It’s only been a question of time for when insurance companies would start reimbursing companies for a mobile health application. In an article on Forbes, they talk about WellDoc being the First to Sell Mobile Prescription Therapy. The company WellDoc has gotten FDA clearance for their mobile application BlueStar.
WellDoc has started to sale BlueStar through self-insured companies, but will now have to get out there and work with doctors much like drug companies have to do. The next generation of pharma sales reps are going to be peddling mobile applications to doctors.
The key to what WellDoc is doing is their year-long randomized clinical trial to prove that its product works and doesn’t cause side effects. The question I have is how many mobile health applications are planning to go to this effort.
I was a little disappointed to find out that WellDoc’s mobile application does require a mobile coach as well. So, the mobile is an important part of the product, but they still have a human participating as well. Certainly they’re treading lightly in this new form of mobile therapy.
I love this quote from the Forbes article:
All this was new territory for pharmacies and the National Council for Prescription Drug Programs which maintains standards for exchanging pharmacy data. “Their reaction was ‘you’re like a drug, but you’re not; you’re like a device, but you’re not,’” says Bergstrom. “They realized this is where the future is going,” adds Anand Iyer, WellDoc’s president.
No doubt there’s going to be a lot of challenges that WellDoc faces as it tries to sale doctors on using this product. However, they’re right that it is the future.