While it is true that 75% of clinicians make use of a smartphone in their day-to-day business routine, you may not know that 95% of those physicians are already tapped into the medical app market.  In fact, many industry experts have predicted that the current affluence of the medical app market is set to skyrocket, pushing up overall IT spending to $9.6 billion dollars this year alone.  This is quite the feat considering the fact that in 2007 those numbers came in at less than a third of that figure.

It used to be that voluminous books lined the shelves of doctor’s offices but the books that were heavy enough to give our arms a serious workout have now been replaced with applications that can be found on smartphones.  The entire directory of antibiotics contained within theHopkins Antibiotics Guide is now available as a medical app through many mobile platforms.

Instead of flipping through the pages of a drug directory, you can download Epocrates, reportedly one of the most utilized mobile medical apps currently circulated in the healthcare community.  Epocratesis a drug database that has an accurate dosage listing as well as details on adverse reactions, drug interactions and other clinical information.

Podcasts are catching fire in the medical community, as they are the perfect medium for continuous education.  Don’t have time to attend the latest conference on infectious disease?  You don’t have to worry about it, because you’ll be able to register, download and view the podcast when you’ve got a spare moment.  What was once considered a chore has now become an extraordinary way to hone your skills and stay abreast of all developments in medicine.

Clinicians can also expect some pretty hefty reductions in their overhead costs by integrating smartphones into their operational expenses.  There are a number of proprietary programs offered that will facilitate patient billing, leaving your receptionists free to answer phones and attend to patients while negating the need for additional administrative staff when billing falls behind.  This also leaves you free to tend to patients as opposed to having to act as a secondary bill collector when invoices are late.

It is an exciting time to be a part of the medical world, especially as we sit back and watch the advancements that are made in the field from both a diagnostic and technological point of view.  It is said that the true power of smartphones in modern medicine is largely unknown, but what we do know is that smartphones can transform the traditional clinic by making physicians more efficient and by proxy, investing more time in our patients.

The landscape of the medical field is constantly in flux and change is really a given.  The opportunities that have been provided to the medical community by way of technology are simply incredible, and would have been unimaginable a mere ten or even five years ago.   Are you one of the millions of doctors in the United States who is already using apps like Medscape and Epocrates?


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