With iOS 8, Apple has enabled an Explore function within the App Store that lets you search for apps by your medical specialty.  They have an extremely confusing category tree, which I show in my video demo below, but it’s the first time either Android or iOS platforms have let health care providers search by medical specialty.

When you click on explore and then click on medical, you see the following screen:

app store physician search

It’s nice to see a section for medical students, nurses, among other specialties. What is confusing about the category tree is when you click on Surgery, you have subsections for cardiology and other specialties that don’t technically fit under the surgery section.

But the main issue is the following: the majority of the apps listed don’t matter for fellow physicians, e.g. Personal plastic surgery services, apps for breast augmentation, and a host of others that don’t provide any clinical utility for physicians or health care providers.

Clearly, Apple hasn’t vetted these apps for quality. You can tell the apps were placed in these specific categories based on what the developers told Apple. While it would be great if Apple vetted to see if the developers accurately portrayed their apps, I’m sure the amount of time required for them to do so would not be worth it — understandably.

In the following video demo I go through and show how to use this functionality in iOS 8 and on your iPhone.