“Download this app and call me in the morning,” could be a phrase you hear next time you visit your doctor. Happtique has created mRx™, a patent-pending solution that enables physicians and other health practitioners to electronically prescribe medical, health, and fitness apps to their patients. When physicians prescribe an application, a notification will appear on their patients’ mobile device. The patient can then click the “fill” button to download the app. Practitioners can track which patients have downloaded the prescribed applications and can send reminders to those who have not. “We think if you are going to prescribe a drug or a pharmaceutical, you should also prescribe a follow-along app or series of apps that will help with health, wellness, and managing a disease state,” said Ben Chodor, CEO of Happtique. “We want to enable the handshake between providers and patients.” The technology allows practitioners to prescribe the applications like they would electronically prescribe a medication. mRx can connect to a hospital or practice’s electronic medical record (EMR) system or stand alone. For example, a patient sees her primary care physician who prescribes a cholesterol medication as well as a cholesterol app and an exercise app. The patient receives a HIPAA-compliant email with links to the prescribed applications so she can download them to her device. To test the usability of the mRx technology, Happtique has launched a pilot program that will focus on cardiology, rheumatology, endocrinology, orthopedics, physical therapy, and fitness training. Chodor said they are hoping to have 50 to 100 users in each of those categories. During the trial, providers will choose from a list of applications that were approved by a panel of doctors in each of the identified specialties. However, if users wish to use applications that are not on the list, they can ask that they be approved by Happtique for inclusion in the trial. Eventually, mRx will connect to Happtique’s mHealth App Catalog, which is a collection of medical applications that meet Happtique’s app certification standards. The company is in the process of finalizing its standards and will begin certifying applications later this year. At the conclusion of the trial, providers and patients will be asked to complete a survey that Happtique will use to determine how many apps were prescribed and how many patients downloaded. They will also ask if patients and providers enjoyed engaging with one another via mRx. The pilot program is limited to determining the usability of the technology; however, Chodor said the company is planning to perform a more in-depth clinical trial in early 2013. That program will be used to determine whether prescribing medical applications leads to better outcomes. Providers who are interested in participating in the pilot program can sign up on Happtique’s web signup page.