Happtique Offers E-Prescribing Platform for Health Apps

8/22/12Follow @arleneweintraub

Anybody with diabetes who searches their iPhone for an app to help them monitor their blood sugar will likely be overwhelmed by the choices. A simple search using the word “glucose” pulls up more than 150 results in the app store—all from companies claiming to offer the best solutions for managing diabetes. Yet very few of those claims seem to be sanctioned by any independent experts.

New York-based Happtique hopes to solve that problem by offering what its startup team refers to as the Good Housekeeping Seal of Approval for healthcare apps. The company—which was founded in 2010 by the venture arm of the Greater New York Hospital Association—curates apps, certifies them, and then sorts them into more than 300 categories. Hospitals can license Happtique’s app-sorting system and then offer it as an e-catalog to patients and physicians.

On Monday, Happtique introduced a new layer to its platform called mRx, which allows physicians to electronically prescribe health-related apps to their patients, much like they might prescribe a drug or a visit to a medical specialist. “We believe app therapy will play a vital role in patient engagement, adherence, and compliance,” says Ben Chodor, CEO of Happtique. The company will be pilot testing mRx until December, with a goal of rolling it out to a broader market next year.

Happtique was born out of a need identified by the Greater New York Hospital Association, which comprises 250 hospitals and continuing-care organizations. The hospitals wanted to offer apps to their physicians and patients, Chodor says, but “they didn’t know how to cut through all the clutter.”

So Happtique consulted with outside experts to create an app certification program. The company’s panel of experts reviews health-related apps to make sure they adhere to federal patient-privacy laws and that their overall content is accurate. Happtique doesn’t rate the apps according to … Next Page »

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