For the third straight year, Epocrates was the most popular tool in the annual Modern Healthcare reader survey on the Most Important Mobile Medical Applications.
More than 2 out of 10 respondents said they used Epocrates at work, making it No. 1 in a field of 132 different products named by readers this year.
Of those 132 products, 94 received just one vote apiece as a favorite, indicating the diversity of mobile apps in clinical and personal use by readers.
Developers of three of the top 10 mobile apps are best known for selling mainline electronic health-record systems to physicians and hospitals. That suggests that mobile app development is fast becoming a survival skill in today's health IT market.
Readers said they still use the venerable Epocrates mobile tool primarily as a prescription drug reference. That was its original function when it was launched in 1999 by a company founded by Jeff Tangney and Dr. Richard Fiedotin, who were then MBA students at Stanford University. Readers lauded Epocrates for its ease of use and ability to quickly provide information about drug interactions and offer correct dosing calculations. Survey respondents also liked that they could use it to “contact manufacturers to ask product-related questions.” And they like the base price—free.
For the second straight year, Medscape was the mobile medical app ranked second by our readers, who said they use it chiefly as a medical information reference. Practitioners who said they are interested in keeping abreast of current research, practices and news turned to Medscape, as did providers seeking continuing medical education. “I can learn and get CMEs during downtime without having to be locked down to a computer or classroom,” one respondent said.