Pharmaceutical and life sciences database/analytics vendor IMS Health is offering a way for providers and insurers to assess the functionality and value of a mobile medical app before prescribing or paying for it.

The new service follows IMS’ publication in October of a general assessment of nearly 43,700 health care mobile apps available to consumers. Researchers excluded more than 20,000 as not truly related to health care or of value, leaving 7,407 apps targeting health professionals and 16,275 for consumers. Five consumer apps generate 15 percent of all downloads of medical mobile apps, half of the remaining apps are barely used and 90 percent of the apps score less than 40 on a functionality scale of 100.

Consequently, IMS now is giving health professions help in wading through the realm of mobile apps listed in the report with a new app called AppScript that enables use of the information in the October report. AppScript is a prescribing system to aid providers and payers in creating proprietary formularies based on an objective assessment of apps’ functionalities and values from IMS.

IMS also has introduced AppNucleus, a customizable cloud-based hosting platform that leverages IMS’ data and other tools to enable developers to build health care apps at very low cost, according to the vendor.

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