Apple helps MDs cut thru medical apps clutter

By: Brian Dolan | Sep 15, 2011        

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Apple Apps for Healthcare ProfessionalsGiven the steadily rising popularity of the iPhone and iPad among US physicians it’s surprising this didn’t happen sooner: Apple just made it a little bit easier for healthcare professionals to find apps for their iPhones and iPads. This month the Cupertino-based company added a new area of its AppStore purportedly just for the healthcare professional crowd.

On September 2, Apple quietly launched the new section: “This small and focused collection of apps helps customers discover and choose the best healthcare apps for iPhone & iPad,” Afshad Mistri, Apple’s Medical Market Manager for Worldwide Business Markets wrote in an email to developers obtained by MobiHealthNews.

The new section, which Mistri refers to as an “iTunes Room for Healthcare,” currently includes a total of 49 apps for iPhone users and 52 for iPad users, but the two lists are largely the same. Despite the section’s title of “Apps For Healthcare Professionals” about a dozen of the apps in both the iPhone and iPad sections are actually for consumer use.

Apple’s new healthcare section includes six categories of apps: reference apps, educational apps, EMR & patient monitoring apps, imaging apps, point of care apps, and personal care apps (which is for consumers.) The EMR & patient monitoring group of apps includes a number of high profile applications like AirStripOB, Cerner’s Physician Express, Epic’s Haiku, GE’s CA Mobile, DrChrono, Nimble, and more.

Point of care apps is a group Apple selected for physicians to use with patients at the bed side. DrawMD: Urology, iSpineCare, and Medical French were among the handful of apps in this section for healthcare professionals with iPads.

Apple may have included the group of “personal care” apps, which highlights Diabetes Buddy, GoMeals, WiScale, iHealth BPM and other consumer-facing apps, as a means to help care providers recommend popular health apps to their patients.

In his note to developers, Mistri promises that Apple will continuously update this new section of healthcare professional apps. Read on for the full email from Mistri:

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Hi there,

We’re we are very excited to announce the iTunes Room for Healthcare.

This small and focused collection of apps helps customers discover and choose the best healthcare apps for iPhone & iPad. This list of apps will be continuously updated in this iTunes room.

1. Featured Apps for Healthcare Professionals

The collection has six categories:

– Reference Apps: Physicians sort through an overwhelming amount of information in the course of diagnosing and treating patients. So having medical information available on demand, at any point throughout the day, is absolutely essential. Mobile access to this vital information must be intuitive, quick, and easy to interact with and view. Clinical reference apps on iOS deliver all this and more.

– Education Apps: This category of apps give both practicing physicians and medical students access to the educational content they need, even when they’re on the go.

– EMR & Patient Monitoring Apps: Electronic Health Records (EHR or EMR). Stimulus funding from the Federal Government for hospitals and private practice to move to electronic records is driving a lot of development and innovation in this space. Patient monitoring apps are changing the paradigm of how information is received by physicians.

– Imaging Apps: Allows physicians to connect to hospital PACS systems to view DICOM images on the iPhone and iPad – anytime – anywhere.

– Point of Care Apps: For physicians to use with their patients at the bedside.

– Personal Care Apps: Wellness apps for consumers.

2. Links to the iTunes room:

These URLs work only for US and Canada iTunes Store and will redirect based on which store iTunes you are signed into.

iPhone: itunes.com/healthcareprofessionalsiphoneapps

iPad:

itunes.com/healthcareprofessionalsipadapps

We will also have a permanent link on Apps for Business page: http://www.apple.com/ipad/business/apps/

Thanks,

Afshad Mistri

Medical Market Manager,

Worldwide Business Markets

  • http://www.techendeavour.com/Mobile_Application_Development Mobile application development

    ipad are the hot favorite this season for all the non IT professionals too. The m health  is that aspect that provides the patients a never before care and convenience. Apple has made the right move by helping the physicians to be technologically update to render their services more efficiently!

