Smartphone Savvy?

July 29, 2010

It seems like most people these days live tethered to a smartphone, and physicians are no different. What’s interesting is how physicians are using their smartphones.

It seems like most people these days live tethered to a smartphone, and physicians are no different. In fact 72 percent of physicians use smartphones, according to Manhattan Research, and that number is expected to rise to more than 80 percent in a couple of years.

What’s interesting is how physicians are using their smartphones. Some have downloaded tons of free medical apps, while others are loyal to a single app. Increasingly more docs are turning to their mobile devices to access their EHRs.

For a story to be published in our October issue, I spoke with a few physicians and experts about medical smartphone apps. One physician called his smartphone “his brain,” which he’ll consult with a patient in the exam room to look up information on drug interactions, dosages, and contraindications, for example.

Another doc, Melinda Rathkopf, an allergy and immunology physician in Alaska, said she uses her smartphone to access her practice’s EHR on the go, which she said was a big convenience. And indeed a few experts said that’s the next step for medical apps – beyond the simple calculators and references to more sophisticated tools.

When it comes to incorporating the apps into your daily work flow, experts say download a few apps and give them at try. Not all of them are gems, and you might find you’ve downloaded a completely useless app.

I’d love to hear what apps you’re using and how you have incorporated them into your day-to-day.