New York, NY — Not long ago we wrote about AppScripts from IMS Health, a platform that allows doctors to discover, bundle, and distribute consumer health apps to their patients as part of a holistic treatment plan. It’s been gaining some serious momentum, much of which can be attributed to careful curation and a proprietary rating system for apps backed by the IMS Health name that physicians trust. Since the time of that posting, there has been news of a big addition to the AppScript library—the Medisafe medication management platform.
Medisafe is a patient-friendly, data-driven app that creates a tailored medication management plan around individual patient scenarios. It provides custom medication reminders, connects the experience to family and caregivers, and offers other personalized resources. A true mhealth powerhouse, Medisafe has been downloaded over 1.4 million times, and has a very active user base across both iOS and Android smartphones and tablets.
What the addition of MediSafe means to AppScript’s users, is that they can now add a strong adherence component to their customized “app formularies” and start prescribing it to patients. While the other apps aid in motivation and tracking-type management, MediSafe will do it it’s part to keep the patient engaged and on treatment. This closing of the loop could also be just the sort of thing that motivates some physicians that are currently sitting on the mhealth fence to start prescribing apps.
As the adoption of platforms like AppScripts increases and mhealth tools continue to become more sophisticated, it will be interesting to see how the ecosystems grow and evolve. A couple of opportunities that we see within in the current framework include:
Deeper integration with patient data will be key to composing app formularies that are individualized enough to work. Imagine smarter tools that help doctors select the right formulary by combining not only demographic information and stats, but also more personal behavioral data (such as past adherence history) to create the ultimate “playlist”. A concoction that would be custom-designed to reduce the highly personal barriers that an individual may have towards adopting healthy behavior.
Extending the reach offline
Connecting the mhealth formulary to physical artifacts could also make for a more personal and meaningful experience. Alerts and email are great for reminders and ‘quick hits’ that integrate well with our busy digital lives. However, as we’ve discussed here recently, a printed piece with good content and timed for relevancy can earn more continuous reading and deeper comprehension. Maybe the next breakthrough in mhealth will be the integration of more synchronized tactile communications, like a congratulatory card for hitting treatment milestones, or even a Birchbox-like package of support materials chosen just for you.
Whether or not MediSafe will be a catalyst for the increased adoption of AppScripts or app prescribing in general remains to be seen, but it definitely brings a vital component (adherence and on-going support) to the mhealth table.