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Pilot Program Evaluates New Healthcare App

System tracks which patients have downloaded prescription forms on smartphone or tablet (Aug. 20)

Happtique, a mobile health application store, announced on August 20 that it has begun a pilot program for mRx, a new system that allows physicians and other health practitioners to electronically prescribe medical, health, and fitness apps to their patients.

Given the thousands of healthcare-related apps on the market today, patients need guidance from healthcare professionals as they select and use these apps to manage their health, the company says.

The pilot program will focus on cardiology, rheumatology, endocrinology, orthopedics, physical therapy, and fitness training. For these areas, Happtique consulted a specialist in each field and reviewed relevant Web sites to develop a sample list of apps for each of the targeted areas. Practitioners may prescribe apps from the sample list or other apps of their choice.

Licensed or certified healthcare practitioners in other specialties and disciplines may also participate in the program.

When the mRx prescription form is completed, the practitioner sends it to the patient’s smartphone or tablet. Practitioners can track which patients have downloaded prescribed apps and send reminders to patients whose apps aren’t downloaded. At the end of the pilot program, practitioners and patients will be asked for feedback on their experience using mRx.

While the program will track how many apps are prescribed and how many times the “fill” button is clicked after an app prescription is sent, it will not measure app usage or clinical outcomes.

The program began on August 20 and is scheduled to be completed in December.

For more information, visit the Happtique Web site.

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