Digital health industry market size has been significantly growing since the pandemic started. Remote patient monitoring (RPM) systems are no exception: their market size was valued at $1,282.0 million in 2021 and CAGR (compound annual growth rate) is expected to expand by 20.2% in the near future.
The RPMs help doctors manage chronic diseases and increase the percentage of patients having them. As for today it is 90% of the healthcare annual cost in the USA, the problem needs a solution—and remote patient monitoring systems development is one of them.
But what are the most awaited features and what else you need to know while building your own patient health monitoring system? How much does it cost and what does the cost consist of?
At Surf, we have cross-industry experience in software development. Since 2011, our team has been creating web and mobile apps for startups as well as for large-scale businesses, and medicine is one of our favourite niches. We know everything about how to develop a RPM system to boost your organization’s results and make patients’ and doctors’ lives better. In the article, we’ll talk about how the RPM cost forms and what it approximately is today.
What types of remote patient monitoring systems are popular today
IoT remote patient monitoring apps. Solutions of this type collect data from various devices—for example, smartwatches, and immediately send notifications if there are detected problems or symptoms. It’s easy to use and affordable for everyone, so IoT medical apps are the most popular type of RPMs.
Mobile apps for patients’ daily healthcare. These apps and devices help people support their health when the disease is clear for them and they have to control some metrics to feel good. It can be heart rate monitors and electrocardiographic devices for people with heart diseases, continuous glucose monitors for people with diabetes, respiratory rate monitors, medical alert systems, etc. These apps help patients take care of their health and collect information about it for further doctor reviews.
Telemedicine apps. Telehealth solutions help doctors consulate their patients remotely, in cases when it’s possible. During the pandemic, the type of remote patient monitoring systems became the most popular ones: since then, people are more likely to stay at home and miss a visit to a doctor if symptoms don’t seem to be serious.
Moreover, today there exist telemedicine kits for doctors. They help erase the border between online and offline consultations.
Questionnaires. Remote patient monitoring systems of this type are designed to help healthcare providers collect data and get detailed information about people’s symptoms and health in general. The information is used by both doctors and patients—it depends on an app and development purposes: further research or just everyday healthcare.
Mobile apps for medical research. The solutions collect anonymous patient data without interactions between patients and healthcare providers; then the data is used in medical research. An example is health studies that Apple has launched on the back of the Apple Watch series in 2019: people used a Research app to allow Apple to collect their data from their iPhone and Apple watches. The studies were launched in partnership with academic and medical institutions.
How a healthcare software development cost forms
Here are 6 factors you should be aware of before developing a remote patient monitoring system.
Making business research
Application development begins with an MVP (minimal viable product), which can be further expanded. But in order to have something to improve, you need to build a strong foundation. So, before development of any application starts, it’s better to do a pre-project study. It helps to solve several problems at once:
- identify the target audience and understand what they want from the application,
- highlight the priority functions that should be in the MVP,
- determine the roadmap of product development.
All these things are important for the commercial success of digital healthcare solutions.
This step can be missed if you know exactly what your target audience needs and have previously found out everything about their needs and preferences.
Choosing a tech stack for backend and frontend
Remote patient monitoring systems vary, so each solution needs its own tech stack best for it. The final price depends on development cost per hour, your app complexity, and popularity of the technology among developers. If you’re planning to use too rare technology, it’s easy to meet problems while searching for good developers. As a result, their work cost grows.
To help our clients get great results and not go over budget, for the backend at Surf we often use Golang, Python, and Java. For frontend we choose Flutter, a convenient and resource-saving solution.
Inspired by the benefits the framework offers to business, we have recently developed an app for 3,000 pharmacy stores in 54 constituent entities. The Client needed an app for 3 pharmacy brands, and planned to develop 6 apps (3 for iOS and 3 for Android for each brand). Instead, we offered to use a single codebase, but different designs for them. Our Client agreed, and it helped save approximately 40% of the budget. The technology chosen for this case was Flutter. Read the full story to know more.
Adding key features and integrations
Features depend on the solution you choose: for telehealth solutions and IoT remote patient monitoring apps it will differ.
So, if you’re planning to build an IoT app, think of integrations to add. What medical devices your target audience needs most of all, what diseases are popular among the people, what risks they have, and how your technology can help make their lives better and longer—these are the main things the features list depends on. For doctors, you should add all necessary fields so that they can see urgent information about their patients’ health changes in time.
If you’re planning to build a mobile app for patients’ daily healthcare, focus not only on features to add, but rather on their quality. A healthcare app, giving wrong information about health and doubtful pieces of advice about ways to improve it, can cost you a reputation, and patients—their health.
Telemedicine apps should be convenient and fast. Developing them, add everything to make a patient feel like he visited a real-life clinic. Text messaging in chats, great sound system, video service, integrations with medical devices, and features for doctors to help them get information about a patient’s health easily.
Questionnaires and mobile apps for medical research should be created in an interesting way for patients. Attractive design, convenient navigation, and an opportunity to get detailed results are important.
Creating smart UX/UI for medical software solutions
The only rule you should remember while choosing UX and UI for remote patient monitoring systems is simplicity. Smart minimalist design should help patients and doctors navigate fast and pay attention to the most important things. If the UI is bright, complex or aggressive, the app will confuse users, not help them work on their health.
Following HIPAA compliance regulations
When you create any app, personal data security is important. But when your app is for healthcare, this question becomes crucial. Data collected by your app, medical wearable devices, and connected medical devices should be protected. The app that stores or transmits protected health information must follow HIPAA guidelines. So, before choosing a healthcare software development company, make sure that they know how to do it.
Testing your remote patient health monitoring system
Because of a lot of integrations and many features with complex logic, testing of remote patient monitoring systems is quite a complicated task. To solve it in a proper way, at Surf we developed a single common structure for test cases and checklists. It is clear, uniform, and easy-to-maintain. Besides, our experience in writing and implementing automated tests allows us to increase test coverage and save our clients’ time.
Why use time & material pricing model in healthcare software development
Time & material pricing model is an optimal choice for large projects. Any RPM system is constantly changed and expanded, so development costs vary. That means, a client should control the project implementation process and know exactly how the final cost for the project forms—and with this model it’s possible. If you’re looking for transparency, time & material pricing model becomes a great choice. For this reason, at Surf we choose this model for long-term projects.
To learn how much your remote patient monitoring system costs and see results you can get, we offer to start with the Sprint Zero. The Surf team will estimate a budget individually, show a scope of work and help you get a vision of the finished product concept. It takes 1-3 weeks and costs about 5% of a full project price. Learn more and try.
To sum up
- Remote patient monitoring system costs depend on many factors: for example, the tech stack you choose, a number of features, and UI/UX complexity.
- It can be higher if you add business research as a first step of creating a RPM system. At the same time, business research will help you avoid extra spendings in future.
- It can be lower if you add only the necessary features to see how it works and then add new ones.
- Final development cost starts from $90,000 depending on the project.
- The most transparent pricing model developers can offer is time & material.
At Surf, we apply best development practices to build remote patient monitoring systems and other medical software solutions that make patients’ and doctors’ collaboration easier, and help clinics provide quality treatment in time. We offer experienced developers and a convenient pricing model to help you create a RPM system of the future.