‘PWA’ Approach to Develop Online Doctor Appointment Booking Software
With the increasing usage of internet worldwide, the consumers have grown habitual to looking for services online, and apparently completing basic errands via digital modes. Above all, online medical appointment scheduling software gains the highest appreciation amongst the consumers.
| In 2024, the estimated market value for global appointment scheduling systems is USD 360 million; with an annual growth of 15.1%.
| Health & wellness services contribute to a 25% share for online booking services.
For the healthcare sector, the advantages of doctor appointment scheduling apps work equally in the favor of doctors as for the patients. How?
Let us look at a few benefits of online doctor appointment booking app development!
Additively, scheduling, re-scheduling, online payment, review, cancellations, etc. are all streamlined benefits of modern doctor booking apps.
When it comes to the patients, not only do they prefer online doctor appointment scheduling service but also they want advance, accurate, and instant services. And, this is possible via robust technology support for the system.
In this article, I will discuss a case study done by our dedicated team of PHP web developers; harnessed the power of PWA for doctor appointment online booking application for the client.
Prior to starting with the same, let’s get through the concept of PWA and why it was chosen to develop doctor appointment booking apps.
What is PWA?
PWA or progressive web application holds roots in the year 2015 when they first hit the websites with modern technology to deliver native app-like experiences, without building mobile applications.
Such apps are generally built over the web platform to enhance an application’s behavior while using the advanced browser APIs and front-end frameworks to provide more mobile app-like experiences.
To the time, the progressive web apps (PWAs) have come up as:
- App-like features and behavior,
- Independent of ADS, app distribution services, App Store or Google play store,
- Offline operations,
- Highly-performant as compared to native apps,
- Cross-support between different devices,
- Enhanced security and push notification functionality.
PWA for doctor appointment app development
Several big brands like Twitter, Book my show, etc. are already demonstrating the enhanced engagement, revenue, and user acquisition with PWAs implementation. And, this trend remains no longer an alien for the health and wellness industry as well.
One real-life example of an online medical appointment scheduling software is as discussed below:-
This project was more than a simple doctor appointment app. In fact, the client had multiple requirements. To start with, the client wanted to develop an app that is country-specific and help the patients to find and book a doctor’s appointment, without visiting or calling their medical care facility.
Unlike other doctor appointment booking apps, the client requirements were confined to certain conditions. For instance, the captured audience was the ones owning private health insurance. He wanted to ease down the hassles of those only who owned certain health insurance and find it hard to find the doctors providing medical care under the same insurance terms.
Moreover, the client wanted to develop the application in the local language, Portuguese, instead of the standard language, i.e., English. This app is not limited to the patient and doctor only. In fact, there is a third-party as well, i.e., Assistant.
The assistant works as an intermediary of the doctor and patient. No doubt the doctor assigns the assistant to manage online appointments, but he can book appointments on the behalf of users too.
Here, the patients can book doctor’s appointments for their relatives as well, given that the relatives or family members too, hold a valid HC operator insurance.
Features & functionalities of this tailor-made doctor booking app
As discussed earlier, this medical app was developed for doctors, their assistants, and patients. So, there are some features and functionalities that were common for all whereas there are some role-specific features. So, let us start!
Sign up screen
This screen is common amongst the three users. In order to gain access to the app, the user has to enter some personal details, e.g., name, email ID, passwords, etc. and especially the private health insurance number.
Without a valid insurance ID, the user (doctor, assistant, and patient) can not log in to the application.
Note:- A social media (Facebook, Google, Whatsapp) login is available. However, the health care operator details still required to complete the signup.
This functionality is patient-specific as he is the main consumer of this PWA for doctor appointments online. Major criteria to look for a doctor are;
- Doctor’s name,
- And, locality.
A patient can search the doctors based on any of the above filters, given that the health insurance operators match with the specialists.
This app also contains a ‘customized search filter’ based on the geolocation feature where it will display the results based on the scope of the insurance card held by the patient, i.e., national, state, municipal, and a group of municipalities.
After hitting the search button, the patient will see a list of doctors with the most suitable doctor on the top. The search results will also show him the time slots available, address and distance of the clinic from his location. From the different slots available, the patient can choose the most convenient one and book it further by simply hitting a click button.
The choices made by him will be displayed under the scheduled appointments window with leverage to cancel the same at any time.
Managing booked appointments
Once an appointment is booked at the user’s end, it will be visible at both the ends, i.e. doctor/assistant page and patient’s page. Now, the activities that can be done from the appointment page;
- Cancel the appointment: Both patients and doctors can cancel the appointment as per their convenience. However, when a user cancels the appointment, the slot will again be visible in other’s searches whereas an appointment canceled by a doctor may or may not be available again (as per his decision).
- Adding appointment manually: It can be done by either doctor or assistant for the users who don’t use the app and wish to book a slot. When this happens, the chosen slot will no longer be visible to other searches.
Appointments Management for Doctors
This feature of the application is made for the doctors only. Under this, an individual doctor or the doctors working together can share accounts with one or more assistants.
In both of these cases, assistants can view and manage the appointments via their own login screens.
Time slot convenience:
There is flexibility at the doctors’ end to make appointment slots available to the patients. That means, they can choose to render services to the patients as per their convenience only.
Additionally, they can choose to decide on the time allotted to each patient to render the service via configure or change appointment settings.
It is one of the most important features of the app with which no one needs to remember the date and time of an already booked appointment. Whenever an appointment will be near, the patient will receive email and push notifications regarding the following:
– time and date,
– the distance of the clinic from the user’s location,
– modes of reaching out to the medical care, i.e., Google Maps, Waze, Uber, or other local cab facilities available.
Offline Mode & No app distribution services
To build this application, a progressive web app development approach was chosen. And, a progressive web application is well-known for its offline mode, i.e, a user can use it without an internet connection even.
Probing further, this PWA for doctor appointments online can be installed on the user’s device via simply allowing an add-on from the web or mobile browser from where you are viewing the web application.
That means, there aren’t any hassles of searching and installing the app on the app distribution services provider like Google Play Store or App Store like other native applications.
In the application, there are certain roles and authorities that are assigned to the assistants as well. Undoubtedly, only a doctor adds an assistant for his clinic. However, an assistant can see and delete the clinics where he has been listed, as per his own convenience.
PWA to ‘iOS and Android’ version
As discussed above, a PWA is independent of any app store listing and installing. However, our client wanted us to launch this PWA for a doctor appointment solution for both the iOS and Android devices. That means, he wanted to make his app listed on both the Google Play Store and Apple store.
Therefore, our team of Android and iOS app developers went on exploiting the PWA wrappers to make it active on other native app stores.
Technologies involved in this PWA based online doctor appointment booking software:
We decided to develop this online medical consultation app using PHP. As we are aware that a PWA is dependable on web APIs and frameworks and it is not a standalone solution like iOS and Android. Therefore, PHP came out as the best-fit for this task.
Our PHP development team build this solution of an online doctor appointment booking with Codeigniter, a PHP framework.
Furthermore, its APIs were exploited to bring PWA into the picture.
To Wrap Up
The internet and digital devices have shown the society a whole new world where all the hassles of traditional touchpoints have simplified greatly. And, an online doctor appointment solution is amongst those boons which have turned out to be extremely helpful for the needy.
If you are also planning to develop medical app for booking doctor that aims to bridge the gap between patients and medical care facilities, contact our development team for intuitive and powerful solutions based on the latest technologies and advancements.