XM satellite radio's ReachMD recently launched a new iPhone application that includes all of the continuing medical education (CME) offerings from its previous app plus a live stream of the XM radio station for free right from the user's phone. During its first week available in the iPhone AppStore, ReachMD MedicalRadio had 3,000 downloads, CEO Gary Epstein told mobihealthnews. The original ReachMD CME app has had more than 60,000 downloads, Epstein said.
"This new app is holistically all of ReachMD. It includes the way you would listen to the radio in your car, archive programming and some rich search functions. If you are a doc and only want cardiology content, you can build your profile on the app so it only pushes cardiology programming to you or whatever content in your area of interest."
While the new app does include all of the functionality of the original one, Epstein said the company has no immediate plans to remove the first one -- it's just a more streamlined CME app and it has proven quite successful.
"I have an instinct that may just be a bias from my days at the AMA, but I know docs like things spoon-fed and easy," Epstein said. "Docs are very efficient minded so they may prefer the original. Also, what harm is there for us to keep the other app up?"
The ReachMD MedicalRadio is free just like the original CME app, but users have register and answer questions so that ReachMD can help advertisers understand their user base.
"We aren't going to turn a patient down if they download the app, but in order to get the app you have to register as an RN, physician, what kind of physician, Epstein said. There's a lot of information there that from an analytic standpoint is very helpful for courting advertisers as you can imagine."
There are currently no ads in the ReachMD apps, but Epstein says the ads will appear at the bottom of the screen just like they do in other apps, including The New York Times iPhone app.
"It's been great to get out there and be first," Epstein said. "There has been a bit of a quandary though, because some of the other players out there have come to us and wanted to advertise on our [XM Sattelite Radio] channel about their own CME app. Overall, my instinct is to say, let's take their advertising dollars and promote their application. If we have a good app, well, it only helps to draw more people to the AppStore."