Happtique bets docs will prescribe apps if taught how


Mobile health applications distributor Happtique, which earlier this year announced that it was starting an app vetting process, now is taking on an even bigger mHealth challenge--getting doctors to actually prescribe apps to their patients.

The company is testing a mobile platform, mRx, that allows physicians to "prescribe," health apps to their patients, according to a story in eWeek. Doctors can use the platform to distribute the app to patients, and check to see if the patient has downloaded it, although it won't actually track the patient's use of the software, eWeek reports.

"We want to test whether health professionals, when provided with the prescribing technology and a vetted app catalog, will actually integrate apps into their delivery of health care," Happtique CEO Ben Chodor tells eWeek. "Additionally, we want to test whether patients, when provided with an app as part of their health care treatment, prevention and wellness plan, will download the app as prescribed."

Happtique is building a catalog of five to 10 approved apps, and will first focus on heart disease, diabetes and musculoskeletal diseases, officials say. They're also hoping to recruit some physical therapists to test out and use fitness and wellness apps.

Physicians will be trained on how to use the apps, how to integrate them into their care plans, how to explain them to patients, and how to prescribe them through the mRx system, according to Happtique officials.

What will be the most interesting finding of all: Whether prescribed health apps are any stickier than unprescribed ones.

To learn more:
- read the eWeek piece