The healthcare industry has always been very important in our world, but its significance to society grows as technology becomes more advanced. The blend of technology with health allows for a number of incredible discoveries that may save millions of lives years from now.
The massive amount of searches for doctors and hospitals, diagnostic centers, and pharmaceutical firms by more than billions of people globally have reinforced this category, which now encompasses nearly every health-related vertical.
As per Statista, the mobile health industry across the globe is expected to reach a market size of $100 billion by the year 2021. Now there are three important factors that are working towards making it happen: increased use of mobile devices in day-to-day life, rapid expansion in the world of mobile technologies, and innovations in the healthcare industry focused on offering excellent medical service to the patients.
Practo, one of India’s most popular doctor search platforms, has managed to find significant success in the fast-paced healthcare market. We see the potential of Practo to dominate the healthcare market with its features and practices. Let's learn more about Practo, which we think is a role model in this respect.
Overview of Practo
Practo, an online doctor search, and a medicine ordering healthcare platform is gaining significant popularity in this highly competitive period to motivate health businesses to put their foot in and lead with many vertical offers under the umbrella of the healthcare app.
Practo has created a platform that allows patients to communicate with healthcare professionals, doctors, and nurses. The technology is developed to keep patients’ data secure through cloud technology. This ensures that online patient records are always up to date and easily available to healthcare practitioners. The service users can book new appointments, check their treatment progress or corresponding records, and take care of accounting and payment services that can be performed online.
Practo used to manage 180,000 patients per month a few years back. Now, they manage 2 crore patients monthly and over 2 million doctors annually. Practo now aspires to be a one-stop solution for dealing with healthcare issues. They also want to grow and expand by targeting new markets and entering new categories. They also want to continue growing domestically and internationally.
Revenue Model of Practo
The revenue model of Practo consists of SaaS (Software as a Service) sales, a commission from buyers and sellers, and ad-space sales. With Practo, not just patients but also healthcare professionals gain benefits in abundance in terms of managing appointments & medical practice. Practo generates revenue from four sources:
- Practo Reach - Just like one may pay to feature in search results on popular websites like Google, Practo Profile sells premium listing, which could get you top search result listing on the site. Doctors using the platform to conduct online consultations will benefit by appearing at the top of search results which means they can do more business and generate more income.
- Practo Ray - Practo Ray, a cloud-based platform for doctors, is another part of Practo. This helps doctors manage the healthcare data of their patients and clinics. It is a PMS (Practice Management Software) for doctors. Doctors use this to manage their online presence as well as medical records, appointments, and devices required for various diagnostics, etc. For doctors to use this software, they need to pay a monthly fee for doctors to use this software.
- Practo Plus - Practo Plus is a yearly subscription plan that promises to ensure patients can always stay in touch with their healthcare teams through a paid service. It provides patients with limitless online doctor consultations, and Practo profits from this service.
- Medicine Delivery - Practo earns from medical delivery services too. Now that they have tie-ups with labs and pharmacies, they get some commission for making bookings and delivering medicines to patients. They also make profits by selling medicines directly to drugstores and chemists.
What Features Should an App Like Practo Have?
Successful healthcare applications are developed using the target audience’s needs and implementing those needs in the form of features. Some noteworthy features just cannot be overlooked while developing a healthcare app. Notable features help doctors and patients to make their communication easier and more effective.
Patient Panel Module
- Profile - To create a profile, a patient submits their name, residence, gender, age, medical history, and other critical information required to begin the treatment process.
- Find Doctor or Clinic - Practo provides patients with a way to search for profiles of doctors & clinics in their area. Their profiles include information about their qualifications and experience, contact details, patient reviews, price per treatment, and other interesting insights that help you make a better decision about which doctor or clinic to choose for your needs.
- Appointment - One of the main advantages of healthcare apps for patients is that users may browse a list of doctors, read their profiles, and make an appointment with the doctor of their choice. This feature tells patients about a doctor's availability and makes it easy for them to schedule an appointment.
