Trends in healthcare and medical apps

Medical and health apps continue to be hot.  In January 2011, The New York Times reported there were over 17,000 health-related mobile apps, many of which are aimed at health care professionals.  This report was based on data from research2guidance, which the New York Times article noted forecast the number of users of mobile health services would reach 500 million by 2015.

HealthNewsDigest.com recently published an article by Michael Shaw about mobile health apps.  Among the data discussed in the article was the variety of mobile health apps currently available.  Here’s the mix reported by Mr. Shaw, with the market share for each:

  • Calorie counting                60 percent
  • Cardiovascular fitness       20 percent
  • Strength training                 9 percent
  • Sleep improvement             7 percent

These categories, which make up 96 percent of the available health-related apps, are directed primarily at consumers.  What’s interesting is the other 4 percent, which includes apps used by doctors and other healthcare professionals to provide patient care.

iMedicalApps.com, an online publication written by doctors and medical students, published in December 2010 a list of the top 20 free iPhone apps for health care professionals.  Their number one choice?  Medscape, which has over 7,000 drug references, over 3,500 disease references, and over 2,500 images and videos.  Here’s a link to iMedicalApps.com’s full review of Medscape.

Smartphone apps are changing the way medicine is practiced.  Twenty years ago one might have joked about a radiologist diagnosing a broken bone over the telephone while on vacation.  Not anymore.  In an article titled “Medicine on the Move,” The Wall Street Journal reported this week that the FDA recently approved a new smartphone app from MIM Software that allows doctors to look at MRI and CT results – using their mobile devices.  Here’s a link to MIM Software’s page for its Mobile MIM app.  That same WSJ article discussed AirStrip OB, a mobile app that allows physicians to review, on their smartphones, real-time data, both for women in labor and their unborn children.  AirStrip also has apps used by physicians to monitor cardiac and other data remotely.  Here’s a link for more information about AirStrip’s apps.

We’ve been interested in health-related apps for a long time.  In fact, one of the early apps developed through our network of mobile app developers was MaculaTester, an iPhone app used to test for age-related macular degeneration. A physician came up with the idea for MaculaTester.  Read about his experience finding a developer here.

If you have an idea for a medical or health-related app and need a developer, visit one of our quote sites to get three free development quotes from experienced US-based developers.

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Written by

Mark M. Stetler is CEO of AppMuse and its related businesses: iPhoneAppQuotes.com, iPadApplicationQuotes.com, AndroidAppDevelopmentQuotes.com, and BlackberryAppDevelopmentQuotes.com. AppMuse is the Internet's leading provider of free app development quotes from experienced, pre-screened app developers for iPhone, iPad, Android, and Blackberry smart phones.

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