How to Build a Telehealth App on AWS?

Learn how to build a user-friendly exception telehealth app with AWS while overcoming technical challenges and elevating patient care.

July 3, 2023
7 mins read
Last Updated February 29, 2024
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How to Build a Telehealth App on AWS?

The profound impact of telehealth within the healthcare sector cannot be denied, as recent data paints a compelling portrait of its accomplishments. In January 2023, the US telehealth services grew 7.3%, with claim lines jumping from 5.5%  to 5.9% of all medical claims.

Since the pandemic began, telehealth now represents 10% of outpatient consultations, substantially up from the pre-pandemic eras of less than 1%.

As remote care demand drives this growth, AWS provides the ideal platform for innovative telehealth applications. Specifically, AWS cloud services empower developers to build HIPAA-compliant, scalable, and secure telehealth solutions.

This article outlines the steps for developing a robust telehealth platform on AWS. We discuss the advantages, use cases, and difficulties of telemedicine while emphasizing how AWS enables software developers and medical professionals to produce cutting-edge telehealth apps.

Collaborate with Simform, an esteemed AWS Advanced consulting partner, and leverage the power of AWS services for your telehealth app. Our team of seasoned professionals is here to build a telehealth app that prioritizes the highest data protection and regulatory compliance standards. Contact us today to build an efficient and secure telehealth app. Your vision, our expertise, a healthier tomorrow!

Benefits of telehealth app development

Telehealth app development eliminates the common barriers to care, such as limited access or the hassle in today’s medical ecosystem. It improves the convenience of on-the-go lifestyles. reducing no-show ups. Here’s more to it:

1. Improved access to healthcare

With just 9% of doctors practicing in rural regions, where 20% of the U.S. population resides, telehealth apps reduce transportation costs and health disparities. They improve patient education, medication adherence, and access to physicians, addressing the financial burden of hospital readmissions, especially for chronic diseases.

2. Reduced no-shows and improved patient engagement

Virtual appointments have lower no-show rates, saving time and ensuring a more efficient healthcare system. Telehealth tools, like secure messaging and medication reminders, improve communication between patients and doctors and patients sticking to treatment. Such a patient-centric approach reduces operational costs and increases efficiency. It’s a win-win for patients and providers.

3. Streamlined cost management

Telehealth app development on the AWS saves $361 in savings per patient or $8566 in total service costs over six months, compared to in-home care. Traditional healthcare carries higher costs due to facilities and administrative staff, but telehealth reduces these expenses.

For example, patients with chronic conditions save time and transportation costs with remote monitoring through telehealth apps.

4. Comprehensive record maintenance

Apps for telehealth give medical professionals a more efficient way to keep records. Patient data, medical histories, and treatment plans may be effectively handled and accessed whenever necessary with the use of secure and scalable cloud storage. This effectiveness improves the standard of service while also lessening the administrative strain on medical staff members.

Features of a telehealth app

From user registration and authentication forms to geolocation for patient/provider matching and AI-powered chatbots for intelligent assistance, the features of telehealth apps not only define their success but also directly impact the quality of healthcare delivery.

