Happtique, a subsidiary of GNYHA Ventures, the business arm of the Greater New York Hospital Association, announced this week plans to launch a trial of its health app prescription platform, mRx, which aims to make it easy for physicians to prescribe health apps to patients. The patent-pending platform also enables physicians to know whether a prescribed app was downloaded if the app is an Android or HTLM5 one.
The trial, which Happtique's CEO Ben Chodor stressed to MobiHealthNews was not a clinical trial, is currently recruiting physicians who specialize in heart disease, diabetes, and musculoskeletal conditions. Happtique is also looking for physical therapists and trainers to participate in the program. Chodor said that Happtique will work with the care providers in the trial to determine which apps will be included and available for prescription through the platform. The plan is to include between five and 10 apps, including those that connect to a web portal accessible by the providers and those that do not provide data to the providers.
Chodor said the app prescription platform has been a frequently requested offering during Happtique's meetings with chief medical officers and physicians during discussions about Happtique's enterprise healthcare appstore platform. The care providers participating in the mRx trial will not only be those who work at facilities that leverage Happtique's appstore, Chodor said, but once mRx commercially launches it will only be available for the company's customers that use its appstore. mRx is being developed to work on its own, however, so it is likely that at some point it will be available separately, too, Chodor said.
While some physicians may already be prescribing apps to patients, Chodor said many want help to make it easier for their patients to get the apps they recommend onto their devices. The mRx platform is an app on the physician's phone that enables them to push an app recommendation to a patient's phone. If it is an HTML5 app or an Android app, the physician can push the app to the patient's phone. Patients who have Apple devices will receive a message instead that includes a link to the iTunes AppStore, which is the same way that Happtique's health appstore works for its enterprise users. Physicians will know if a patient actually accepts the HTML5 app or Android app onto their device and whether their iPhone-equipped patients click on the link.
Chodor said the trial will begin later this summer. Happtique wants feedback on how easy-to-use its mRx platform is and whether prescribing apps to patients through the platform is convenient and effective for physicians and patients. Chodor said they will track how many apps physicians prescribe during the course of the study and how many patients download the apps that they are prescribed. Chodor said other indicators for the success of the informal study: Do participating care providers want to continue to use the platform after the study concludes? And, of course, did patient outcomes improve?
Part of the mRx platform is a reimbursement mechanism. Chodor said Happtique wants to do for mobile app prescribing what SureScripts and others did for e-prescribing.
More in the Happtique release below:
PRESS RELEASE: NEW YORK, NY-- May 9, 2012 – Happtique, Inc., a mobile health application store and app management solution for providers, physicians, and the patients they serve, will launch a trial of mRx™, the first program to enable physicians to prescribe mHealth apps to patients. Grounded in the belief that increased physician-to-patient services will improve compliance and health outcomes, Happtique’s patent-pending technology will enable doctors across all specialties to prescribe apps to patients.
For the program trial, Happtique is recruiting physician prescribers specializing in the treatment of heart disease, diabetes, and musculoskeletal conditions, as well as physical therapists and trainers to test the technology with health and fitness apps. Participating prescribers will receive training and access to a subset of specialty-specific apps, enabling them to integrate appropriate apps into their patients’ treatment programs. Following the training, Happtique will track both prescribing processes and patient mRx™ downloads through early summer.
To build the trial prescribing catalog, Happtique will select 5-10 apps, both connected and non-connected, in each of the designated categories on both Android and iOS platforms. Once the trial apps have been selected, participating physicians and trainers will begin prescribing the apps, depending on individual patient needs.
“Mobile app prescribing will add an entirely new dimension to my ability to care for patients,” said Steven Magid, M.D. of New York-based Hospital for Special Surgery. “In this increasingly connected and mobile world, the use of Happtique’s mRx™ will improve doctor-patient communication, patient engagement, compliance, and ultimately patients’ health.”
“App prescribing will enhance the provider/patient connection and facilitate healthy behavior changes, potentially reducing costs for providers, payers, and patients,” said Happtique CEO Ben Chodor. “mRx™ is the next evolutionary step in the field, and we are confident the provider community will agree and embrace app prescribing as a way to better engage patients in their own health and improve clinical outcomes.”
Happtique is a mobile health application store and app management solution that helps healthcare providers, physicians, and patients easily integrate mHealth into treatment. It offers medical enterprises—like hospitals, continuing care facilities, and physician practices—the ability to create individually branded, secure, multi-platform application stores for staff and patient use. Happtique is a subsidiary of GNYHA Ventures, Inc., the business arm of the Greater New York Hospital Association.