Epocrates has acquired smartphone medical reference applications publisher Modality for $13.8 million in cash, according to an SEC filing Epocrates turned in today. On November 12, Epocrates "acquired Modality for its current applications for the Apple iPod touch and iPhone as well as its existing personnel and processes in place to develop additional such applications," according to the filing. Epocrates said the acquisition will lead to an immediate effort to create "robust, multimedia applications for the iPad device." Currently, Epocrates has no apps specifically designed for the iPad.
Modality began publishing app for the iPhone platform shortly after the AppStore launched in the summer of 2008. Since then Modality has published about 140 apps for iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad in partnership with Elsevier, McGraw-Hill Professional, Pearson, The Princeton Review, Thieme Medical Publishers, John Wiley & Sons, Wolters Kluwer, and Workman Publishing. Of those 140, however, only about half are focused on health and life sciences. The remaining are travel-related apps, general education apps, and law-related apps.
According to a joint press release the companies published this week, the key benefits of the deal include: "Diversifying and expanding the breadth of clinical information available at the point-of-care to the Epocrates clinician network; Leveraging the power of the iPhone and iPad devices to more rapidly introduce powerful solutions for clinicians; Enhancing the customization and sophistication of Epocrates’ interactive services, such as mobile video details and mobile resource centers."
Among the Top 1000 apps in the iTunes' AppStore Medical Category, that we analyzed in our recent apps report: The Fastest Growing and Most Successful Health & Medical Apps, WebMD's Medscape app is the number one ranked medical reference app for healthcare professionals, followed by Epocrates Essentials. Will Modality's expertise and relationships with the major medical publishers help push Epocrates to the top spot? Epocrates just placed a $13.8 million bet that it will.
More in the release