Feature Description AWS Service and its Role Example Scenario
User Registration and Authentication A streamlined process for secure access to health data. Amazon Cognito can provide a secure user identity management solution, including multi-factor authentication. A physiotherapy clinic uses Amazon Cognito for patient registration, ensuring security with multi-factor authentication.
Video Conferencing Integration Video conferencing is at the core of telehealth services, providing  high-quality video and audio capabilities. Amazon Chime SDK integrates real-time video and audio into the telehealth app, ensuring privacy and security. A mental health service provider conducts group therapy sessions with high-quality video and audio using Amazon Chime SDK.
Electronic Health Records (EHR) Integration EHRs provide real-time access to patient’s medical histories, medications, and test results. AWS RDS, DynamoDB for secure database; API Gateway, Lambda for EHR-app data exchanges. ER doctors use AWS-backed EHR telehealth app to access patient histories.
Data Security Authentication, encrypted data, and access control to provide access to only authorized users  AWS IAM ensures role-based access, and KMS encrypts private patient data. AWS WAF defends against cyber threats. AWS KMS encrypts mental health clinic’s notes and prescriptions, allowing secure, authorized access; AWS WAF protects against breaches, maintaining HIPAA compliance.
Personalized Dashboard A user-friendly dashboard for managing healthcare, including history updates and appointment scheduling. Amazon DynamoDB stores data, while AWS AppSync ensures real-time updates and connectivity. A diabetic patient can track sugar, upload reports, and schedule check-ups through AWS-powered dashboard. 
Scheduling Appointments A feature that allows users to book, reschedule, or cancel medical appointments easily. AWS Lambda handles backend serverless functions. Amazon API Gateway ensures smooth communication between the app and servers. A busy parent books immunization sessions for their children online.
Geolocation It helps users and healthcare providers find nearby medical facilities and specialists. Amazon Location Service integrates location-based services. An elderly patient with a heart condition locates the nearest cardiac center for urgent assistance.
AI-Powered Chatbots Chatbots with AI capabilities for tasks like appointment scheduling and medical inquiries. Amazon Lex helps build conversational interfaces. A concerned mother uses the chatbot to assess her child’s high fever, receive advice on consulting a pediatrician, or seek emergency care.
Secured One-to-One Chats Ensures the confidentiality of healthcare provider-patient conversations.  

Amazon Chime SDK/AppSync for secure messaging; AWS KMS encrypts for extra security.

Chatbot helps a mother assess a child’s fever, advising on pediatrician visits or emergency care.
Push Notifications Keeps users engaged and informed about appointments, medication timings, and medical record updates. Amazon Simple Notification Service (SNS): Fully managed messaging service that helps send reliable notifications. A diabetic patient gets reminders via push notifications for medication schedules, aiding health management.
Digital Prescriptions Modernizes the prescription process, enhancing efficiency and reducing errors. Amazon S3 securely stores digital prescriptions. AWS Lambda manages backend functions for generating and delivering digital prescriptions. A senior with arthritis accesses digital prescriptions on Amazon S3, easing pharmacy visits.
Remote Patient Monitoring and IoT Integrations Enables remote patient monitoring through IoT devices.  AWS IoT Core manages device connectivity. Amazon Kinesis handles real-time streaming data for immediate medical response. IoT devices track chemo patients while AWS IoT Core and Kinesis enable responsive treatment adjustments.
Real-time and Batch Analytics An essential feature to make informed healthcare decisions. Amazon QuickSight offers real-time analytics; AWS Glue prepares data for batch analysis. Telehealth app uses AWS Glue to analyze user behavior and long-term health trends.
Language Translation Facilitates breaking language barriers for expanded telehealth service reach. AWS Translate seamlessly integrates real-time language translation features. AWS Translate enables real-time translation between a patient’s regional language and English for effective healthcare communication.

Success stories of telehealth apps on AWS

From startups to enterprises, a range of companies are using AWS to power their telehealth applications and transform healthcare delivery. Here are some real-world examples showcasing the tangible impact of these innovative solutions:

1. Philips’ telehealth innovations

Philips’ integration with Amazon Web Services (AWS) has revolutionized healthcare delivery, offering scalable, secure solutions for better patient care and efficient data management. Here’s how AWS services helped Phillips build a robust healthcare platform:

  • Philips adopted AWS in 2006, with its HealthSuite Platform leveraging AWS for comprehensive health data management.
  • The HealthSuite Platform on AWS includes nearly 10,000 Amazon EC2 instances and initially moved 19 petabytes of data to the cloud, which has now expanded to 44 petabytes.
  • A 2013 Philips pilot program demonstrated telehealth’s potential: reducing hospitalizations by 45%, cutting acute and long-term care costs by 32%, and decreasing overall care costs by 27%.
  • AWS IoT Core is pivotal for device connectivity, enhancing Philips’ telemedicine capabilities.
  • Philips’ strategic cloud focus prevents operational silos and encourages a unified approach for customer-centric healthcare solutions.
  • The cloud-based approach extends healthcare reach, particularly in remote areas, making telehealth more accessible and efficient.
  • Philips’ ongoing expansion in AWS usage is key to delivering high-quality, connected care, enabling a focus on customer needs and innovative healthcare solutions.

2. Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center

The Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center (BIDMC) in Massachusetts effectively utilized Amazon Web Services (AWS) to develop a telehealth solution during the COVID-19 pandemic. Here’s how they did it:

  • When the pandemic struck, BIDMC collaborated with AWS to rapidly build a telehealth solution for ambulatory patients.
  • They needed a simple, scalable, secure telehealth system for 1,250 clinicians, integrating with existing clinical workflows and electronic health records.
  • The move to various telehealth platforms initially created challenges for patients, clinicians, and BIDMC operations.
  • In response, BIDMC and AWS built a clientless telehealth app within six weeks using the Amazon Chime SDK, focusing on ease of use and integration with existing systems.
  • The telehealth solution leveraged AWS services like Amazon S3 and Amazon CloudFront, focusing on user experience and design.

Outcome:

  • Since deployment, the solution has supported 300-400 daily telehealth visits, with added features for multi-language support and upcoming screen-sharing capabilities.
  • The platform has received positive feedback for its ease of use and integration with clinicians’ electronic health records, confirming its effectiveness and user-friendly design.

3. MICIN

MICIN’s integration with Amazon Web Services (AWS) exemplifies the transformative impact of cloud technology in telemedicine. Here’s a summary:

  • Since 2015, MICIN has utilized AWS for its telemedicine service, curon.
  • For security and efficiency, MICIN employs AWS Well-Architected Framework Reviews and AWS Control Tower.
  • Agile development is supported through Amazon SageMaker and AWS Amplify.
  • Curon, launched in 2016, offers a full spectrum of online medical services, enhancing treatment retention and reducing hospital visits.

Outcome:

  • The service gained significant traction during the COVID-19 pandemic, with over 5,000 clinics adopting it by February 2021.
  • An improved version of Curon was deployed by the Tokyo Metropolitan Medical Association in September 2021.

4. A tweets-driven market intelligence solution for the pharma industry

At Simform, we employed AWS services to craft a tweets-driven market intelligence solution for the pharma industry. This platform efficiently collected and analyzed healthcare data from 25,000 sources, with:

  • AWS Lambda handling real-time tweet data processing for timely insights crucial in telehealth solutions.
  • AWS RDS optimizing the database performance, reducing query response times and ensuring seamless data handling.
  • AWS ECS provides scalability to accommodate increasing data volumes, guaranteeing consistent performance.

We also secured coding environments, leveraging AWS Lambda for Python scripts and API integration for regular data capture. This project showcased Simform’s ability to manage complex data-driven platforms and customize AWS services for healthcare technology challenges.

5. A WHO-backed NGO with a mission to vaccinate 1 million dogs in a year

When faced with the challenge of managing remote vaccination programs, we helped Mission Rabies improve its operations with various AWS services:

  • Data synchronization with AWS AppSync to ensure data integrity, even in areas with low or no internet connectivity.
  • Efficient network calls with AWS Lambda to optimize real-time tracking.
  • Database performance optimization with AWS RDS for handling increasing data volumes.
  • Data analytics with Amazon Redshift to enable data-driven decision-making.
  • Dynamic form builders to streamline data collection.
  • AWS mapping solutions to enhance project execution with detailed maps and geospatial analysis.

Simform as your telemedicine app development partner

As an AWS Healthcare Competency Partner, Simform has demonstrated the expertise needed for telehealth app development. We adhere to strict healthcare regulations and
prioritize best practices like data privacy, interoperability, scalability, and reliability.

Our 200+ AWS-certified experts have delivered countless healthcare solutions globally. Some examples include a tweets-driven pharma platform, a rabies eradication mHealth for WHO, and a clinically validated fitness solution.

At Simform, our experienced professionals will guide you through every stage of healthcare app development, understanding your specific vision, end-users, and healthcare workflows. Our development process ensures your app is HIPAA-compliant, seamlessly integrated, future-proof, and scalable.

Schedule a call with our consultants to know how we have helped clients modernize their healthcare operations and discuss your healthcare requirements.

Hiren is VP of Technology at Simform with an extensive experience in helping enterprises and startups streamline their business performance through data-driven innovation.

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