Epocrates has done a tremendous facelift on their mobile app for the iPhone. Gone are the basic menu trees, and replacing them are moveable icons, similar to an older version of the Facebook app, before it’s recent reincarnation.

Obviously, the moveable icons come from the iOS user interface — but it’s an interesting direction for Epocrates to take — and could be due in part to their recent Facebook connection.

Epocrates recently appointed Erick Tseng, head of mobile products for Facebook, to it’s Board of Directors.

The new user interface allows Epocrates to prominently feature their Doc Alert and Contact manufacturer features — features we talked about in our expose of how “free” medical apps aren’t really “free”: Why “free” Epocrates and Medscape aren’t really free medical apps for Physicians.

Epocrates added the following features, via their iTunes description:

– A smart new user experience design
– Icon-centric customizable Epocrates homepage, with quicker access to drug & disease resources
– Extensive medical App Directory
– Integrated features and additional resources within drug monographs
– Citations, in-line images, and evidence codes within disease monographs
– Notifications: clinical news DocAlerts and other messages from Epocrates
– Ability to add most-frequented calculators or monographs to Favorites
– Feedback icon to contact Epocrates with your thoughts
– On-device tutorial videos

At a core level — the content hasn’t changed, and for the thousands of physicians that use Epocrates, we’ll still be able to get to the drug monographs and disease pathologies that we’re used to. But from a User Interface perspective, this is definitely an improvement from the prior app’s layout.  The only substantial functional change made by the app is the “App Directory”, enabling you to easily access other Epocrates apps, such as anatomy, quickly.

And yet with all these updates, there is still no Epocrates app customized for the iPad (I’ve been using Micromedex).

In the following screen clippings you can see the various features Epocrates is touting:



Epocrates online emulator of the app