Apple products aid healthcare, dominate mHealth market

Apple, first with the iPhone and then the iPad, has "accidentally" revolutionized healthcare, so argues a blog post on The Motley Fool financial website. Although it was not Steve Job's intention, argues the author, doctors and other health-care professionals are using Apple's devices in ground-breaking ways.

The article argues that physicians love their iPhones and iPads, quoting various studies: "A study by Manhattan Research in 2011 found that 75 percent of physicians owned at least one Apple product. Vitera Healthcare's 2012 survey of healthcare professionals backed up this high number. The company's study found that 60 percent of respondents used an iPhone and 45 percent owned an iPad."

Similarly, an October 2012 report from research firm KLAS found more healthcare providers use Apple than any other device, which is fueled by "user preference as physicians bring their own devices into organizations to help them provide patient care."

As the Motley Fool piece points out, mobile apps running on Apple devices have "opened the door for clinicians to instantly access a world of medical information at the point of care." As an example, the author points to WebMD's Medscape app, which ranks first among the most-frequently downloaded iPhone and iPad medical apps, allowing physicians to check drug interactions, look up information about procedures, and see medical news updates on the fly.

Another example cited by the author is an app that allows radiologists to view MRIs as well as CT, PET, and SPECT scans on iPhones and iPads which received U.S. Food & Drug Administration approval in 2011. And, the FDA recently approved the use of a portable ophthalmoscope with an iPhone for doctors to view retinal images.

No one can deny Apple's sheer dominance among doctors. However, clinicians aren't the only ones leveraging Apple devices for mHealth apps. According to the article, as of last year, the App Store included more than 13,600 health-related apps for consumers for everything from monitoring sleep cycles to helping expectant mothers through their pregnancies.

"While it's true that Apple products aren't the only ones used in healthcare, the company's devices still dominate the industry," the article observes. "And these products ushered in a revolution in how medical professionals and patients access data and communicate with each other."

To learn more:
- read the blog post