The Health App Gap

About 15% of doctors say they prescribe them, yet there remain many questions about how, when, and why they should be prescribed.

There are over 100,000 mobile medical apps. About 15% of doctors say they prescribe them, yet we still don't know how or why to do so with any assuredness. When it comes to medical apps, there are a few things to consider:

1. Do they work?

2. Are they easy to use?

3. Is the date being entered useful and accurate?

4. Can the data being generated be stored, analyzed and transformed into actionable information?

5. Does it create value for the patient?

6. What do they cost?

7. Will patients continue to use them?

8. Are they available to all patients, not just a few?

9. Are they secure?

10. Are they integrated and interoperable with other parts of a whole product HIT solution?

Most of these questions remain unanswered and won't be until we create a more robust digital health testing and validation ecosystem. In addition, we need to identify the app gap i.e. what is important to payers, doctors, and patients and how do we close the gaps.

There are many digital health gaps. The patient-doctor app gap is but one.

Arlen Meyers, MD, MBA is the President and CEO of the Society of Physician Entrepreneurs at www.sopenet.org