Happtique, a spin out from Greater New York Hospital Association Ventures, announced this week that 11 healthcare organizations will beta test its app store for healthcare professionals. The trial will last eight weeks, after which more organizations can sign up for the service, according to the group.
Happtique curates medical and healthcare applications for healthcare enterprises and breaks them down for specific user groups: physician, nurse, pharmacist, etc. It also organizes them by focus, like heart/cardiovascular, for example.
Happtique’s curation team includes a medical librarian, a physician, and a registered nurse.
“Innovative technologies such as this are important to help ensure that providers have the most effective mobile tools to aid in the quick delivery of accurate medical applications,” stated Nader Mherabi, Senior Vice President, Vice Dean and Chief Information Officer of NYU Langone Medical Center in a press release. “We are pleased to join our peers as part of this beta program.”
All of the participating medical organizations except one reside in the New York area: They include Mount Sinai Hospital (New York, NY), Mount Sinai School of Medicine, Maimonides Medical Center (Brooklyn, NY), NYU Langone Medical Center (New York, NY), NYU School of Medicine, Parker Jewish Institute for Health Care and Rehabilitation (New Hyde Park, NY), Beth Israel Medical Center (New York, NY), St. Luke’s-Roosevelt Hospital Center (New York, NY), Wyckoff Heights Medical Center (Brooklyn, NY), The HealthAlliance of the Hudson Valley (Kingston, NY), and d4 (United Kingdom).
Interestingly, according to the press release, each institution involved has developed or will develop their own custom mobile applications, which will be distributed to hospital staff via its Happtique custom app store. Apps will be available on Apple and Android platforms, with support for Blackberry planned.
“We are very excited to address the need for secure and customizable healthcare app platforms by providing these hospitals, medical schools and nursing homes with their own app store,” stated Happtique President, Corey Ackerman in a press release. “We will use this short beta period to gain valuable feedback and better understand their specific mHealth needs.”
MobiHealthNews spoke to Ackerman last year about the company: “We formed user groups and began looking at Apple’s iTunes AppStore and the other app stores out there. We realized very quickly that there wasn’t yet a niche place for healthcare apps,” Ackerman said then. “Sure, some of the stores have healthcare or medical categories but that’s not enough categorization to be very helpful for locating apps for healthcare providers.”
While that was true last year, earlier this month Apple created a new section of apps specifically for healthcare professionals. The “iTunes room” had about 50 apps in it divided into a half dozen subcategories at launch.
Ackerman said that Happtique will not be in the business of curating content:“We are not in the business of opining whether an app is ‘good’ or ‘bad’ though. That’s not our role,” Ackerman said. “If the FDA indicates that an app is a medical device and needs to be regulated, well, that’s a different situation and we can take it out of the store…We want [Happtique] to be as full as possible. We don’t have plans to delve into whether an app is ‘good or bad’ at this point, since there are thousands of apps out there.”
Read the press release below.