Given 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:
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.
We will also have a permanent link on Apps for Business page: http://www.apple.com/ipad/business/apps/
Medical Market Manager,
Worldwide Business Markets