A study of 2,000 US patients and caregivers shows that mobile medical apps are more popular than pharmaceuticals. Some of the findings of the study:
- 90% of patients would accept a prescription for a medical app
- 66% would accept the prescription for a traditional pharmaceutical
- 60% of active “mobile health users” have chronic conditions
- 60% of the “mobile health users” were considering a change in treatment
- Mobile traffic to health sites is now 20-30% (and in some cases 40-60%)
Should pharma be worried that apps will take over from medicines? Probably not. But this study does show how patients, especially those with chronic conditions, are ready and willing to use mobile medical apps that are prescribed by their doctors.
What consumers don’t realize, of course, is that mobile medical apps can in fact have side effects similar to pharmaceuticals. If an app doesn’t reward the right behaviors or if it fails to interpret the data that it is receiving then it can fail the user.
This is the reason the FDA released the draft guidance on mobile medical apps and requires 501(k) approval for apps that it deems medically relevant. Other blog posts on the FDA and mobile medical apps:
- The FDA and mobile medical apps
- Three days of hearings on the FDA’s regulation of “Mobile Medical Apps”
- Can biopharma get in on the prescribed app?