- Real-Time Audio/Video Chat is another essential element in fostering patient-doctor confidence. Both parties can communicate via audio and video chat during a remote consultation. Doctors can recognize observable symptoms, allowing them to make a more accurate diagnosis, while patients may effectively convey their difficulties, just as they would during an in-person session.
- Medical Records - When patients create their accounts, they have access to Medical records that contain all of their information, including medical data and communication history. If required, the healthcare documents can be shared with another specialist, spouse, or other family members.
- Medicine Delivery - An additional feature you can add to the already existing online store that allows customers to purchase a wide selection of drugs and medicines in order to manage their health. In this case, all they need to do is search for a prescription or non-prescription medication by name or some other relevant key term such as instructions on how it should be taken, then place an order and have it delivered timely.
- Payment Gateway - Allow patients to make online payments by paying through the different modes of payment available, for example, using a debit card or credit card.
Doctor Panel Module
The doctor module will make it simpler for doctors to contact their patients by allowing them to do so via video calls or chat. On the doctor's dashboard, they'll find a number of helpful features.
- Profile - The name, address, photos, specialty, and availability of the doctor must all be provided. They may also share information about their expertise and education.
- Appointment Management - With the current circumstances, applications may get overburdened by the influx of appointments. This necessitates using a powerful feature capable of scheduling and listing a large number of remote appointments at once. The app requires an appointment management tool to enable the doctors to manage daily appointments while giving patients on-time service.
- Patient Records & Medical History - Doctors should be able to see their patients' medical records via the app in order to make effective and efficient diagnoses. Having a complete record will enable them to find solutions more quickly to keep both the patient and themselves safe and healthy.
- Prescription - Doctors should have the capacity to provide prescriptions directly from the app. Patients can use these prescriptions to purchase medication at medical institutions. The bottom line is that all of a patient's information is accessible to easily follow their appointments and results (like treatment plans, prescriptions, and medications).
- Transaction & Analytics - This software will help in keeping all the transactions organized and safe. It will also highlight whether the doctor has performed a proper job or not and how frequently he makes appointments with his patients.
Admin Panel Module
Admin Module keeps patient records, analyzes and reports on data, manages financial affairs, and more. Ensuring security measures ensure the complete safety of sensitive user information while cleverly implemented functions enable the seamless operation of your system.
- User Management
- Manage Appointments
- Manage Doctors
- Management of Diagnostic Center
- Clinic Administration
- Delivery Personnel Management
- Payout Administration
Medicine Delivery Panel
The delivery panel is a window that gives members access to the order database containing the contact information, timing, and status of orders on the site. It ensures that all orders can be verified in one place for delivery personnel to provide their services quickly and easily.
- My Account
- View Delivery
How to Develop a Healthcare App Like Practo?
- Goal - Before going into the specifics of how to create an app (i.e., its features), you should be sure to explain why you want to build a healthcare app like Practo. Your application needs to achieve two primary purposes, ‘your appropriate user goal’ and Your business goal. Therefore, by developing your mobile application, you'll also want to make sure it can complete the following questions: Why do users need this app? How will your app accomplish this goal? How does this benefit my business? What potential challenges may arise from a mobile app attempt like mine?
- Market Research - Market research is a method of discovering and analyzing information about the market. It helps you identify what your competitors are doing, how they are faring, why people choose to buy their products instead of yours, and more. Understanding this information can be immensely helpful in shaping or targeting your product or service offering and figuring out how to best market it. You also can gain insight into how much such an app would cost you to make versus the money it takes in, thus refining your idea if needed based on actual inputs and market demand before actually going out there and building anything.
- Features and User Flow - Once you have compiled your research and are certain of your approach, it's time to put pen to paper. This should build a more concrete picture of what you want the product to be and how it will become a reality. Write all the features you wish to add and draw an example of user flow. Describe how the features will work, who will use them, and why people would buy them now or in the future. It helps you and developers who may need to make sense of this data, which affects every aspect of the project from conception to delivery.
