Will medically prescribed “Apps” cure health care ills, as this New York Times article suggests? Increased patient compliance with physician recommendations has enormous potential to reduce health care costs and improve patient outcomes. This is true in a wide range of areas, such as post-surgery recovery, maintaining a heart healthy diet, and physical therapy. But, aside from consumer fitness and diet apps, this market is yet to evolve. What’s needed in a winning “app”? For starters:
- A multi-format approach, mobile and web, to reach the broadest range of patients, so just a mobile “app” won’t cut it.
- MD-administered controls, enabling tailoring for each patient
- A patient compliance mechanism, such as feedback back to a health care professional
- A system incentive for the health care pros to engage, such as reimbursement incentives (or penalties), or links to outcomes.
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