WebMD Expands Mobile App, Partners With Qualcomm

WebMD is partnering with companies such as Qualcomm and developing products and services such as Patient Instructions to make health IT more actionable.

Health information services provider WebMD Health is expanding the beta program for its Patient Instructions feature, which enables physicians who use Medscape Mobile to securely send education and instructions on conditions, procedures and drugs to their patients who use the WebMD app for iPhone, or access WebMD on a PC or other mobile device.

As part of the expanded Patient Instructions beta, Medscape providers can simply select from a set of more than 4,200 clinically reviewed patient instructions and provide them to patients securely and confidentially by enabling patients to access and review the information in the WebMD app or in their browser.

In addition, providers can manage lists of patients and save favorite instruction sets for easy retrieval during the course of their daily workflow.

WebMD initiated the Patient Instructions beta in September to a limited number of Medscape Mobile physician users, and early feedback regarding features, functionality, workflow and the overall user experience confirmed strong interest in, and demand for, this capability.

The beta is being expanded now to provide WebMD with additional feedback, which will be used to inform future product enhancements.

The company said it expects to expand this capability over time to allow for more customization and other types of information and services to be sent securely to patients.

"WebMD is uniquely positioned to facilitate consumer-provider connectivity and accelerate the roll-out of quantified health solutions to the masses," Bill Pence, executive vice president, chief technology officer and chief operating officer for WebMD, said in a statement. "Our Patient Instructions functionality will enable consumers and their providers to jointly manage their care, and our partnership with Qualcomm Life will provide consumers with a more personalized WebMD experience that makes biometric data more actionable."

The company also previewed a forthcoming version of its WebMD app that leverages the 2net Platform from Qualcomm Life, a subsidiary of Qualcomm, to enable health-conscious consumers to access and manage wireless health data from a wide array of fitness, wellness and medical devices directly from the app.

WebMD will introduce its new app and set of services that deliver personalized content and actionable insights, as well as a new online storefront where consumers will be able to purchase a variety of biometric devices from a variety of providers, in the first quarter of 2014.

"WebMD is partnering with innovative companies like Qualcomm and developing new products and services like Patient Instructions to make health information more actionable and accelerate consumer-provider connectivity," David Schlanger, CEO of WebMD, said in a statement. "As consumers and providers assume more financial risk for the provision of care, WebMD believes that facilitating this kind of engagement is essential to producing quality outcomes and reducing the cost of care."