Medical Applications in the iTunes App Store for the iPhone and iPod Touch

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As of this writing, there are are over 100 medical applications for the iPhone and the iPod Touch in the iTunes App Store. (The link is here.) Less than six months ago, as the store was launched, I tried to guess what applications might become available. Let's revisit that list to see which apps have been released so far. (This is not meant to be an exhaustive list of applications, and please feel free to leave comments if the holes in my knowledge are obvious.)
  • Drug database: Epocrates Rx is currently the most popular medical application for the iPhone. Several other drug databases are also available.
  • Anatomical atlas: Netter's Anatomy Flash Cards is based on Netter's Atlas of Human Anatomy.
  • Medical calculator: There are at least five. The most popular is Medical Calculator, which is free.
  • Interface for electronic health records: There are several. iChart EMR is the most popular, for $139.99.
  • Viewer of radiologic images: OsiriX, an open source program, is a DICOM image viewer. It's $19.99
  • Interface for laboratory results: To my knowledge, there is no interface yet for viewing labs from companies like Quest and Bioreference.
  • An expert system to help with differential diagnoses: A cursory review of the avvailable applications shows no expert system for differential diagnoses (which I'll definine as a program that produces differential diagnoses for a list of signs and symptoms).
  • Messaging system for laboratory alerts and hospital pages: While there are no programs, to my knowledge, specifically for this purpose, many hospitals offer communication by SMS.
  • Interface for medical devices (like ultrasounds and EKG machines): No programs are yet available.
  • Dictation recorder: A search of [iphone AND dictation] reveals several apps, such as Voxie, and others which have yet to be released. I don't have personal experience with any of these programs.
  • Device for electronic prescribing: No programs yet available, to my knowledge.
  • Device for directly receiving and reading medical journals and podcasts: While there are many PDF readers for the iPhone, I haven't seen a program that automatically downloads medical journals (as is available for the Palm platform). Medical podcasts can now be downloaded directly to the phone.
  • Medical book reader: Lexi-COMPLETE offers several medical books for the iPhone.
  • Reminder system for patient visits and meetings synced remotely with the office through Mobile Me: Again, not yet available.
  • Display for patient education videos: I've written previously about using YouTube as a source for patient education videos, but to my knowledge, applications specifically made for this purpose are not available.
  • Medical simulator (ACLS, for example): While I know of no simulators, an ACLS reference is available for $4.99.
  • Telemedicine device (pending the eventual release of iChat and a videoconferencing system): Not, to my knowledge, yet available.
  • Interface for medical literature searches (Pubmed, Google Scholar): PubSearch is an interface for PubMed, and it costs all of $0.99.
  • Word processing device for papers (I'm still waiting for a bluetooth keyboard): Several substitutes for Apple's built-in Notes application are available, but no bluetooth keyboard yet.
  • Communication device for hospital teams (Using Twitter or another system): I'm not aware of any hospital team that uses Twitter (or Yammer). If you do, please write in.
  • Secure system for messaging/emailing patients: Not yet available.
  • CME course viewer (with text and/or video): Several are available, including Epocrates Rx and ReachMD CME.
Comments are encouraged so I can give you credit for pointing out applications that I've missed.





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About the Author


MD, FACP, FASN

Dr. Schwimmer's blog explores the intersection of medicine, new technologies, and the Internet.

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