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.