Pricing for iPhone EMR App

The other day I was browsing the EMR Update forum (where I started my EMR education) and found this interesting comment about the e-MDs iphone app.

EMDs is charging $250 to “install” it even though the phone does the installation for you and then they are charging $35 a month per device for “support”. I guess they are trying to lose all of their long term customers to other EMRs that are free like Practice Fusion. I find these charges to be outrageous.

Note: I tried to verify this pricing on the e-MDs website, but it’s conveniently not listed on their mobile page. Although, they do have a “free trial.” Is that a $250 install to get the free trial? I also found their website tagline ironic: “Affordable EHR software”

I find this comment really interesting on a number of levels. First, it comes from someone who has indeed been a long time e-MDs user and long been a fan and vocal spokesperson for the e-MDs EHR software. The above seems like such a small amount of revenue to alienate your happy EHR users over.

Second, $250 to help the user install the EMR iPhone app? Really? That just feels wrong on every level.

Third, $35/month for support? Of course, this is on top of the doctors existing e-MDs support contract. Such a terrible plan by e-MDs. If they felt like they needed to get some money for the support that would be required for their iPhone EMR app, then they should have rolled it into the existing support contracts. Then, no one would complain. At least not as loudly.

Now I’m starting to wonder what other EHR vendors are charging for their apps. Let me know what you’ve been charged for your EHR app. A while back I posted about all the various EMR Android apps. All of them were free.

About the author

John Lynn

John Lynn

John Lynn is the Founder of the HealthcareScene.com, a network of leading Healthcare IT resources. The flagship blog, Healthcare IT Today, contains over 13,000 articles with over half of the articles written by John. These EMR and Healthcare IT related articles have been viewed over 20 million times.

John manages Healthcare IT Central, the leading career Health IT job board. He also organizes the first of its kind conference and community focused on healthcare marketing, Healthcare and IT Marketing Conference, and a healthcare IT conference, EXPO.health, focused on practical healthcare IT innovation. John is an advisor to multiple healthcare IT companies. John is highly involved in social media, and in addition to his blogs can be found on Twitter: @techguy.

5 Comments

  • You need “Apps” for client server type of environments. In a true SaaS or web-based EMR, you can access the EMR on any browser, even a mobile or smartphone browser. Of course, the page may not be optimized for mobile use, but the EMR vendor can and should be able to create versions of pages for mobile experience such as scheduler, viewing notes, eRx etc.

    Mobile use must be an extension of the EMR experience, not a separate ‘add-on’. That’s like charging for check-in baggage. Ridiculous.

  • Chandresh,
    That’s not the only reason to have an app on a cell phone. At least for now, the app experience is often better than a mobile version of the website. This is particularly true when you just visit the EMR’s standard website and not a mobile optimized version of the EMR. With HTML5 and as EMR vendors optimize for mobile that could change, but for now Apps unfortunately still rule when it comes to usability and responsiveness.

    However, I agree that it shouldn’t be a separate “add-on.”

  • I have been an E-MDs customer for the last 3 years. I have been very satisfied with the EMR. We obtained meaningful use in May and recieved our incentive payments already.

    The Iphone APP does not cost to install on your phone. The install charge you are referring to (250$) is to install the application on your server and set up a VPN tunnel. Given the time it takes to set this up on your servers so it will run with your software seems a very reasonable charge.

    I think the 35$ per month support to maintain the VPN tunnel is a bit steep, but I can tell you the APP is certainly worth it. I am looking foward to the IPAD APP for E-MDS when it is available.

  • From a healthcare consumer prospective, I don’t like the idea of my doctor being able to pull up my medical records on his phone. Phones can be hacked. Just sayin’.

  • Patient information is not stored on the phone (device) and neither are passwords, the data is encrypted in transit as well, so there is no way to “hack” the phone. I agree the $250 charge is reasonable as a DB installation must occur. The app is quite robust compared to the other apps for EHRs on the market

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