Danbury, CT. Consider this scenario: along with a new Rx, the doctor prescribes a companion app to the patient. This branded app gives the patient educational and reference info and follows them day by day as they begin their medication and following them through their treatment. And, by gathering inputs from the patient, the app provides useful tracking information back to the doctor.

This is certainly not a new idea and pharma marketers have been exploring different ways to create this experience including releasing their own branded apps. But, doctors are often hesitant to formally recommend apps because of concerns like security or accuracy.

There have been some efforts by third parties to validate apps for physicians, but the solutions were either flawed or never fully realized. However, AppScripts from IMS Health is gaining momentum as a trusted curated health app store that provides doctors with a ranked and verified selection, giving each app a proprietary score.

So, this is exciting for two reasons:

Rx + App = New Norm?

Once doctors can trust apps they will be more likely to prescribe them as companions to the Rx. Using a platform like AppScripts, doctors can have a library of their most-prescribed apps and quickly deploy to the patient. Perhaps this Rx + app companionship will become the new norm.

Platform = Interface for Reporting Back

If typical prescribing behavior becomes Rx + app, then we will subsequently have patient data from apps through features like pain or side effect tracking. If physicians are already using an app platform as a dashboard, it seems a likely iteration that this would become the interface for reporting the patient data back to them.

Michael Spitz, of Klick Health calls this platform the “Holy Grail of mobile health”. And, for pharma marketers looking beyond the pill to patient outcome, it may just be.

About the Author:

As Managing Director of Innovation and Insights for Syneos Health Communications, Leigh is responsible for building and scaling a global team of healthcare experts who together help life science leaders better understand the complex lives, influences and expectations of their customers. Specifically, they uncover actionable insights that fuel empathy and creativity; lead co-creation events that let marketers learn from peers, trends, and new possibilities; and help clients identify the most valuable and useful new customer experiences to create.

Leigh has worked with Fortune 1000 companies to craft their digital, mobile, social and CRM strategies for nearly 20 years.She’s worked for category-leading agencies in retail, public affairs, B2B technology, and higher education. Prior to moving to Syneos Health Communications, she held several leadership roles at our largest agency, GSW.  There, she founded an innovation practice fueled by the zeitgeist and spearheaded digital and innovation thinking across the business.

Leigh has taken a special interest in complex healthcare products that can change lives in meaningful ways. She was recently a strategic lead on the 3rd largest launch in pharmaceutical history: Tecfidera. Before that she had keys roles with Eli Lilly Oncology, Abbott Nutrition, Amgen Cardiovascular, and Eli Lilly Diabetes.

A critical part of Leigh’s work is trends and new ideas. Every year, she convenes a group of trend watchers from across our global network to identify the shifts most critical to healthcare marketers. This year, she led over 250 experts to experts to focus on the most important changes in the commercial, consumer, marketing, digital and healthcare landscapes. (See reports at trends.health)

Leigh is a sought-after writer and speaker. Recognized as one of the most inspiring people in the pharmaceutical industry by PharmaVoice and Top 10 Innovation Catalysts of 2017 by MM&M, Leigh also was recognized  as a Rising Star by the Healthcare Businesswomen's Association (HBA) for her overt passion, industry thought leadership and significant contributions in new business, strategy and mentoring.