There are currently more than 43,000 health care/medical apps currently available on the iTunes App Store. Approximately 69% of them target patients, while the other 31 are designed for medical professionals. While most consumer-targeted apps simply provide information, that could change in the near future, as many believe health care applications will become increasingly used by doctors and patients alike in the years to come.

When it comes to health care, there are apps available for nearly everything. Some provide drug references, while others allow for image-based diagnostics support. There are even apps available that allow doctors to view billing information.

According to a survey by Manhattan Research, approximately 95 million Americans used smart phones to find healthcare information in 2013. That was an increase of 27% over 2012. A policy brief by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation was published in the Journal of Health Affairs, and estimated that more than 500 million people, consumers and medical providers alike, would use a healthcare app within the next two years. Approximately 1.7 billion people are estimated to download a health app by 2018.

In the future, using healthcare apps in treatment may become so commonplace that people may be “prescribed” apps to help them manage their care. Instructions on how to download a mobile app may be included along with discharge instructions to help patients better follow doctor’s orders.

The Food and Drug Administration has also recognized the importance of healthcare apps, and has elected to begin approving them on a limited basis. Thus far, they have approved more than 100 mobile apps, most of which have contained highly technical information.

In the future, the use of healthcare apps is likely to be considered standard practice. To find out more about this exciting new trend, contact us.

Photo credit: Photo by Jorene Rene under license by CC 2.0