What is a Telepharmacy App?
The National Association of Boards of Pharmacy defines telepharmacy as “the provision of pharmacist care by registered pharmacies and pharmacists through the use of telecommunications or other technologies to patients or their agents at distances.”
The definition implies that a telepharmacy app is software that connects pharmacy professionals to patients, pharmacy technicians, or medical staff using audio and video calls. Such applications allow pharmacists to oversee pharmacy operations and provide patient-care services remotely.
In practice, when we build a telepharmacy app, we create an entire mini-ecosystem of cross-platform apps that, combined, unlock the full potential of remote pharmacy services.
How Telepharmacy Apps Promote Value-Based Care
Expand pharmaceutical services to remote locations
In rural, medically underserved areas, where a fully-staffed pharmacy is hard to justify, people can still get all the benefits of traditional pharmacy services by using a telepharmacy app for a specialist consultation. At the same time, partnering with a remote location, e.g., a nursery home or clinic, can help a pharmacy remain at its full capacity of filling prescriptions, operating 24-7.
Improve patients’ medication adherence
Pharmacy professionals may rely on telepharmacy apps to reach patients while they are at home for counseling and medication therapy management (MTM) verification. This connectivity to pharmacists makes patients follow through on their prescriptions and results in better outcomes.
Provide remote education and support to clinical services
Telepharmacy apps enable pharmacists to control technicians at remote locations, verifying sterile and non-sterile compounding, and educate medical personnel at remote clinics on potential drug interactions.
Our Healthcare Clients
Telepharmacy App Development Best Practices
Due to the on-the-spot nature of most telepharmacy consults, it’s crucial to provide seamless experience for both patients and doctors during calls. That’s why, when building a telepharmacy app, we use proven technologies that enable low-latency connectivity, such as Agora SDK. We may also build a completely custom telepharmacy solution with videoconferencing using WebRTC.
Security and compliance
With over six-year experience in building HIPAA compliant healthcare apps, we take into account every minute detail of your app’s safety. That includes HITECH and GDPR compliance, IEC 62304, ISO27001, SOC2 Type 2, end-to-end encryption, and other security measures and protocols. The bottom line is we make sure PHI remains entirely safe in a telepharmacy app.
We embrace the omnichannel approach for developing your telepharmacy app: it needs to remain accessible and easy to use across various devices with different screen sizes and capabilities. We also consider adding accessibility options, e.g., speech-to-text so that patients with hearing issues could read a pharmacist’s recommendations on the screen while on a call.
Telepharmacy is an ideal use case in healthcare software for leveraging IoT integrations. We can help you increase medication adherence rates with a smart pillbox connected to a telepharmacy app. Another example is an image recognition module coupled with a high-def camera that automates some steps of the compounding verification process.
Mobile telepharmacy apps
Mobile technology unlocks many opportunities for building innovative telepharmacy experiences, such as utilizing GPS to combine medication dispensing with its delivery to patients. Another application of mobility is tracking patient vitals remotely to gauge the effectiveness of prescribed medicine.
Telepharmacy Software Benefits
Telepharmacy apps allow transforming a pharmacy business from a transactional to value-based model:
- higher revenue
- improved office efficiency
- better health outcomes for patients
- fewer missed appointments and cancellations
Research shows a high level of satisfaction among patients who used telepharmacy apps:
- faster access to healthcare
- lower or no travel expenses
- privacy protection
- no exposure to contagious environments
How We Build Telepharmacy Apps
Before we build a telepharmacy app, we need to check that we’re developing a solution that helps you reach your business goals. Therefore, we start with a draft mockup using it as a visual guide of the telepharmacy app. Our coders verify available technologies and come up with the list of tools that will remain viable long-term. In the process, they examine APIs, code libraries, and SDKs to identify opportunities to speed up development of the product.
Deliverables: specs and a range estimate.
Once the discovery phase has completed, we proceed to app prototyping, unlike many dev shops that would start building the app immediately. While prototyping your telepharmacy app, we create its draft version with basic functionality and minimum polish. The prototype allows us to iterate quickly and shortlist the features that will make it into the app. Our development team also steps in to make sure that the functional design can be implemented and aligns well with the chosen tech stack.
Deliverables: Invision prototype.
After finalizing the app’s UX with the prototype, we start the UI design phase. Our team of designers adds to the app the magic that makes it so engaging. At this step, we create the app’s UI: fonts, special effects, micro animations, forms, and other graphical elements. By that time, we normally have all the main visuals ready: icons, color branding, and everything else that contributed to the app’s UI magic. Our goal is to produce the UI that will make users come back to your telepharmacy app again and again.
Deliverables: design sources, polished click-through prototype.
Now we get to build out your telepharmacy app using the specs and UX/UI from the previous steps. Our talented team of developers, led by a dedicated product manager, starts writing the lines of code that transform into the app. We practice Agile and move in two-week sprints, keeping feature development transparent. That allows you to keep tabs on the project’s status. In addition, product managers present the app demo and report on the progress at the end of each sprint.
Deliverables: the app’s code and beta version.
We start testing as soon as there’s the first beta version of the app. Our development team writes unit tests to catch some of the errors automatically, and testers manually scan all features looking for bugs. We also arrange testing with your end-users to check that the telepharmacy app works per specs. Finally, we go through the app looking for minor issues, e.g., typos, bad links, branding issues, speed, etc.
Deliverables: source code, customer-ready app.
Finally, it’s time to upload your telepharmacy app to app stores and make it available on the web. As part of the release process, we also supply you with the app’s source code so you can build new features. At the same time, many of our customers choose to continue working with us in the maintenance mode long-term. We keep their app evolving by adding new features and updating the app to support the latest OS versions.
We’re always ready to fix any issues, improve user engagement with micro-interactions, build new app functionality from the product roadmap, and scale up the server to handle growing traffic.