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What is Teledentistry, How does it Work and How to Build a Teledentistry Software, App or Portal?

An open letter to all dentists from a healthcare IT professional

Yes, you, dear dentists.

You did a fantastic job during the time of the pandemic.

It was really scary practicing dentistry while being meters away from a virus threat.

But do you know what is scarier? – Not adopting the technology.

Look around. You’ll find several healthcare startups focusing on dental care.

These startups – which surely know dentistry less than you – have millions of dollars on hand and generate business worth 100 times more than what a dentist makes in the USA!

It’s really high time to adopt the change, adopt the technology.

Otherwise, some over-excited so-called entrepreneurs will carry away your patients.

Time to introduce you to a technology masterpiece which is the future of dental care – teledentistry.

What is teledentistry?

Teledentistry is nothing but the delivering dental care using telecommunication technology such as messaging, voice calls and video calls.

More specifically, it is a practice of booking dental appointments online and receiving dental care online – on either a mobile app or web app (portal).

Both patients and dentists have access to useful features which are designed and built with the purpose to make online dental consultation as powerful as an in-person consultation.

These features include but are not limited to medical notes, ePrescription, chatbot, pre-visit forms, eReferral, medical history etc.

The best part of teledentistry is that it facilitates patients to receive dental care without leaving their homes and lets dentists deliver care from anywhere at any time.

How does teledentistry work?: A workflow

Let’s understand the working of teledentistry with an example of a patient – Jacob.

  • Jacob logs into the teledentistry app from his mobile phone.
  • He then sets up his profile by adding basic information and his insurance details.
  • Jacob now answers a few questions so that system can understand his exact dental needs.
  • Based on his needs, the system finds appropriate dentists for him.
  • Jacob can also manually search for the dentist he would like to receive care from by exploring the list of all dentists registered on the platform.
  • Jacob books a virtual appointment with a dentist at his available time.
  • Jacob can also talk to the dentist instantly without booking an appointment but it costs him more.
  • 15 minutes prior to the appointment, both dentist and Jacob receive a reminder and video call joining link.
  • Jacob also receives pre-visit forms from his doctor which he can easily fill out online.
  • At the set time, Jacob has a high-quality video call with his dentist.
  • Jacob has captured some pictures of his teeth which he can now share with his dentist.
  • The dentist assesses Jacob’s dental care needs and writes an e-prescription which
  • Jacob can easily access in the form of a PDF file from his profile.
  • Jacob can also find details for follow-up appointments from his profile.
  • At the end of the virtual dental consultation, Jacob now needs to pay a fee if he is uninsured and can give a review too.

What are the benefits of teledentistry?

Teledentistry benefits both patients and dentists. So, let’s discuss the benefits with regards to both of them.

Benefits of teledentistry for patients:

  • It saves time and cost as patients don’t need to find dedicated time from work and travel to the nearest dental clinic for dental care.
  • It enables rapid care for patients as patients can talk to the dentists at the available time or instantly in an on-demand manner – all without waiting in the waiting room!
  • Patients have access to multiple dentists at a given time and have the flexibility to choose the dentist who meets their needs properly.

Benefits of teledentistry for dentists:

  • Dentists can deliver dental care from anywhere in the world.
  • Dentists can see more patients in a given time which results in more earnings.
  • Dentists can reduce the patient footprints at their clinics by serving patients online.
  • Dentists can attract more patients as they are now not limited to just one locality.

How to build a teledentistry portal or a teledentistry app?

The most basic resource you would require to deliver virtual dental consultation is a teledentistry app or portal.

It acts as a medium between patients and dentists and connects them seamlessly.

However, it is complex in functionality and your unawareness regarding how to build it makes it more complex.

So, let us explain to you the entire process of building it from scratch.

Phase #1: Discovery

In the discovery phase, you and your hired IT company assess your product’s market scope, what your idea is lacking, what can be done extra, potential risks, risk mitigation strategies, legal challenges etc.

Phase #2: Documentation

Here, business analysts analyze the business domain, outline market needs, plan your product and document each and everything of your teledentistry product – from features to compliance.

Phase #3: Workflows

A team of clinical professionals and IT professionals define the workflows of your online platform so that your platform delivers the exact same clinical experience and clinical value as in-person care.

Phase #4: UI/UX

UI/UX designers design the frontend of the platform while keeping product workflows in mind. They make sure that patients receive an exceptional user experience with a clean and engaging design of the online platform.

Phase #5: Coding or Development

Finally, the most important part. Frontend developers code the frontend of the product whereas backend developers deal with servers, API and database. While coding, they keep clean code architecture in mind to make code maintenance easy.

Phase #6: QA testing

QA engineers aggressively test the code written by developers to find out whether there are bugs or not. They apply the fusion of manual and automated QA testing methodologies to save QA cost, time and effort.

Phase #7: Compliance audit

Compliance experts carry out technical compliance audits on the platform to make sure that all technical regulations of applicable healthcare laws are being followed and there are no privacy and security vulnerabilities.

Phase #8: Pilot

You now receive a live demo of how your developed telemedicine platform for dentists works with real users. You also get training for operating the admin panel and its features effectively for more profit.

Phase #9: Product launch

Finally, your platform is now launched. If it is a mobile app, it gets live on Android Play Store and Apple App Store. And if it is a web app, it gets live on WWW. Here, you also receive all credentials of the platform along with its source code.

Phase #10: On-going support

The support team of your hired tech company provides you with 2-3 months of free support and then paid support with either dedicated developers or an hourly support model to avoid any downtime of the system and keep upgrading it with market trends.

Compliance requirements of building telemedicine app for dentists

Healthcare apps are prone to data breaches.

Thus, to make sure all healthcare apps which handle patients’ crucial financial and clinical data must have adequate privacy and security measures in place, governments have imposed several healthcare data privacy laws.

These laws are region and country-specific. For example, HIPAA does apply to you in the USA. Similarly, PIPEDA does apply to you in Canada, PHIPA in Ontario and GDPR in the EU.

All of these healthcare privacy laws have administrative and technical requirements which you must address to make your platform compliant with applicable laws.

By being compliant with applicable data privacy laws, you eliminate all privacy vulnerabilities and create a secure environment for data storage, usage and sharing.

And by not being compliant with data privacy laws, you become liable for cyberattacks, reputation loss and hefty fines from government privacy commissioners.

Different types of teledentistry app development we offer as a healthcare IT company

We know the investment cap and needs of everyone are different. Thus, we offer multiple options.

Option #1: White-label telemedicine mobile/web platform with or without source code

What you see below are the real screen images of our white-label telemedicine platform.

It is HIPAA/PHIPA/PIPEDA/GDPR compliant with future-ready features and scope for customization as per your needs.

Patient app

Physician app

Option #2: Custom full-fledged teledentistry mobile/web app development

If you want to have a platform which is developed exclusively for you from scratch while keeping your unique needs in mind, we offer a custom development option with our team of 50+ healthcare IT professionals.

Option #3: Custom but MVP mobile/web development

If you have a low investment cap and want to move forward in phases, we offer MVP development options under which we build a platform for online dental care by adding only common and useful features and once you test it in the real market, we upgrade those features or add new features based on user feedback.

Wondering, who are we? We are an Ontario-based healthcare IT company, on a mission to work with providers, startups and enterprises to not let our kids experience the healthcare system we grew up experiencing! – Chaotic, costly and delayed!