Smartphone adoption trend draws mobile app, content developers

By John Farrell
10:14 AM

With a recent Manhattan Research report claiming 81 percent of physicians will own smartphones by 2012, the race is on to develop mobile applications and customized content aimed at physicians and allied health professionals. Most recently, two companies with a track record for providing and distributing medical content have teamed up to produce new health-based apps. The idea is leverage HealthDay's content and Complemedia's MedicinePhone platform to provide clients across a variety of health fields the opportunity to develop their own branded smartphone applications, which can target specific information and news to medical and health professionals.

The content can be customized to a client's specific needs, from the latest medical journal updates to the latest news about specific diseases and conditions of interest, according to HealthDay CEO Dan McKillen. The MedicinePhone platform makes it easier for HealthDay to expand its health and medical news distribution to wireless platforms, while helping the company's customers reach new audiences.

HealthDay and Complemedia settled on smartphones as the delivery device of choice because a survey cited in the online edition of Money found that six-out-of-ten physicians preferred iPhones, while almost all health administrators preferred the Blackberry. HealthDay's news services already are distributed in wireless platforms like Epocrates and Skyscape, and integrated with popular applications like J&J's Black Bag, as well as an upcoming MedicinePhone iPhone app called Swine Flu Pro.

One of the two companies' newest clients is Pri-Med, a Boston-based provider of educational solutions that has a Web-based health/medical platform offering interactive services for medical institutions and healthcare professionals. The Pri-Med iPhone App is available in the App Store and, in addition to news for primary care professionals, provides users with access to CME programs and the ability to register for live meetings.

It's hard to characterize what demand is like for branded smartphone apps in healthcare, but the concept is interesting and there's certainly a large enough client base to support the notion going forward.

John Farrell blogs regularly at

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