- Eliminate Irrelevant Features - With these detailed texts, you can get a general idea of what can be removed from your application. Initially, it is recommended to keep only the main idea of your application. For example, you can easily update or add new features over time and accomplish all of your goals with accurate improvements. Removing less essential features will simplify basic application development and save your initial budget. It will also allow you to quickly bring your latest app to market, saving on application development costs.
- Hire an app development agency - Building a healthcare application, especially one like Practo, is no small feat. Even experienced agencies can sometimes get overwhelmed by technical hiccups and unforeseen budget problems, so it’s certainly not for the faint of heart. If you are to go against our advice and try your luck at getting such a complex system built with freelancers instead of something more reliable like an outsourcing agency, be prepared to encounter several challenges that could eventually lead to you losing a lot of money entirely.
This is why it’s important to team up with a quality development agency that will create your app to align with your vision and handle any challenges you might encounter as you work together. This way, you also get to enjoy reduced costs thanks to the fact that many firms are open to flat rates - this means that whatever happens with the project, the agency won't charge you extra and will stick by their quote!
So hire an app development agency and let your imagination become a reality.
Do You Need to Be HIPAA Compliant?
Yes. As a company that works with patients, you’ll need to be HIPAA compliant at all stages. For example, doctor’s notes and test results are considered PHI(Personal Health Information), and they must be protected under HIPAA regulations for patient data confidentiality. As such, it is important to use HIPAA-as-a-Service hosting services provided by companies like AWS and GAE so that you’re protected at all times by them rather than having someone attempt to protect the data themselves using their own equipment.
So now you know what steps you need to do to develop your own healthcare app like Practo - but it doesn't stop there. While this is an excellent place to begin, there are some important additional features that you should include in your app! Let's talk about them below:
Building a healthcare app without market-ready APIs can easily take 1 to 2 years. However, with the components readily available in the market, a healthcare app can be built in 3-6 months. This doesn’t mean that it’s easier today than it was previously because setting up everything to work as desired isn’t necessarily any less complicated or time-consuming than at any other point in history.
Let’s take a look at some of the leading ones:
- Agora - Agora allows you to quickly create a highly-engaging video and audio chat feature in your own application. It has diverse lists of libraries for Web and iOS platforms. We require real-time video conferencing software in healthcare app development, and we can attest that Agora is capable of handling mobile-to-mobile video messaging very smoothly. It works seamlessly in the Web interface as well, though if you're planning on amassing a large user base, you may want to consider using the dedicated program they have just for this purpose.
- WebRTC - WebRTC is a powerful, free, open-source platform that enables real-time communication in web and native apps. It has simple APIs that have been optimized to transmit audio, video, and data. This platform is supported by Firefox, Chrome, Opera browsers used on desktop and Android devices. It’s also available for Android and iOS mobile devices which support native integration. macOS and Windows operating systems are not supported at this time.
- Twilio - Twilio works on all mobile devices without the need for any special plugins and can easily be integrated into the platforms you’re working on. APIs offer voice, video, messaging, live chats, and more. Twilio boasts all the functionality one could want to deliver services through an app. Twilio is incredibly versatile and can be scaled instantly from starter to enterprise plan and also has the lowest latency than other available platforms and shows up to 50% better call quality.
For a healthcare app to help improve patient outcomes and treatment plans, it will be vital for them to communicate directly with their doctors and have easy access to real-time health updates. By using Agora, WebRTC, or Twilio, doctors and patients can interact in multiple ways when it comes down to getting all the relevant information they need directly through their favorite devices.
Various programming languages, frameworks, cloud environments, payment gateways, databases, and third-party tools are examined by highly skilled developers during the healthcare app development process to establish a viable technical stack. So, on the technical side of healthcare app development, we believe the technology stack outlined below best fits the demands of remote healthcare services.
What Does It Take To Develop a Healthcare App Like Practo?
Without question, the primary goal of building an app is to make the most use of resources while keeping expenditures to a minimum. However, you will need to make some technical time, effort, and money investments. The number of developers will depend on the app design and features required.
