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Apps for Health Professionals: Getting Started

A guide to medical apps for Apple and Android smartphones, tablets, and other devices.

Getting Started

There are so many apps out there for smartphones, tablets, and other devices. It can be difficult to figure out which ones are worth your money and memory space. We hand chose the best apps we think that the IHP community will like and use. Have a favorite app that's not here, or want us to find you one? Let us know with an email to!

Apps recommended by IHP faculty will be marked with an asterisk(*).

System Requirements

Not all apps are compatible with all versions of device operating systems. Pay close attention to which version of Android or iOS is needed to run an app that you want. You may need to update your device before it will work. Currently, this Guide only covers apps for Apple (iOS) and Android devices. Do you use a different device and need help finding apps? Let us know at

Paid vs. Free

Why pay for an app when you can get one for free? While there are numerous high quality free apps available, keep in mind that many of them are supported by ads and lack tech support. Paid apps (usually) have no ads and responsive tech support.

Additionally, you may need a subscription to access content in some apps.

Mobile App Discovery Tools

Whichever mobile device you have, it has an accompanying "store" where you can search for apps and purchase them. There are also alternative tools for searching for apps if you don't like the way search works in your store or want more features and reviews to help you make your decision. Try some of these tools:

AppCrawlr is a mobile app search engine with advanced filters so that you can find exactly what you need in an app. You can search by platform, and then filter by what an app helps you do like "killing time," "waking up," or "keeping me on track."

AppBrain LogoAndroid Only AppBrain will help you discover Android apps and make recommendations based on your personal preferences. It will also track apps you like and notify you of a price decrease. AppBrain is also available as a website.

AppShopper logo

iOS Only AppShopper lets you search close to 2 million iOS apps using a very clean interface and one of the most accurate app discovery search engines. For the most part, it aggregates data from the iTunes App Store, but it also tracks app activity like price drops so that you can see when you are getting a deal.

Health App Reviews

What criteria do you measure when deciding to download an app?

We think that a great app should:

  • Be reasonably priced
  • Be accurate
  • Provide features and information that match the price
  • Work well with limited crashes and bugs
  • Have little to no in-app purchases

Some features to look for in an app are:

  • EZproxy compatibility for apps that search databases
  • cloud storage syncing with services such as iCloud, Dropbox and Evernote
  • endorsements from review sites like those listed below

#mhealth on Twitter

HIPPA Considerations

When choosing an app, please keep in mind:

  • Using an app on an encrypted device does not ensure HIPAA compliancy.
  • Individual apps must be certified HIPAA compliant to be used with patient information.
  • There may be additional institutional policies to consider.

Always taking HIPPA into consideration when choosing an app to work with patient data.