In January 2007, Apple launched the first smartphone. Subsequently, smartphones that run the Android operating system were introduced in October 2008. Moreover in 2008 users of smartphones have the opportunity to run downloadable applications (apps) on their devices. Apps are software programs that have been developed to run on a computer or mobile device to accomplish a specific purpose.
Mobile health, or ‘mHealth’, is the use of portable devices, such as smartphones and tablets, for medical purposes, including diagnosis, treatment, or support of general health and well-being. Close to 100 000 apps are now available to assist health care professionals. It is estimated that by 2015 smartphone users worldwide will be more than 500 million and by 2018 there could be 1.7 billion mHealth apps worldwide.
The Manhattan Research/Google Physician Channel Adoption Study in June 2012 showed that 87% of physicians use a smartphone or a tablet device in the workplace. Physicians spend the majority (64%) of their online time looking for information to make or support clinical decisions, double the time spent reviewing print resources. Among physicians aged 55 and over, 80% own a smartphone.
Apps provide many benefits for paediatricians, allowing them to make more rapid decisions with a lower error rate, increasing the quality of data management, and improving practice efficiency and knowledge.
The aim of this article is to present the most popular apps which can be used to facilitate patient management. Some of these apps are Medscape, Epocrates, Bilicalc, Palmpedi, Derm101, Uptodate and Kidsdoc.