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Top 10 free iPad medical apps for healthcare professionals


The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HSS) should be commended for moving into the mobile space. Whereas pharma and other sectors of the medical industry are struggling to “go mobile” — the US Department of HHS has had an iPhone app available for about two years now.

Aptly named “Electronic Preventive Services Selector”, their iPad app does not disappoint. Bringing the United States Preventive Services Task Force’s (USPSTF) recommendations to mobile form. Although if you’re a Urologist, you might not care for the USPSTF’s recommendations (reference their decision of PSA and Prostate cancer screening — we couldn’t help but inject some humor into this piece).

One of the neat features of the ePSS app is the ability to link to HTML calculator pages within the app. For example, in the below video we show how the app links to a Risk Assessment tool for estimating the 10-year risk of having a heart attack — based on the Framingham Heart study.

There are even sections linking you to patient education PDF files, enabling you to email your patients learning material. In future iterations we would love to see a comprehensive search function within the app.


AHRQ ePSS iPad app

iTunes Link


Iltifat Husain, MD

Founder, Editor-in-Chief of Assistant Professor of Emergency Medicine and Director of Mobile App curriculum at Wake Forest University School of Medicine. He is also the founder of iPrescribeApps, a platform for prescribing apps to patients. Dr. Husain has given lectures on digital medicine globally. He went to North Carolina State University for undergrad and went to medical school at Wake Forest School of Medicine.

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44 Responses to Top 10 free iPad medical apps for healthcare professionals

  1. James W. Baker MD June 12, 2012 at 11:46 am #

    I am interested in creating a medical application for an IPAD. How do I find a programmer?

  2. Iltifat Husain, MD June 12, 2012 at 12:40 pm #

    We wrote a piece a few months ago that might be helpful to you:

    5 steps to making your medical app idea a reality:

    • gmlevinmd123 June 17, 2012 at 8:48 pm #

      Do you know of an app for Draw for ophthalmologists?

      • Iltifat Husain, MD June 20, 2012 at 1:56 am #

        I don’t. I wouldn’t be surprised if they do launch one soon. They appear to be hitting every specialty. We’ll make sure to ask them on your behalf though.

      • John Cox December 4, 2012 at 9:10 pm #

        We are actually working on drawMD Ophthalmology right now. I would expect to to be available around the first of the year.

  3. Norm Katz June 18, 2012 at 11:10 am #

    What is the best DICOM viewer app that you’ve used? (free or fee)

  4. FJamesKing July 5, 2012 at 10:19 am #

    Epocrates (Palm version) allows one to search the drug or alternative med database by indication or reported uses, side effect, contraindications, pregnancy codes, lactation coded, and notes (which you have entered for a particular drug). Is this extensive search and note capability available on any other medical app?

    • Iltifat Husain, MD July 9, 2012 at 4:06 pm #

      i’m not sure if there are free medical apps that offer this — this might be a good question to post in the forums area ( have you tried the medscape app for this?

      • Mj August 6, 2012 at 5:51 pm #

        Our hospital has become a teaching facility for our local medical school and we are required to have iPads. I also own a toshiba thrive android tablet. Both tablets environments are fantastic . My android tablet has full sized USB ports which i use for watching video cme and google android apps are rapidly catching up to iphone ipad

        iTunes is loaded with video lectures from a wide array of medical institutions. The lack of flash video is an iPad drawback, but I use an app called Iswifter which allows most flash videos to be played on iPad, but hands down androids flash capablities are a HUGE advantage for android tablets…..
        iPad seems to rarely crash or freeze up, android a bit more often…
        Comparable Android tablets can be purchased for $ 200.00
        Less which makes android very appealing.

        Good that we have two major competitors, as consumers benefit in the long run.

        • Iltifat Husain, MD August 7, 2012 at 2:03 pm #

          yep, agree. unfortunately, Adobe has stopped supporting flash though. So in the new iterations of the Android OS, such as Jelly Bean, no more flash. My Nexus 7 tab doesn’t play any flash.

