Apple helps medical facilities distinguish quality medical apps

With the integration of electronic medical records, tablet computers and medical billing software into the workplace all happening at the same time, today's doctors have a lot on their plates. And as any ardent user of Apple products such as the iPad and iPhone knows, it's easy for these devices to quickly become cluttered with applications on the display screen. This is often because apps without a professional level of functionality are simply left unused instead of discarded.

However, Apple is now attempting to make purchases easier for one of its biggest target markets. This September, the computer giant launched a new section of its app store dedicated to collecting and organizing programs that may be of interest to busy doctors.

"This small and focused collection of apps helps customers discover and choose the best healthcare apps for iPhone and iPad," Afshad Mistri, the company's medical market manager wrote in an email, according to MobiHealthNews.

The new section includes roughly 50 apps that are available to users of the iPhone and iPad, however some programs appear on both lists, the news source reports. The store then allows doctors to sort by using six categories, which include apps for education, electronic medical records, imaging, personal care and point of care.

Since the new part of the store was first launched, there have been some glitches along the way. MobiHealthNews reports that some consumer apps are currently listed under the section despite Apple's statements that suggest the store would be aimed simply at healthcare professionals.

The electronic medical records apps can be helpful to small practitioners, as they provide doctors with a quick glimpse of a patient's history, medications and allow doctors to access comments made by other industry professionals. As such, the integration of these apps along with a facility's EMR software transition could have significant benefits.