This past summer, I wrote a posting "Opps for Apps" where it was pointed out that while the pharmaceutical industry is reticent to engage in social media due to regulatory concerns, one area that was ripe for development was in the creation of phone apps that would provide patient support. Let's face it, this is a no-brainer. This is a low-risk activity, but one that puts a company front and center in meeting patient needs, and the development of such patient support apps is going to be as essential as all of the other types of funding and sponsorships that companies now undertake to support patients. There are three companies that apparently get it – and here are their examples:
Jonathan Richman, in his blog Dose of Digital, also pointed out earlier in March, 2009, the utility of medical product manufacturers in getting into the apps biz in his well-researched posting "Pharma Needs an iPhone"where he overviews some interesting apps – including a thoughtful one from Johnson & Johnson for caregivers called the Care Connector.
On December 1, appropriately for World AIDS Day, Fabio Gratton carried a news report on the IgniteBLOG about a new phone app for people with HIV called My Health Tracker that allows people to keep track of their labs, meds and even supplements. The tool was launched by thebody.com and was sponsored by Merck.
And check out Sanofi-Aventis' new opp for people with diabetes featured on their goinsulin YouTube channel.