Just as consumers are adopting smartphones (to the tune of 84 million in the U.S.) and tablets at a breakneck pace, an increasing number of clinicians, healthcare administrators and staff are using mobile devices to manage patient care, communicate within the workplace, and carry out their day to day work. Nearly 80 percent of physicians will adopt smartphones by 2012.
Consumers interact with and use app stores on a daily basis, and there are a growing number of consumer-facing healthtech services that offer a variety of health services, as people become more interested in using web and mobil services that help them stay in shape and get fit. So, as the centers of healthcare, and arguably with serious demand, why can’t hospitals take advantage?
Across the board, hospitals want to offer applications for their doctors and employees to use, but not all of the apps they want to offer are consumer, or even patient, focused. Hospitals and most other care facilities are enterprises, their use case doesn’t fall under healthcare categories of traditional app stores, there is a lot of sensitive and private data within their walls, so they want secure and custom deployment of their apps. This is no easy task.
This is where Happtique comes in. Happtique is a mobile app store developed by healthcare professionals for hospitals and other healthcare professionals. The startup offers enterprises like hospitals, continuing care facilities, and physician practices, the ability to create individually branded and secure app stores that support apps for both patients and employees.
Happtique has previously partnered with HealthSaaS, the maker of cloud-based healthtech solutions, to create a custom catalog of mobile health apps, designed to connect patients to their healthcare organizations and physicians through their mobile phones — all via a secure network. (And AppCentral runs the backend.)
The health app catalog basically offers a suite of mobile apps for patients and providers that will eventually (this is still in the works, but you can see the intended use case) allow patients to remotely monitor their health and continue treatment off-site. The solution will enable patients to upload medical documents requested by physicians into a secure portal (which healthcare organizations and hospitals can customize, i.e. it’s white label), as well as the option to integrate this into their electronic health records.
The solution will be platform agnostic, which means that patients will be able to access this via the majority of their mobile devices, as well as giving both healthcare providers the ability to be more proactive in managing care and further bring patients into the center of the treatment process, rather than having treatment and care be a one-and-done process that only happens on-site. HealthSaaS provides the custom apps, while Happtique provides the ability for healthcare providers to manage and control deployment of certain apps to their patients.
As part of its beta trial, Happtique has offered a number of East Coast medical institutions their own branded, private mobile app stores, including Mount Sinai Hospital, the Mount Sinai School of Medicine, Beth Israel Medical Center.
Across the board, the medical institutions Happtique is working with have either developed their own mobile apps or are in the process of developing their own apps, which is reflection of where hospitals are today, said Cory Ackerman, President of Happtique. Happtique can help with development of apps, or for those hospitals and facilities that have already been creating their own, Healthcare they can then use these new, custom app stores provided by Happtique to offer apps to their patients and employees. While the intent is to be platform agnostic, initial focus has been on Android and iOS, with expansion to other mobile platforms coming in the near future.
In the broad picture, there are over 23,000 mobile health apps available for iOS and Android, but for doctors and hospital administrators, there really hasn’t been an easy way to recommend and effectively categorize apps. Happtique’s team of healthcare pros curates their app store, rating and categorizing apps in a way that’s akin to a medical library, rather than the traditional consumer-focused store. So the solution was created to both organize the mobile healthcare app library, and to make that a customizable platform so that hospitals, doctors offices, etc can each have a unified solution across their devices.
While doctors may want to use some of the awesome consumer-facing health apps publicly available today, each hospital has its own legacy system and infrastructure it uses internally to push and circulate records, patient data, treatment information, and so on. They want to have all this information on their devices, as they move around the hospital, but they want that info to be private and secure within a hospital’s already existing data silos. Again, this is tough to do, especially for a platform trying to be a one-sized-fits-all solution with white label customization, but that’s where Happtique is going.
And boy are we glad they are going there. These represent some big, big problems facing the healthcare industry, and as Happtique rolls out the ability for doctors and hospitals to prescribe apps to patients, let post-transplant patients, say, interact with an app that walks them through post-treatment rehab on their iPad — well, you can see the value.
Happtique is currently in the process of raising a round of venture investment. For more, check them out at home here.