I did another check of iPad EMR and EHR apps available for download in the iTunes App Store and found the total has grown to 64. While the number of apps has grown many of the them appear to have little to no activity.
When I last checked the number of iPad apps available from the iTunes App Store at the end of last year there were 26 apps available for download.
Most of the apps remain free but there are 13 that have prices ranging from $4.99 to $99.99. I checked the reviews of the paid apps as a way of trying to gauge overall activity. The largest number of reviews for any single paid app was only 34 and that was for a product that was one of the original EHR iPad apps in the store.
The App Store doesn’t release actual sales numbers but OSXDaily has come up with an “it’s not perfect, but it’s better than nothing” formula for estimating sales by using the number of reviews. Their formula is: Number of Reviews x 30 x Price = Estimated App Sales Volume in $.
As an example one of the EHR products has a total of 16 reviews and sells for $44.99. Applying the OSXDaily formula gives a sales estimate of $21,592 (30 x 16 x $44.99) for the app. While that’s not enough revenue to build a business on most iPad apps are developed by companies that produce multiple products.
With any of these apps it’s buyer beware. The developers have websites, but many provide no obvious methods of product support. Some sites appear to have been quickly thrown together only to satisfy a requirement for a developer website, with no useful information available. If you’re going to try one of these apps check out the developer website first – try contacting them to see you can get a response. It’s not just the money spent on the app – there’s also the time involved in seeing whether or not it has any value. Investing an hour figuring out that your free or cheap app doesn’t work raises the cost to you significantly.
If there are any iPad app developers out there reading this I’d love to hear your thoughts on the OSXDaily formula.