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11/28/2011
12:43 PM
InformationWeek
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9 Mobile Health Apps Worth A Closer Look

There's no doubt: Clinicians love their mobile devices. Among many new health apps, here are 9 that healthcare professionals and their patients should investigate.




There's no doubt about it: Clinicians are in love with mobile devices--especially the iPhone and iPad. Manhattan Research recently reported that three out of every four U.S. physicians own some type of Apple device. Nearly one in three own an iPad and another 28% plan to buy one this year. Meanwhile, smartphone penetration among physicians is forecast to reach 81% by the end of 2011, compared to 50% penetration for U.S. consumers. And a growing number of mobile medical apps from respected sources should make those numbers grow even faster.

One of the most popular apps is from Medscape for the iPhone, iTouch, Blackberry, and Android. The professional medical website, which offers news, full-text journal articles, CME, and reference material, was already among the most popular and its mobile app became the #1 downloaded free medical app in 2010. The app offers news alerts, drug reference, drug interaction checker, disease and conditions reference, news, and more.

Of note is the app's professional directories function, which allows users to search a database that includes lists of 400,000-plus physicians, 57,000-plus pharmacies, and 6,000-plus hospitals across the U.S. Search can be conducted by location, physician name, or specialty; results offer email contact and location information (including a map). This is a good example of a website that has taken its app strategy seriously, and has been able to migrate many useful resources onto the smartphone platform. In the Apple Store, the current version of Medscape Mobile rates 5 stars among users. Many of the commenters praise the app for its ease of use, news, navigation and more. For healthcare professionals, one of the best features is the mobile CME, which include CME/CE activities across 30+ specialty areas. Credits can be earned on-the-go and then tracked automatically via the apps on-site CME Track.


This popular doctor-to-doctor social network website, which was created by physicians in 2006, also offers a mobile app for on-the-go discussions. The free app allows physicians to share clinical images, ask questions, and discuss and share ideas and insights on clinical cases, health policy, practice management, and more. Posts are easily followed on the website.

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MIM Mobile is a remote diagnostic imaging tool for the iPad, iPhone, and iPod touch. Intended for medical professionals, it's the first app of its kind to receive FDA 510K clearance. It's available as a free download from the Apple App Store. Alternatively, a MIM workstation can be used at a facility to transmit the images to Mobile MIM. All protected health information is encrypted for transfer and storage (for HIPAA compliance). Mobile MIM is indicated for use only when the physician does not have access to a workstation.

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Aimed at healthcare pros, this $1.99 app lets users access the complete details for ICD 10 diagnostic codes, which are searchable and browsable by traditional categories. Users can keep a favorites list of diagnoses and procedures, and show mapping to an ICD 9 code. The features also include sub codes and long descriptions with over 224,000 individual codes.

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Released early in 2011, this app allows healthcare practitioners to view live medical consultations from anywhere using a smartphone. The app lets physicians consult on a surgery, for instance, or allows an ailing prisoner be diagnosed remotely. However, the app does require a JEMS video server for it to function. The app is HIPPA-compliant and provides a secure collaborative environment.

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This app from Legacy Data Access may help IT managers calculate the costs of supporting healthcare application systems. Costs are categorized by software support, internal support, environmental cost, and disaster recovery. The tools are then grouped by startup costs and maintenance costs. The calculator determines your overall ROI by month or year, depending on your input.

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QuantiaMD is a free online and mobile application designed to address clinicians' educational needs. Physicians come to QuantiaMD through their mobile device of choice to engage with their peers and respond to a wide variety of interactive medical cases. Educational content is developed by experts and delivered in concise, interactive narrated presentations that range from five minutes to eight minutes. Topics include diabetes, mental health, infectious disease and patient safety, and practice performance topics such as coding and billing, HIPAA compliance, and Meaningful Use. The image shown here is from the QuantiaMD Diabetes Special Interest Group.

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Doximity offers a free iPhone and Android app that lets doctors connect with each other and communicate information within an exclusive, private network. With more than 30,000 users, Doximity employs a three-step credentials check to ensure each member is in fact a healthcare professional. After joining, physicians can locate specialists, send HIPAA-compliant text messages, exchange private contact information, send faxes directly from their phones, and even connect with former classmates and residents.

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eviti | Advisor is a decision-support tool that gives oncology providers and their staffs real-time access to evidence-based intelligence at the point of clinical prescribing. It provides a digital library of evidence-based oncology treatment regimens, taking into account costs, outcomes, efficacy and toxicities. Eviti's robust library is drawn from data from governmental and industry sources, and is maintained by expert oncologists, a world-class medical advisory board, and other medical informatics professionals.

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