Enterprise telehealth company SnapMD has released an updated version of its Virtual Care mobile app for iOS and Android mobile devices that, among other things, offers clients new tools to better embed the service within their own digital ecosystem.
Launched today, the white-label app comes with an SDK and APIs that allow provider clients to either customize their own branded telehealth mobile app, or integrate the company’s telehealth services into their own existing product.
“What we’ve been able to do with the new mobile app is leverage the operating system on which our entire platform and system have been built,” SnapMD CEO Dave Skibinski told MobiHealthNews. “So because of our Virtual Care Management operating system and our services layer and our API layer, we now extended with our SDKs the ability for our customer to consume our services within our app. So, if they literally are building out their own digital health app and they want to offer our exam room within that app, our intake process within that app, our scheduling within that app, we have the APIs and SDKs to enable that.”
Along with ensuring that their full app-based platform would be accessible to patients regardless of device, the company also rolled out a number of features that allow health organizations to collect the specific information they need without adding unnecessary burden to the user’s experience.
Chief among these, Skibinski expained, is a tool for building customizable intake forms, a more flexible video interface for virtual visits, in-app navigation tools reflecting those available within the iOS and Android operating systems, appointment scheduling tools that integrate with the provider’s system via an API, and text chat functionality that can provide the user with updates while they’re being examined or while they’re still in the virtual waiting room.
“The primary use of the mobile app will be the patient experience, and it is our position that we have to meet the standards and experience that the consumer experiences in the remainder of their digital life,” he said. “For the consumer experience, you need to offer the highest level of video experience … [because] your first one or two uses will determine if that patient continues to use that application.”
WHY IT MATTERS
While each new digital tool has the capacity to improve the delivery of care, bombarding patients with a motley assortment of disparate apps and services can overwhelm and ultimately damage the patient experience. White-labelled, customizable platforms like SnapMD’s allow providers to better integrate their digital offerings within a single ecosystem, an approach that Skibinski stressed as more intuitive for systems and patients alike.
“As you move further into the enterprise area of the telemedicine market, not surprisingly the providers of care are adopting a variety of digital health technologies, and they now want to create a more fluid and compatible environment for the use of those technologies for the patients they serve,” Skibinski said. “That is the benefit of the SDKs: to create a unified digital experience in digital health for our customers. And we fully enable that now.”
THE LARGER TREND
SnapMD closed a $7.1 million funding round last fall that the company said would assist marketing and business development efforts. The virtual care company also closed deals within the past year or so to provide its platform to the American Academy of Pediatrics’ Member Advantage Program, as well as to a unique telehealth class run by the University of San Diego Hahn School of Nursing and Health Science about telehealth.
Telehealth interest and adoption is generally increasing among providers, although research on the modality’s comparative efficacy, appropriate regulation and physician uptake is ongoing and mixed.
ON THE RECORD
“The best approach to reach the next phase of our mobile experience offering was to take everything we've learned from the market over the last six years, redesign the patient experience in total and invest in a completely new code base,” SnapMD COO and cofounder George Tierney told MobiHealthNews in an email statement.
“We've included new features that have been released to the web app such as our next-gen custom intake forms, the ability to offer and manage all visit types such as video, text chat, phone and in-office, and an upgraded digital exam room. The SnapMD team went further in our ability to be flexible for client needs by adding a robust SDK that allows clients and partners to build their own app experience and embed our patient intake workflow all the way through to the virtual visit in their own app. And, of course, we still offer all the things our clients loved from the previous version such as the fully white-labeled offering.”