The eventual usage of the resources will be determined by what the business expects from the app. The app idea may fluctuate from project to project, as will the business strategy and estimation.
In the form of several developers and other experts involved in the development team, human resources also significantly influence the app's budget, but we’ll discuss the cost later. So, An ideal MVP development team should have the following members:
Duties: The project manager serves as a link between the world of business and IT. They think about everything that can go wrong in the project and make sure it doesn’t, so your project is delivered on time and within budget. Project managers utilize tools to ensure that all communication channels are available and. Check out our blog on the finest project management tools.
Working Hours: 6-7 Weeks. Will engage part-time on the project.
Duties: They're your best friend if you need to know if you should invest in one technology over another. If your company is still at the idea phase, a BA will test your business concept thoroughly to make sure you're heading in the right direction and suggest any improvements that might be needed before starting a project.
Working Hours: 3 Weeks. Will engage part-time on the project.
Duties: UI/UX designers help you to transform your product vision into user-friendly designs and create user journeys optimized for the best user experience and highest conversion rates.
Working Hours: 4-5 Weeks. Initially will engage full-time and eventually become part-time involved.
Duties: App developers produce the part of your application that people view and interact with directly. They ensure that everyone who uses the app has an equally seamless and user-friendly experience. They are also in charge of everything that goes on behind the app’s hood, and they are your primary problem-solvers.
Working Hours: 30-32 Weeks. Will be engaged full-time on the project.
Duties: Front-end developers focus on visual layout and user interface/interaction. They create components that are directly accessed by a user through the front-end of a website or application. They translate wireframes from UI/UX designers into fully realized user interfaces by creating the buttons, images, links, and pages that all need to function efficiently, accurately, and quickly. Read in detail here.
Working Hours: 12 Weeks. Will be engaged full-time on the project.
Duties: As an important part of the front-end to back-end process, back-end developers are responsible for creating and improving server, server-side applications, and databases that allow users access to your products. The backend developers are also responsible for everything that stays behind the curtain, including all business logic, databases, and integration with Tubular, and third-party services. Know more about backend developers here.
Working Hours: 17 Weeks. Will be engaged full-time on the project.
Duties: QA engineers are the testers that ensure that your application is bug-free, supports all devices/browsers, and meets all requirements. They make sure your app looks and runs the way it was imagined to look and run without any blockers.
Working Hours: 10 Weeks. Will engage part-time on the project.
What Is the Cost of Developing a Healthcare App Like Practo?
You will undoubtedly be concerned about the cost of developing an app like Practo, but various factors impact production expenses when building a mobile app or web app.
The optimum technology stack selection is crucial for application production and development expenses. Another essential framework is the app's interface, which attracts users' attention. As a result, to create an emotional relationship between the user and the software, you must include animation, images, and other sorts of UI/UX. However, each of these new design elements will raise production costs.
Healthcare apps cost anywhere from $120k to $200k to develop. It can depend on several factors, including the time frame and complexity of the app. You can develop yourself for less, but it will take longer. Or you can hire other specialists, either full-time or part-time, to work on the project alongside you who specialize in the functionalities of your app.
To create the ultimate healthcare app with all of its personalization and individualized elements throughout the user experience, please contact our team of experts who will analyze your specs and clarify the actual expenses of the app to assist you with your mobile app development.
The healthcare industry has undoubtedly evolved over the past decade, and there are many new players in the marketplace trying to get their share of this multi-billion dollar market. While building a healthcare application is by no means inexpensive in terms of time and resources invested, incorporating quality design can help your application stand out against its competitors. So, that aspect will have to be taken into consideration while planning to develop an application like Practo.
We hope this RaftLabs article has served as a brief introduction to the development process of an app like Practo.
Do you have a healthcare application project? Well, we’d like to help you with it. Explore our app development services and contact us here with your brief overview of the functionality you want to see in your healthcare application.
Content Crafter at RaftLabs.