Response to “App Store Becoming a Virtual Pharmacy?” From Happtique’s Ben Chodor

I recently wrote a post about Happtique, which I misidentified as an app creator. Fortunately for me, Ben Ch0dor, commented on the post and provided some more insight into the company, which according to Happtique’s website, “is the first mobile application store for healthcare professionals by healthcare professionals.” I decided to post the comment, so anyone interesting in the idea of “prescribing apps” can get a better idea about what Happtique’s mission is, and what it has to offer.

At Happtique, we love a good debate and welcome comments about our initiatives. We would like to clarify that Happtique is not an app creator. The apps in our catalog are from the Apple App Store — we’ve organized them with an extensive classification system in an effort to make it easier to find relevant health apps. The further assist in identifying quality apps, Happtique is developing a program that will validate the operability, privacy, security, and content of health apps.

For our mRx app prescribing trial, we are working with physicians, physical therapists, and trainers to select apps that are currently in the marketplace (none of which we developed). We agree that app prescribing should not replace pill prescribing. Instead, we see mRx as an enhancement to the continuum of care. It allows physicians to connect their patients with relevant, appropriate mHealth apps. This should improve outcomes, since educated and involved patients are far more likely to follow treatment recommendations, use preventative series, comply with medication regimens, and choose healthier lifestyles.

I appreciate that Chodor took the time to better explain the company. As I mentioned in my previous post, I didn’t think that apps should replace pills, and I’m happy to hear that Happtique hopes that mRx will just become “an enhancement to the continuum of care.”

It is pretty neat that Happtique is creating a catalog of already-existing apps so it easier to find health apps that are relevant to particular conditions. If mRx does become more mainstream in practices around the country (and maybe even world), this would be extremely helpful for healthcare providers, in my opinion. I mean, there are sure to be a bunch of health apps floating around that shouldn’t be prescribed, so if a doctor can just view this catalog and trust that the apps are reputable, it would make the process of mRx prescribing a lot easier. I feel like a lot more doctors would be wanting to prescribe apps if they didn’t have to try and find the reputable ones themselves. Of course, John pointed out that Happtique’s app certification could also go very wrong. We’ll see how it plays out.

About the author

Katie Clark

Katie Clark

Katie Clark is originally from Colorado and currently lives in Utah with her husband and son. She writes primarily for Smart Phone Health Care, but contributes to several Health Care Scene blogs, including EMR Thoughts, EMR and EHR, and EMR and HIPAA. She enjoys learning about Health IT and mHealth, and finding ways to improve her own health along the way.