Drugmakers don't have apps for that--yet

Mobile health apps are hot--or at least a hot topic in healthcare circles. Apple's app store boasts some 18,000 in its health and medical categories, and no doubt more come online weekly. Sadly for pharma, only a small fraction of those were developed by drugmakers, or even with particular drugs in mind.

Opinions about apps abound, as do arguments over whether apps themselves can do much for patient health. (Ask anyone who's downloaded a calorie-counting program about that one.) What people do agree on is that drugmakers are missing the boat. Most companies are sitting poolside, at best dabbling with a few apps here and there, rather than jumping in with both feet.

Anyone who's been following the thinking on pharma's future knows that experts are urging drugmakers to think beyond selling drugs and move toward selling outcomes. Don't just market an injectable drug; sell the drug and a monitor that keeps track of patients' dosing and reminds them when they've missed a dose or when they need refills. That's just one example. Obviously, apps fit quite well with that approach--but drugmakers are letting other developers dominate when they could fund their own projects directly integrated with their own products.

Today, you can find a smattering of app-related ideas, from Xconomy and Forbes, along with several doses of considered opinion. Check them out and let us know what you think.

- read the Xconomy piece
- get the column from Forbes
- get another opinion from Forbes
- here's more from FierceBiotech IT