iPhone App Store medical section and real medical apps

There are well over 3,000 apps in the “medical” section of the App Store for the iPhone. Unfortunately, a growing number of them aren’t medical apps. It’s already difficult enough to parse through the litany of apps available to find quality apps – and then when you add apps that shouldn’t even be in the medical category, it makes the job that much harder.

Lets start with the“top 10 downloaded free iPhone medical apps” in the App Store. Notice how the word “downloaded” is highlighted. By no means do we think these apps are the best free iPhone medical apps.

These are the top 10 downloaded free medical apps in the App Store: Medscape, Sex-Facts, Epocrates, Medpage Today, Marijuana Truth, iAugment, Dream Meaning, Medical Encyclopedia, Body Systems – Anatomy Quiz, and Best Diet foods. Note, Medscape, Epocrates, and Medpage Today are extremely legitimate apps – they even made our top 10 free iphone medical apps list. Sex-Facts, Marijuana Truth, iAugment, Dream Meaning, and Best diet foods will never make any top 10 list of ours.

By our calculations, 12 of the top 25 downloaded medical apps, 48 percent, are miscategorized and should not be in the medical section. So we looked into this a bit further.

What about the “paid” medical apps section. Surely the paid section would be more populated with apps in the right section – and it was. But again, some very odd choices for “medical apps”. Emergency radio, the 6th most downloaded paid medical app, and Police radio, the 17th most downloaded paid medical app, should clearly not be in the medical section of the App Store. It seems as if the developers threw in the word “EMT”, and Apple figured it sounded “medical enough”.

It’s not as if these apps don’t have other sections they could go in. There are 20 other categories in the App Store, and the apps I mentioned at the beginning could clearly go into the healthcare section.

As the App Store continues to grow at a rapid rate, it would be great if Apple did some housekeeping, and fixed its categories, or at least defined them better. The longer they let apps that shouldn’t belong in the medical section blossom, the more cumbersome the process of going through the apps becomes. Let’s hope this happens sooner than later.

Iltifat Husain is founder and editor of iMedicalApps.com.

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