“Take Two Apps and Call Me in the Morning”
In the future doctors will prescribe you an app for your illness, not just a medication.
We’ve learned a lot over the last 100 years about medicine, and continue to learn, discovering more each day. Pharmacology and biology are becoming more integrated with psychology. Medication is only as good as the person taking it. The medication may address the cholesterol, for example, but it’s still up to the person to eat healthily and exercise. Behavioral change is core to the effect of the medication.
In the future doctors will prescribe you an app. Medicine isn’t just chemical it’s compliance, psychology, motivation and tracking.
— Greg Raiz (@graiz) September 27, 2017
At Raizlabs, we’ve begun to develop more healthcare and medical apps, including products that will need to go through FDA review. This means that mobile apps are going through scrutiny similar to other medical products and processes. While today’s apps are typically built in conjunction with a traditional drug or therapy, it’s not too far a leap of the imagination to believe that the app of the future may have an equally large impact in the rehabilitation of a patient, with or without a drug treatment.
A Prescription for an App
Let’s take a couple of examples of things that apps are tracking today:
- Sleep: SleepCycle and SimplyNoise
- Meditation & Breathing: Headspace and Calm
- Pain management: Pain Scale and Manage My Pain
- Gynecological health: Ovia and Glow
- Nutrition & fitness management: MyFitnessPal and Healthie
It’s not a leap of the imagination to think that apps can influence and change actions and behaviors. If that’s true, then it stands to reason that apps like the above can have a medical benefit and that paid versions of these apps could even be subsidized by medical insurance. As apps become more sophisticated, the combination of a software treatment in combination with a traditional prescription will begin to differentiate generic drugs from name brands, and that’s when things will get really interesting.
If your team is interested in exploring the conjunction of medicine and software, get in touch!