Background: Patients, physicians and health technology developers are increasingly interested in mobile health applications. However, there are few examples of partnerships between hospitalists and the private companies to test novel health technologies in the inpatient setting.  

Purpose: To test the feasibility and uptake of a Hospital-Medicine based program for prescribing mobile health applications to hospitalized patients, using a private company developed mobile app platform that enables physicians to point patients to specific mobile health applications for download on an internet-enabled mobile device. 

Description: We partnered with QuintilesIMS to deploy their mobile health app prescribing platform. The prescribing platform was selected based on the following criteria: technical approach, product specifications, platform cost, prior experience and expertise of the company creating the platform. We then selected two mobile health applications that would be broadly applicable to a population of patients admitted to the Hospital Medicine service at our academic Medical Center: Epic’s MyChart, a patient portal where patients can view test results and communicate with their providers, and Medisafe, a medication adherence application for patients. 

We enrolled patients, admitted to the Medicine Service, to use the platform who met predetermined inclusion criteria (Figure 1). Seventy-one patients were enrolled. Patients were alerted of a mobile application prescription via email or SMS, which could be accessed by enrolling for the application platform (Figure 2). Of the 71 enrolled patients, 71 patients (100%) received a text or email alerting them of a mobile application prescription. 46 patients (65%) accessed the application prescription for Medisafe, and 48 patients (68%) accessed the application prescription for MyChart. 30 patients (40%) accessed the download links for Medisafe, 32 patients (42%) accessed the download links for MyChart. Collection of download, utilization and patient experience data are in the progress of collection. 

Conclusions:  Closer public-private partnerships may be helpful in bringing novel technology programs to the bedside. Patients appear to have interest in accessing technologies recommended to them by their providers.