacy Dashboard Functionalities (to order medicines)
This is the section of the app that will help you order the required medicines.
Accept medicine order
Notify distributor of medicine order
Notify delivery partners of medicine to pick up and deliver.
Top Leaders of Medicine Delivery Apps in the US market
Owned and operated by Amazon. The eCommerce giant bought PillPack for $753 million. The platform has access to over 100 million Prime users from Amazon.
Doorstep medicine delivery, meds pre-sorted in single-serve packs and labeled with a time and date of consumption
Registered users can provide their family members and loved ones access to their profile to get in touch with a pharmacist in case of emergencies
Serves over 9,900 areas across the United States
50M visits to MinuteClinic, a CVS initiative that provides convenient, high-quality care for common family illnesses.
Users can order medicines, personal care products, vitamins, and first-aid kits.
In 2015, CVS Health generated 153.3 million US dollars of total drug store sales, second to Walmart.
Rite Aid generated approximately 30.74 billion US dollars in total revenue in 2016
Rite Aid makes up over forty percent of the global pharmaceutical market.
Rite Aid online pharmacy and drugstore can help users manage and refill prescriptions, chat with a pharmacist, view Rx history, learn about vaccinations, etc.
Cost of Development
The cost of developing a healthcare app depends on various factors such as:
The technology stack selected is a crucial part of developing a healthcare app like Practo. It should be scalable enough to connect patients and doctors and offer a seamless experience to both.
You may choose to develop a native Android or iOS application or even a cross-functional app that can run on both environments.
Here is a list of technologies to consider:
● Backend: PHP, Python, Go, Django, Node.js, Express, Laravel.
● Database: MongoDB, Cassandra, PostgreSQL
● Programming languages: Ionic (cross platform development),Java ( for Android), Swift ( for iOS)
● Insurance verification: PokitDok
● Video Conferencing: WebRTC
● Chat: Twilio, Socket.io
● Content Delivery Network (CDN): CloudFare
● DevOps: AWS, Azure, GCP (Google Cloud Platform), etc.
● Push Notifications: Twilio, Push.io
● Payments: PayPal, Stripe, Authorize.net
● Software Testing Tools: Selenium
The various elements like pictures, icons, animations, graphics, etc., used in the app should make the app user-friendly and attractive. An important thing to note is that this app will be used by consumers of almost every age group. So keep your app free of “design clutter” and opt for a minimalist design that will show off the functionality more!
A healthcare app usually has multiple pieces moving in parallel. You cannot afford to have the app running into issues and crashing. And hence, it is strongly recommended to hire a team of developers that are well versed in creating applications. You also need people to kickstart the app back into action in case of any unfortunate bugs. Your team should ideally consist of -
Front End team
Back End team
Time to Market
The timeline to develop the application has a huge impact on its cost of development. Therefore, you can either opt for an MVP model (Minimum Viable Product) or a full-fledged development approach. In the MVP approach, an app with the most important features is developed and put out in the market. Then, based on customer feedback, the app is modified, and a better version is released. In the case of full-fledged development, the app will be released for use only when each and every feature is completely developed and tested.
Keeping all this in mind, US/UK developers charge around $ 140 – $ 260 per hour of development work. Additionally, if you want to focus on developing an MVP (Minimum Viable Product), it will cost you around $ 16,000 – $ 50,000 with the inclusion of the following features:
|User and payment management
This complete guide on building an online medical/ pharma medicine delivery app can help you kickstart your journey into the online medical line of business. The details in the article are centric around the all-around application development, inclusive of doctor consultation and medicine delivery. We hope this read has been insightful and will help you with the necessary details to develop an app that can stand apart from the competition in the market.
Looking to build your custom medical app? Biz4Group can help you with the ideation, development and deployment of a successful medical app. Reach out to our experts to book a free consultation session today!