Finally we’ve got the Essentials on the iPhone. On the 22nd of January, Epocrates has made a good job and produced a modern and fantastic iPhone app that we all crave for.
We’ve been waiting for this upgrade since last Christmas and finally it came. So now the same Epocrates app that you downloaded for free from the App store can be reformatted into the fully functional Epocrates Essentials and that’s why they changed its name from Epocrates Rx to Epocrates only.
The app includes great features that we used to rely on when we had our Palm and Pocket PC, including Rx, Dx, Lab, Tables, Medmath, DocAlerts, and Interactions checker. However, it is still missing their great differential diagnosis feature, the Epocrates Sx. It is also missing on the Mobile CME and the Epocrates Mobile Resource Centers and the Epocrates Medtools.
Having noticed these shortages, we thought that the subscription price would be a little bit lower than that of the other platforms, but unfortunately, It is not. The subscription prices are exactly as before with $149 per year and $249 per two years.
The good news is that you are allowed to switch, so that if you have a current valid Palm or Pocket PC subscription you can just change that into iPhone or iPod Touch for free. You can do that online by logging into your account in the Epocrates website.
The app has a feature which we had not seen in any other medical or non medical app so far in the App store, which is is a circled number attached to the app icon right upper corner.
This is just like the number we see on the updates tab in iPhone’s App store, but here it refers to the number of new DocAlerts that are added recently into your Epocrates app. Once again Epocrates teasing us with their nice surprises and innovations.
[Update 2009-03-17] The last statement is no longer valid, this feature is called Unified notification service which is recently released from Apple and is available for all developers now not just Epocrates.
Since its launch on the App store Epocrates has quickly taken the position number one in the list of most frequently downloaded apps and its icon now is the logo of the medical category on iTunes. This has two explanations; first, Epocrates has a prebuilt reputation and so people were waiting for their iPhone app, Second, This app is so useful that it has easily spread among iPhone savvies. However, we have to remember that this statistical result is inherently incorrect because we don’t know how many of those who downloaded the Epocrates [previously called Epocrates Rx] have actually subscriped or switched to the Essential Subscription. Many of them, are likely satisfied with the free Rx version alone. This is another reason why we said there should be two apps one is free and another PRO paid version.
To be continued …