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Apple curates HCP iPhone and iPad apps

Sanofi bags first pharma place on new iTunes App Store collection lists

Apple iTunes Store HCP apps

Joining Apple's lists of its professed favourite apps for kids, parents and movie lovers, the iTunes App Store now includes a special collection of apps for healthcare professionals.

Added as part of its latest update of the iTunes Store software the new collection divides apps up into those for reference, medical education, imaging, patient education and personal care.

Rounding out the medical categories identified by Apple is a final app list focusing on those used for patient monitoring and electronic medical records.

Apple iTunes Store HCP apps

On the App Store the list is described as one of “industry-changing apps for records, patient care, monitoring and more", which the company says are "transforming medicine”.

The collection appears to only be available on the US version of the App Store so far, and the number of apps listed is still pretty small, with around 70 iPhone apps and fewer iPad apps.

But it does feature some of the biggest medical brands, including the New England Journal of Medicine, Medscape and WebMD.

Apple iTunes Store HCP apps

The first pharma apps to be listed, assuming you don't count the app form of the long-running Merck Manual medical textbook, are two diabetes ones from Sanofi.

There's iBGC Star, which works with Sanofi's iPhone-compatible blood glucose monitor, and Go Meals, one of the earliest industry apps.

But as iMedical Apps, which first reported on the new collection, notes, there are a number issues with the list, including how are the apps selected and verified for accuracy.

For the pharma industry, which has been hard at work producing all manner of mobile apps, the issue is likely to be how does it get its apps on the list.

Apple had not replied to this, and other questions, at the time of writing, but the company is well aware of pharma.

The stampede towards equipping sales forces with iPads can hardly have passed the technology company by, and it has been keen to align itself with pharma and life sciences companies in the past.

The Apple website features case studies on Medtronic (in a feature titled “Better medicine through iPad”) and Novartis (“Apps for good health”), so it seems safe to assume the new HCP app collection will soon see more pharma apps.

In the meantime, those wanting a wider view of medical apps, or at least those intended for patients rather than HCPs, can always take a look at PatientView's European Directory of Health Apps.

21st February 2013

From: Healthcare

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