Virtual Counseling App using Flutter with Twilio, WebSockets and Payfast


Healthcare, EMR, Telemedicine


Java, Spring Boot, Spring MVC, JavaScript, Angular

Client Requirements

Our client, a significant mental health organization, desired to develop a virtual counseling app to assist people with mental health issues. The client desired a mobile app offering effective counseling services via video and real-time conversation. Furthermore, for smooth functionality, the app must be user-friendly, accessible to everybody, and integrated with various APIs. A payment gateway integration is also required to make it easier for patients to pay for their sessions.

Thinkitive Solution

Thinkitive Technologies formed a dedicated and highly skilled team of experts to analyze the business requirements and to create a plan/road map for the development process. After carefully studying the requirements, we proposed to create a virtual counseling app using the Flutter framework. As an ideal solution, the Flutter framework ensures seamless user experience across devices and operating systems. Flutter is a mobile application development framework known for its efficiency and cross-platform compatibility. Along with Flutter, the Team integrated Twilio, A broadly accepted service for seamless video call functionalities.

To enable reliable and secure payment transactions in the application, the Team selected Payfast as a payment gateway. Payfast provides a convenient and secure payment process by integrating into the application.

Architecture Diagram for Virtual Counseling App using Flutter with Twilio, WebSockets and Payfast

Solution Highlights

  • A Hybrid Mobile Application was developed and tested for cross-platform compatibility and features.

  • The Model View ViewModel (MVVM) architecture, a robust design pattern in software development, ensures a highly robust and maintainable codebase for the project. Following the (MVVM) principles, we maintained cleanliness in the code structure.

  • MVVM maintains business logic and UI separately while maintaining each component's unique capabilities and responsibilities as reusable and operable parts.

  • The application has doctors and patients as user types. Each user had a dashboard and features specific to their role.

  • The doctor can manage schedules as per availability and using a mobile application.

  • Patients are allowed to book counseling sessions with doctors based on their availability.

  • Integrated Twilio's video SDK using the Flutter plugin Twilio programmable video.

  • To enable the application to use video calling.

  • Used WebSockets to enable real-time communication between doctors and patients during the session making it more effective.

  • Payfast is used for patients to pay for their therapy sessions conveniently. PCI compliance was strictly enforced using SDK for Payfast.

  • The app's UI was created to be simple and easy to navigate, making it convenient for patients as well as therapists of all ages.

  • Created a dashboard to let Therapists and Patients manage their schedules, check upcoming appointments, and access patient records. It also provides access to therapist information, allowing consumers to learn more about certain therapists. The dashboard is a centralized platform for doctors and patients to efficiently manage appointments, access medical information, and communicate with healthcare providers and patients.

  • Secure data storage is used to protect PHI data and to ensure confidentiality.

  • The app had a notification system that alerted doctors and patients of upcoming appointments and schedule changes.

  • We made sure that the integration was in a way that made all components of the application work well together, which gave the users a reliable product to use.

Value Delivered

  • In the healthcare category, we adhered to rules and regulations set by the app and play stores. Being compliant with the rule, we ensured that future application releases were without any issues.

  • The virtual counseling app removes the need for the patients to visit a physical location for counseling. Instead, they can receive counseling through the application.

  • The convenient solution helps patients save time and effort, As they can access certified professional therapists or psychologists remotely.

  • Patients can effortlessly pay and schedule counseling sessions using the virtual counseling application; This ensures patients have a seamless and hassle-free experience in scheduling and managing their appointments, enhancing their well-being.

  • Providing access to mental health services for individuals is simplified and made convenient through the application. This changes how people seek and receive mental health support by seamlessly connecting users to a large community of professionals with the help they need, Whether it's therapy sessions, counseling, or personalized therapy techniques.

  • This is especially important for users who live in isolated or remote places and have limited mobility due to physical disabilities or health conditions. In such cases, the availability of online mental health services becomes crucial for the patients by providing necessary mental/health care support.

Technologies and Tools

  • Mobile App: Flutter, Dart, Twilio SDK, WebSockets, Payfast

  • Backend: Java, Spring Boot, MySQL