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Are Customizable Applets The Future of Digital Medicine?

Ann Arbor, MI– Domino’s has a history of leveraging digital technology to make pizza more exciting. Through Domino’s Anywhere, you can place an order by texting a pizza emoji or asking Alexa to order one for you. Now the pizza company has taken the next step in the digital revolution: putting the power of digital pizza ordering technology into the hands of the people.

Domino’s has partnered with If This Then That (IFTTT) to launch the world’s first set of Applets for digital pizza ordering. Want your smart sprinkler system to turn off and porch lights to turn on when your Domino’s pizza delivery is in route? How about sending your roommates an email when the pizza hits the oven? You can customize these actions and more to Domino’s 5-step pizza ordering process through the IFTTT Applets.

IFTTT is a free platform that enables people to create connections between digital services with simple ‘if this’ ‘then that’ conditional statements. These statements are called Applets and require no code, are simple to make and unleash endless creativity. IFTTT will start brewing coffee when your FitBit registers you’re awake or text you when your friends are in the neighborhood.

Think of IFTTT as duck tape for the Internet.

The IFTTT community doesn’t just use the service for social media. The top device for IFTTT users is a fitness wearable, with 47% of its active community using one. There is an entire section for health apps. The Applet ‘get a reminder notification if you haven’t hit your FitBit goals by a certain time’ has been downloaded over 17,000 times.

Why This Matters

Three-fourths of patients want more access to digital health tools. However, only 21% of patients are receiving care online or using digital healthcare tools widely. In a study of 2,000 people living with chronic disease (respiratory, cardiology, CNS, gastroenterology, and diabetes):

  • 66% would accept a prescription for a new medicine from their doctor
  • 90% would take up the offer to download a mobile health app

While the demand is there, a major hurdle to overcome is app overload. In a study by Appboy, only 24% of users returned to an app one day after first using it. By day 14, less than 10% of mobile app users returned.

Another issue is physicians knowing which apps to prescribe or recommend to which patients. Often times, apps can do many things, but we may want one specific function for app A and one from app B.

These apps usually don’t talk with each other. A patient might have one to help manage titration for diabetes, another to keep a detailed meal plan and another to track heart rate trends on their FitBit. Things can get complex. Building integrations is expensive. Apps often become bloated with tons of features for every imaginable use case.

Can Applets Be The Glue?

What if Applets are the solution to our health-app woes? Instead of building a closed-off application that doesn’t connect to other avenues of people’s lives, what if pharma brands created simple, effective and scalable tools for patients to use that connected to other, more widely adopted applications?

Connected devices like Siren Care’s temperature monitoring socks that help detect diabetic foot ulcers could release a series of Applets on IFTTT. The Applets could notify caregivers if ulcers are forming or atomically send an email to setup a telehealth appointment with a nurse to talk about the patient’s foot health.

Asthma inhalers that are connected through sensors like Propeller Health could release Applets that send parents an SMS if their child’s rescue inhaler is used during after school hours.

Even companies like Voluntis who are creating trial-tested companion software for things like diabetes management in partnership with Sanofi could release Applets. These could help patients cope with symptoms, add ingredients to a shopping list when they download new diabetic-friendly recipes or automatically upload data from a new wearable into the app.

The Power of Empowerment

When brands release Applets to communities like IFTTT, they unlock the creative power of consumers. Health hacks are a major trend now, with patient and nurse tinkerers combining all sorts of tools at their disposal to provider better care. Vocal advocates are sharing their DIY healthcare hacks on the Internet and empowering others to follow their step-by-step directions.

By providing Applets, brands can empower patients to create for themselves, and share their creations with others. This gives patients ownership of their care and helps them design digital solutions that fit around both their lives and their conditions.