Medical app revenues total $84.1M in 2010

By Brian Dolan

Money TreeRevenues from smartphone medical apps intended for use by healthcare professionals will more than double between 2009 and 2010, according to a recent estimate by Kalorama Information. In 2009 the market for mobile medical apps was worth about $41 million, or about 1.5 percent of the total mobile app market, the research firm found. Kalorama estimates that sales from mobile medical apps in 2010 will total about $84.1 million.

Kalorama attributes the growth of medical apps in healthcare to the "range of programs, convenience and efficiency that can't be achieved with traditional computers and pocket drug references," the research firm stated in a release. Still, the group believes that the "use of smartphones in professional healthcare is still taking shape."

"Not only is the medical community using smartphones and their applications for basic tasks, but they report using them to complete some of the work that would have previously been done on a desktop or laptop computer," Melissa Elder, an analyst at Kalorama Information, states in a company press release. "With one of the main focuses in healthcare today centered on the reduction of costs, any tool that can help medical personnel become more efficient is a boon to the industry."

Kalorama is certainly right in stating the market for apps intended for use by healthcare professionals is still taking shape. Up until recently very few medical apps moved beyond medical reference offerings, which still dominate as the most common type of app in this category. Electronic medical records providers, charge capture solutions providers, remote monitoring device makers and many other operational and administrative apps have arrived on smartphone platforms. During a six-month period last year the total number of health-related apps for Apple iOS, Android and BlackBerry devices overall increased 78 percent, according to' own research.

Kalorama points out in its press release that the average pricepoint for apps intended for use by healthcare professionals is around $15, however, most of the very expensive ($200 to $400) apps are repurposed medical textbooks or other pricey reference material. The operational and administrative apps are on average much less expensive -- between $3 and $4 on the iPhone platform -- but these apps are also often free for users that already paid to have a corresponding system installed in their facility. Revisit our recent roundup of the top operational and EMR apps for the iPhone platform for more.

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