3 million downloads for Android health apps

By: Brian Dolan | Mar 11, 2010        

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Brian Dolan, Editor MobiHealthNewsDuring the HIMSS event in Atlanta last week MobiHealthNews made some news of our own when we launched our first research report: MobiHealthNews Presents: The World of Health and Medical Apps. During the six weeks leading up to HIMSS, the MobiHealthNews team scoured the close to 7,000 smartphone applications that are designated as health or medical related in application stores including iPhone’s AppStore, Google’s Android Market, BlackBerry’s App World, Palm’s App Catalog and Nokia’s Ovi Store.

We discovered that less than 6,000 apps found within these stores are actually health, medical or fitness related. We then evaluated which of these apps were intended for use by consumers and patients and which were intended for use by healthcare professionals. Overall, there is about a 70-30 split for intended user: About 70 percent of all health-related smartphone apps are intended for use by consumers, while about 30 percent are intended for use by healthcare professionals.

Here’s one of the 70 graphs from our report that shows the price distribution for consumer health iPhone apps (in green) vs. healthcare professional iPhone apps (purple):

iPhone Medical Applications Price Distribution MobiHealthNews

Clearly, the most popular price for consumer health iPhone apps is $0.99 — that pricetag is even more popular than “free.” For healthcare professionals “free” is the most popular pricetag for iPhone apps. As the graph shows, a number of healthcare professional apps are priced at or above $19.99, while very few consumer apps fall into this price range.

MobiHealthNews: The World of Health and Medical Apps includes more than 56 pages of numbers and statistics detailing the types of health related smartphone applications. What percentage of apps are diabetes related? How many apps are medical calculators intended for use by healthcare professionals? What types of medical calculators are most prevalent? The report answers these questions and many more so that healthcare providers looking to launch medical applications can forge their mobile strategy with an eye on what’s already available in the marketplace.

While most application stores do not disclose how many downloads a particular application has received since it launched, Google’s Android Market does provide a range. For example, an app might have between “0 – 50″ downloads or it might have “>250,000″ downloads. Two health related applications for Android phones have received more than 250,000 downloads to date. In total, based on the ranges, we can conservatively estimate that health related apps for Android phones have so far achieved more than 3 million downloads. And that’s with just about 500 health related apps available. Because it provides no numbers, we can only imagine how many downloads Apple’s almost 6,000 health related applications have achieved.

The World of Health and Medical Apps is vast and varied — let MobiHealthNews help you navigate through the numbers by purchasing our first paid research report today!

  • JayG

    Not surprising why there are so many more apps for the Android. The growth of Android devices has been phenomenal. By 2012 or 2013, market analyst are predicting 68 million Android phones that will surpass the iPhone, Blackberry, and Windows mobile. See the timeline starting from January 20, 2010 upwards:
    http://androidcompare.com/time-l.html

    Android is perhaps the best thing that happens to consumer, and specifically to the Health Care industry. No more lock down monopoly by one device (iPhone), by one company (Apple), and one carrier (AT&T). The health care industry deserves better than this. It needs a broad range of choices when it comes to selecting equipment. Open source nature of Android allows this to happen. Already there are kitchen appliances such as microwave oven running on Android (pictures):
    http://androidcompare.com/devices.html

    The possibilities are endless as modern health care equipment may someday run on Android in the near future. This helps health care provider with a familiar user interface, running the same apps on many diverse devices, and seamless integration with all of these devices. Thanks to an easy to use and yet rich Software Development Kit made available by Google to software developer, system integrator, and manufacturer (and to everyone else) all for free. No just free, but open source, which allow anyone to customize Android to suit their specific needs in their own respective industry. That makes it very powerful. Not surprising why Android adoption and growth has been so phenomenal, because it is so revolutionary.

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  • http://mobihealthnews.com Brian Dolan

    Jay,

    iPhone still offers ten times as many health apps than Android, but the number of downloads for Android health apps sure is impressive. No way to compare those downloads with iPhone health apps, though, since Apple does not publish those figures.

    Brian

  • http://www.clinicallyrelevant.com Dan Rhon

    Brian – Very interesting article and also concept with creating this report. The statement “For healthcare professionals “free” is the most popular pricetag for iPhone apps” seems a little obvious no? Most people will download a free copy of an app as it poses no risk for them. Whether it actually gets used or even deleted shortly after is more difficult to track. Clinicians are already primed to purchase tools that are a bit more expensive. We have books, references, subscriptions, etc already that help us keep up to date with the latest in relevant evidence-based treatment, management, and diagnostic information. So, to pay $19.99 or more for something that would usually cost more in traditional format and without the ease of access and interactiveness of a mobile application can be extremely appealing.

    JayG – I hope you are right, but as I’ve found out recently, and believe it or not that some of the “restrictions” that Apple imparts have actually protected me more as a developer than Google has. An app that has done extremely well for us on the iPhone has paled in comparison when developed for the Android market. We’re not jumping at the gun to make any more Android medical apps at this point in time. Their success will be our success, but I just don’t see it yet.

  • JayG

    Brian,

    Yes, I agree with you. My first sentence was a mistake. I did made a boo-boo on that one. What I meant to say there is that ‘not surprising why there are many more apps now than before’.

    Naturally iPhone has more apps than Android right now. iPhone started earlier with big media blitz, thanks to Apple’s dedication towards marketing. Google never advertise for anything except on their search engine. Everyone knows about iPhone and hardly anyone know about Android.

    Despite all the hurdles, I’m quite amazed on how much progress Android has made over the short period of time considering most of the popular Android phones came out only last November. I’m sure all this will change soon as Android gain market share.

    I played with Apple Lisa back in 1983 then start using Macintosh in 1984. Mac was ahead in many ways in those days. Despite all that, IBM-Intel-Microsoft dominate the market share in a short time even with their clunky command line interface DOS. When IBM clones/compatibles came out, Microsoft was able to sell its DOS to many different computer manufacturers. That hardware competition shifted the market share from the Macintosh to the Intel platform in no time. I see similar parallels but only better now because Google make Android open source unlike the monopoly of non-innovative Microsoft. Another plus is that Google is highly innovative.

    I think all this competition is good for the industry. It is a win win situation for the consumer.

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