Health issues, not software choices, should be focus when prescribing mHealth apps

As mobile apps take root within healthcare, one physician says the focus shouldn't be on prescribing apps but helping patients determine what health factors need to be tracked by mHealth apps and devices, and determining the best way to share that data so potential health issues can be attended to immediately if necessary.

The goal, writes Leslie Kernisan, M.D., in a post at The Health Care Blog, is to avoid the current medication prescription misstep of doling out a top marketed remedy and focusing on the best option given a patient's situation, values and preferences. Kernisan notes mHealth apps bring much more complexity to the medicine prescription process given apps are constantly updated, devices are upgraded and patients' knowledge of mHealth tech varies from extreme newbies to those with heavy knowledge.

"A medication, once a pharmaceutical company has labored to bring it to market, basically stays the same over time. But an app is an ever-morphing entity, usually updating and changing several times a year. (Unless it stops updating. That's potentially worse.) Meanwhile, the mobile devices with which we use apps are also constantly evolving, and we're all basically forced to replace our devices with regularity," Kernisan writes. Blog