Some apps might be prescribed alone. Some might be in combination with a drug.
Consider that most patients do not comply well to the prescribed regimen. They forget to take a medication. They don't finish a full course. They mix prescription drugs with over-the-counter drugs, herbal medications, prohibited foods, etc. In a previous post I mentioned the mobile health app and associated device from PillJogger, which aims to help patients take their medication(s) on time.
But we might also consider apps that directly act synergistically with drugs to enhance their effectiveness. Such apps might come under regulatory scrutiny, much as drugs themselves do.
So it is not hard to think of apps that can be prescribed by a doctor: "Take this app and call me in the morning."
How might a physician prescribe an app? There are some examples already, such as mRx™ from Happtique:
"We believe that apps “prescribed” by health professionals and sent directly onto patients’ personal devices have a much greater likelihood of being downloaded and used than apps patients may casually find on their own. And that’s really what mRx is about—using prescribing technology to translate the potential of mobile health into improved patient engagement and outcomes."
"If the prescribed app is an HTML5 or Android™ app, the prescriber can email the app directly to the patient’s phone or tablet. If the patient uses an Apple® device, the prescriber uses mRx to send an email message with a link to download the app from the Apple App Store?"