I am well aware of the popularity of any number of apps, and especially healthcare apps in all of their many forms. However, even I underestimated how big this industry really is.
An article about WebMD really put it all in perspective for me. You can read the entire article here, but here is the major stuff:
According to a report by Pyramid Research, more than 200 million health applications for mobile devices are being used by doctors and patients today. The number is expected to cross 600 million by the year 2012. Another report claims that the mobile health annual market will be worth $1.7 billion by 2014.There are already several apps available in the market, most of which focus on disseminating health-related information to users. Epocrates, the leading drug reference source, was identified as the most popular health app among providers by the Pyramid Research. The app is used by healthcare providers as their point of care drug reference site…
…It is not just health care providers, but their patients who are turning to the mobile apps. Healthagen’s iTriage has information on symptoms, diseases, and medical procedures. The app is also a directory of nationwide hospitals, clinics, and pharmacies. It helps users search for and gives them turn-by-turn directions to the nearest choice among its database of over 750,000 physicians or 350 specialty clinics…
…The Medscape app was recently named the most downloaded free medical app of the year for iPhone by Apple on its iTunes Rewind 2010 featured list of Apps. The app provides a comprehensive reference on more than 6,000 drugs, 3,500 diseases, 600 procedures and 80 tables and protocols; gives daily medical news and alerts; and is part of WebMD’s Continuing Medical Education activities. The company recently expanded the reach of its popular MedScape app to both the iPad and Android devices. Since its release, earlier last year, for the iPhone and BlackBerry devices, the Medscape Mobile app has registered over 700,000 healthcare professionals.
Among other apps, iPharmacy was selected as the No. 1 medical app of 2010 of Apple App Store with its medication guide on 10,686 drugs. The Pocket Lab Values app was the highest rated iPhone lab value App for being a useful reference point for students, doctors, and nurses by providing access to lab values, clinical information, critical lab values, differential diagnoses, tube colors, and useful websites. Another app, iMeds – The Medication Reference claims to be the most complete medication app with over 7,300 FDA approved medications and to be the only app to provide full prescribing info.
The really crazy thing is that the development of apps is still essentially in its infancy so who knows what we may have in the future.