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Healthcare Mobile Apps Made Easy

Anna Webster, for HealthLeaders Media, May 25, 2011

If there's an opposite of a smartphone, my dumb phone would be it. It's a flip phone without a screen on the outside, without a camera, and without a hint of modernity.

As time goes on, I am feeling the pressure to upgrade in order stay connected and hold my head high in my community (especially as a journalist). From what I'm hearing, physicians and marketers are feeling the same way.

Seventy-five percent of physicians in the United States have purchased an Apple mobile device such as an iPad, iPhone, or iPod, according to a Manhattan Research survey of 2,041 physicians during the first quarter of 2011.

Other statistics from the survey include:
  • Smartphone adoption rate for U.S. physicians jumped from 72% in 2010 to 81% in 2011
  • 30% of physicians are using iPads to access electronic medical records (EHRs)
  • 28% of physicians plan on purchasing an iPad within the next six months
  • The iPad continues to be the dominant tablet in the healthcare market

As price points drop and popularity for these products increases, there is an opportunity for healthcare marketers to take advantage by creating their own applications to promote their products and services via iPads and smartphones.

Richard Oehler, MD, associate professor of medicine and director of clinical education for the division of infectious diseases and international medicine at University of South Florida (USF), co-developed a smartphone app in 2009 later formatted to be iPad-compatible in 2010.

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