  • Janis Leird

    I can’t find this “room” on their website. Can you tell me how to see the apps.
    Jan

  • http://twitter.com/pillboxie Pillboxie

    I’m the designer and developer of Pillboxie, one of the apps featured in the “Personal Care” section of this new featured area of the App Store. I’m also an actively-working registered nurse (strange combo, I know). I’d like to point out a glaring omission from this new section: nurses!

    Mistri’s email, and the new section it announces, provides stark evidence of how industry leaders continue to ignore bedside nurses:

    Number of Times the Word ‘Physician’ or ‘Medical Student’ Appears in Mistri’s Email:
    Six.

    Number of Times the Word ‘Nurse’ Appears in Mistri’s Email:
    Zero.

    Number of Times the Word ‘Physician’ (or a Derivative Thereof) Appears in the Descriptions of the Featured Point of Care or EMR Apps:
    Twenty-six.

    Number of Times the Word ‘Nurse’ (or a Derivative Thereof) Appears in the Descriptions of the Featured Point of Care or EMR Apps:
    Zero.

    Number of Times the Word ‘Nurse’ (or a Derivative Thereof) Appears in the Descriptions of All 59 of the Featured Apps:
    One.

    Name of the Only Featured App to Mention the Word ‘Nurse” in its Description:
    Pillboxie.

    Yep. The only featured app that mentions nurses is my app, Pillboxie, which I advertise via the slogan, “Designed and developed by a registered nurse.”There are countless references to “physicians or other healthcare professionals” in the above app descriptions, which I suppose could be a veiled reference to nurses. But why not just use the word “nurses?” The number of nurses who use their iPhones in clinical settings easily outnumbers the number of physicians who do the same. Although there are reference apps for nurses elsewhere on the App Store, none of them are included in the “Apps for Healthcare Professionals” section.

    The exclusion of nursing apps from this new section is indicative of the broader industry trend of placing all innovative focus on physicians, to the detriment of nurses. This is especially true of EMR vendors and third-party EMR clients. To my knowledge, there is only one — one! — native iPhone EMR client designed and marketed for nurses. There are dozens being designed for physicians, yet nurses comprise the lion’s share of EMR users.

  • http://drrjv.wordpress.com/ drrjv

    Where’s OsiriX (best DICOM/imaging App) and Greenway’s PrimeMobile.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_NZGR6HCR3LQMSD5FL6DQJ2RLJY olgae

    thank you so much pillboxie! i too am a nurse by profession and am dumbfounded by the lack of acknowledgement of nurses at all levels of practice when the healthcare industry addresses any type of change. we know that many physicians were reluctant to adopt emr’s while nurses were using them and providing the needed feedback to make them user-friendly, safe and effective for patient-centered care. one would think that even though physicians are perceived as the foundation of healthcare in the u.s. since nursing is the most trusted profession, and healthcare would fall apart without nurses, there would be greater acknowledgement of the role nurses play and how these technologies should be developed jointly with, by and for them. 

  • http://twitter.com/pillboxie Pillboxie

    Couldn’t agree with you more!

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  • Hahaha

    relax! relax!! It’s only because nurses are less important than doctors

  • Allyb1

    Really, try running a hospital without Nurses. We now have robotic surgery, hmm could that replace the physician, robotics in pharmacy, hmm, not aware of any robotic Nurses, however we are expected to work like one! So if you think Dr’s are more important than Nurses, ask a good Doctor and I bet he will disagree..

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  • https://itunes.apple.com/ca/app/pediatrics-made-easy/id453131262?mt=8 clerkship

    Hi,I want to share about the smart Medical app. App is called Pediatrics Made Easy.More information pls visit the site.

  • Bozorg Zonneveld

    This is a very important consideration from Pillboxie. Studies show that only about 46% of medication errors are related to prescription. Another 40+% is clearly related to preparation and administration, in most parts of the world a nursing activity (see Resuscitation 2012). The eBroselow SafeDose app completely solves this issue for bedside medication administration. Feel free to contact me at bozorg at ebroselow.com for more information.