New player moves into Windows app market

Well-known medical information publisher Unbound Medicine is the first big player to offer medical apps on Windows Phone 7 devices. Although Microsoft has been notoriously slow in reaching for a piece of the healthcare apps market, Unbound's move may be an important step in that direction.

For starters, Unbound just announced Windows Phone 7 versions of nine of its key medical apps, including: Nursing Central, 5-Minute Clinical Consult, Diagnosaurus, Nurses' Handbook of Health Assessment, The Merck Manual, Family Drug Guide, Relief Central, Taber's Medical Dictionary, and Davis's Drug Guide.

Some health apps are being ported over from the iPhone environment, also. Evan Schoenberg, an MD and developer of iPhone medical app Med Mnemonics, tells iMedicalApps that he likes the WP7 user interface, and notes that Microsoft has done a smart thing by controlling hardware specs and operating system releases, which should reduce app fragmentation, or the inability to run the same version of an app on different devices.

IT pundits are unsure whether Microsoft can overcome its thus-far lackluster performance vis-a-vis mobile health, but do say WP7 may be a solid first strike. That may take time to suss out, however, as the other top publishers in the medical app arena, Epocrates, Pepid, Skyscape and LexiComp, have yet to build any apps for the new WP7 platform. 

For more information:
- read this iMedicalApps post
- check out this Healthy Living piece
- here's a look at Unbound Medicine's products

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