  5. Superuserlaptop July 8, 2012 at 11:17 am #

    I am surprised that these apps are made for a dying format. Android is outselling iPad and the margin is growing. Also, there is a strong growing dislike of Apple because of the stunts they pulled with their Leopard, Snow Leopard, and Lion operating systems, and a term they implies backward thinking, “Apple Think”.

    Also, there are too many backdoors in Apple software that makes folks very uncomfortable.

    Making an iPad app is like making something in Beta video tape.

    But I like the concept.

    For me the only thing an iPad is good for is target practice, but each of us has their own taste.

    • Iltifat Husain, MD July 9, 2012 at 4:04 pm #

      except every single metric on the Market shows that the iPad is dominating the tablet market. i believe you are referring to Android outselling the iOS platform in mobile phones — which is definitely true, but Apple still dominates tablets. all the data indicates the iPad is dominating the tablet marketshare. i don’t think 70% marketshare of tablets is a dying platform:

  6. Christina August 8, 2012 at 5:39 am #

    I was looking for some exciting apps for pediatrics to install on my iPad. After a long search I found below app which looks great but I need your review about this app before going to buy the help. Any suggestion highly appreciated. Thanks in advance.

  7. Mark Rennie August 25, 2012 at 2:51 pm #

    Very good list but it about time the FDA and UK and other start vetting aps like medical treatments and devices before deaths are reported due to a fake, bady writern or miss typed information in a app ~ I am trying and shouting about this before any parent health is affected

  8. larry burd, MD November 8, 2012 at 9:43 pm #

    Is there an app that you can use to obtain an active electrocardiogram in real time?

  9. ItNurse November 30, 2012 at 1:11 pm #

    I have been asked to search for apps that are appropriate for patient education in cardiovascular, pulmonary and stroke populations. With the pay for performance plan becoming a reality in healthcare, we need to be more effective in increasing our patients health literacy level and I am hopeful that there are apps to help. What can you suggest?

  10. Pinaman Gyapon December 13, 2012 at 11:08 pm #

    Just want to know how it works

  11. Ruth Pichaj January 10, 2013 at 4:23 pm #

    Have you reveiwed any translation apps for use in a healthcare setting? Similar to the ones for travel or business but with particular aptitude for health care vocabulary. Thank you.

  12. scott colesworthy March 6, 2013 at 8:57 am #

    What is the typical economic model of these free applications? Are people really doing all this great work on a volunteer basis? Or are these products grant based? Or is it a quality free service that on ramps to other paid services? Or are they advertisement supported? Each product may have a different answer so perhaps you could make overall comments and then comment specifically on Medscape. By the way, you offer a great service in curating medical apps like this.

  13. Tejinder March 24, 2013 at 12:53 pm #

    very Informative.

    Can anyone suggest an alternative to Ipad for using windows based (xp, 7 or 8 ) Dragon medical dictation (I have 10.1 medical version) preferably with the largest screen tablet and a big RAM but very light and portable like IPAD?

  14. Timothy Horn April 16, 2013 at 5:57 pm #

    Tried to get this for my ipad but my app store doesn’t have it. Even tried it with my iphone – no dice. Guess its gone. Too bad.

    Timothy Horn, MD

  15. Richard Elliott August 4, 2013 at 8:14 pm #

    Is there a medical app for the Kindle Fire HD?

  16. Tess October 25, 2013 at 4:52 am #

    I don’t want to learn code but I do need to learn how to brief an app developer.

    Does anyone have a template or tips they’d like to share?

    Thanks :)

  17. Ken January 6, 2014 at 1:42 pm #

    I searched for the draw MD app on my Iphone and did not locate the app. Any suggestions?

    • Satish Misra, MD January 7, 2014 at 12:08 am #

      Try searching on an iPad – I don’t think any of their apps work on iPhones.

  18. Elizabeth Torres, MD February 16, 2014 at 1:46 am #

    I am using Epocrates on my iPad now and it works great. I find it very quick to use while seeing patients to look up prescription dosages and alternative drugs to use for specific illnesses. E. Torres, MD

  19. dr ahmed abdulla ibrahim fadel April 20, 2014 at 5:43 pm #

    thanks for your help and waiting further apps for iPad that have education information especially non invasive cardiology imaging like echo,and other resources.

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