The Future of Mobile Health Apps for Pharma
Mobile health applications have come a long way in the last few years. Driving this change, in part, has been the huge increase in smartphone penetration across both patients and HCPs user groups (HCP smartphone penetration at 81% with half using at least one medical app professionally). This shift has lead almost every major pharmaceutical manufacturer to develop a patient or HCP-focused mobile health app. Symptom trackers, medication reminders, mdetailing, health and wellness apps and educational games have saturated the market.
Allergan “My LAP-BAND” iPhone App
So, what’s next for mobile health apps for Pharma?
Let me answer this question with another question…. What good is a symptom or medication tracking application if the data never gets into the hands of an HCP or caregiver? In my opinion, “not very good.” I believe the biggest opportunity for mobile health apps is in creating applications and/or mobile web experiences that collect and share patient data with those who can use the information to make immediate and informed decisions.
Imagine the most personal device in history (yes, the mobile phone). Now, imagine it in the hand of a 15 year-old boy with hemophilia. Not only can the phone be used to remind/educate him of safe exercises and record an infusion, but the data collected can be shared with a caregiver to motivate, reinforce positive behaviors, and ultimately ensure that he establishes habits that will be critical later in a life void of parental guidance.
Yes, there are legal and regulatory hurdles that need to be cleared. I hear you loud and clear. But, we can’t continue to use this as a crutch. It’s critical that we put the wants and needs of patients first and develop tools that can be of true value, if not lifesavers for patients.
- Chris Crichton, VP Mobile Health