iPhone medical apps for your iPod Touch

We’ve gotten some questions from our readers on iMedicalApps.com asking if medical applications in the App Store will work just as well on the iPod touch as they do on the iPhone.

iPhone medical apps for your iPod Touch The short answer to this question is, yes, they will.  The long answer is you should know some key differences.

Of the approximately 60 million total iPhone and iPod Touch devices, iPod Touch devices account for 40% of the total.  There was a huge explosion in iPod Touch sales over the holiday season, another reason for the title of this post, and the boom in sales was documented by the writers over at CNET.  The iPod Touch was one of the top three electronic sellers on Amazon.com.

The majority of apps featured by the “There’s an App for that” TV commercials are shown on the iPhone, often leading to the perception that apps shown on the iPhone can’t run on the iPod Touch.  These featured apps often use capabilities featured only on the iPhone, such as native GPS and camera/video capabilities.  However, almost all medical applications do not utilize these extra features.

I recently wrote an article entitled, “Should Medical Professionals Get an iPhone or an iPod Touch?”.  In this article I highlighted some of the main differences between the iPhone and the iPod Touch.  The only difference that would affect the use of medical applications is the availability
of an internet connection.  The iPhone comes with a data package that enables you to be connected to the Internet as long as you have reception.  The iPod Touch enables you to connect to the Internet as long as you are connected to WiFi (wireless internet).

There are some medical apps, such as the Blausen Human Atlas that pull video from another server, requiring you to have dedicated
Internet capability in order to fully utilize the application. However, other applications, such as Procedures Consults, have all the
videos and pictures built into the application, so you don’t need to have a dedicated Internet connection.  Be warned, though, medical apps with lots of images and videos built in will take up significant space on your mobile device.  The Procedures Consult apps themselves range from 226 MB to 462 MB.  The recently released free iRadiology application (released by a Harvard Professor) takes up 137 MB.  This usage of space is well worth the assurance of not needing an Internet connection.  Plus, the iPhone and iPod Touch will only increase their capacity with newer iterations.

Basically, if you have a dedicated WiFi connection at the hospital or in the clinic, then your medical applications will run the same as if you have an iPhone.

For obvious reasons, none of the major reference applications in the App Store by companies such as Epocrates, Skyscape, Modality, and Unbound Medicine utilize the advanced features on the iPhone, such as the camera/video, native GPS, Voice Control, and Compass.

So if you want to replace that old PDA from Palm, you don’t have to get the iPhone.  The iPod Touch will work just fine and it’ll take up a fraction of the space of your old PDA.

Iltifat Husain is founder and editor of iMedicalApps.com.

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