The American Academy of Pediatrics has a storied history, and is one of the most venerable professional medical associations we have. From their advocacy and policy to clinical guidelines, they do great work.

But while the Academy is creating fantastic mobile health apps and platforms, the pricing model on this non-profit’s several apps leaves me perplexed.

The most egregious example is the AAP’s Essentials: Type 2 Diabetes app — an app that helps physicians manage type 2 diabetes in the pediatric population.

We reviewed this app a few months ago, and while not blown away by the app’s overall functionality, we found it to be serviceable. What shocked us was the price, $14.99 for an app that barely costs anything to build (or at least shouldn’t) with its simple menus and barely any multimedia usage.

Then you have apps like Nelson’s Pediatric Antimicrobial Therapy, costing $39.99 — more expensive than the Johns Hopkins antibiotics guide ($29.99) and the Sanford Guide ($29.99).

Over time we have become more cost sensitive towards developers at iMedicalApps — and understandable towards the higher prices that developers charge for medical apps. We understand that in the medical category, there is a significantly smaller number of people who will download apps than in other categories. You can’t charge $0.99 for a medical app because there are a limited number of physicians out there that will download the app.  The $0.99 model works for general public apps where millions have the opportunity to download your app, not medical professionals where that number is in the thousands.

But what about apps for the general public?

While the AAP has some free apps, such as Asthma Tracker and Healthy Children — there are several that have questionable pricing models: Car Seat Check, Iron Kids, Healthy Children Tracker.

These are great apps that would help with overall public health if they were made free. Especially the Car Seat Check — that’s an app every parent should utilize before placing their first newborn into a carseat.

Again, this isn’t a criticism of the AAP itself — the organization does great work. But I question why they aren’t extending their public health efforts towards mobile and creating apps that can be downloaded for free by the general public.