Even among consumers, 20% of respondents to an HRI consumer survey said FDA approval was very important in their decisions to use a mobile app. Not surprisingly, a greater share of clinicians - 26% - responded that FDA approval was most important when deciding to prescribe apps.
"We believe it's helpful to think of apps like drugs. Just like in a local drug store, we need an "Apps Pharmacy" with tiered levels of certification/regulation and process for physicians to recommend or even prescribe apps," said William Falk, North & South America Healthcare Leader, PwC, in an email.
But it will take a larger and sustained effort to bring mhealth apps and digital health devices into common clinical practice. The needle is moving however - 90% of MDs in the HRI survey said such mhealth apps and devices will be important to their practices over the next five years.