40 healthcare apps for clinicians and consumers to know

It seems like every week in 2015 — if not most days — brought news of a new healthcare startup company whose app garnered millions in early funding. Not all of these apps will take off, and many are still vying to snag the dominant spot in their respective categories. For example, we don't yet know who will become the 'Uber of healthcare' yet, but a handful of companies with clever names and eye-catching platforms are aggressively grappling for the title. The same can be said for apps in the telehealth, prescription management, physician reference, patient portal and house call categories.

Here are 40 apps to know from both the provider and patient sides, some of which just might end up edging out the rest come 2016.

Editor's Note: Apps were chosen through editorial discretion.

22otters (Palo Alto, Calif.). Funded in part by Nuance Communications, Gamgee's 22otters patient outreach platform aims to streamline procedure logistics for patients and providers by making customization for each patient simple. Providers can dictate instructions into the app, such as medication information, and set alerts for patients as well. The app enables simple post-discharge follow-up by allowing providers to see when patients have completed certain tasks, if they have questions about their care, or if they have forgotten to take medications, among other things.

AmWell (Boston). Ranked the most popular consumer telehealth app in the world in 2014 by app analytics services company App Annie, AmWell is American Well's answer for enabling clinicians and patients to connect remotely. The app's features include a virtual waiting room for patients, e-prescribing, online documentation and payment collection. The app connects physicians with both their own patients and with new patients through its Online Care Group. The platform is HIPAA-compliant and includes training, clinical guidelines and peer support for clinicians.

AskMD (Atlanta). ShareCare developed AskMD with the aim of creating a personal health history portal that also shares insights about a user's health. The app uses voice recognition technology powered by Nuance and stores insurance, medication and preferred physician information. It also contains a question and answer-based service that connects patients with specialists.

BetterDoctor (San Francisco). Created to enable consumers to make better decisions about their care and equipped with an application program interface that encourages collaboration, BetterDoctor's founders are focused on transparency in the healthcare marketplace. The app seeks to enable physicians to grow their practices by building an online presence and helps consumers locate clinicians near them using an algorithm that queries referral networks, education and experience. The company places an emphasis on innovation and encourages developers to access its comprehensive database and integrate using its application program interface.

Blue Star (Baltimore). WellDoc's FDA-cleared mobile app, BlueStar, is the first type 2 diabetes therapy to be made available only by prescription. BlueStar analyzes diabetes data entered by the patient, such as blood glucose levels. The software delivers summarized data and analytics to a patient's healthcare team and provides a self-management plan to help the patient improve their condition. Endocrinologist Suzanne Clough, MD, founded WellDoc in 2005 to empower diabetes patients in their day-to-day lives.

Burnout Proof (Seattle). Developed by Dike Drummond, MD — "The Happy MD" — this app is physician-tested and contains numerous resources and tools geared toward a single goal: reducing physician burnout. Burnout Proof falls into a much less-populated category of healthcare app aimed specifically at improving the physician experience by offering guided meditation and imagery for office use and "mini-trainings" for how to handle stress and feelings of burnout in healthcare settings.

CareConnect (Jacksonville, Fla.). Nemours Children's Hospital developed CareConnect to be the world's first pediatric-specific telemedicine app for mobile devices. The app enables face-to-face consultation with pediatricians around the clock, enabling parents to get answers about their child's care without having to bring them to an emergency room. Nemours offers the visits for $49 and can treat a range of standard urgent care issues. Clinicians can also e-prescribe using CareConnect.

CareZone (San Francisco). Visiting physicians for regular treatments can produce a lot of paperwork for patients to hold on to. CareZone aims to help patients avoid the clutter by offering a platform with which they can store and organize all pertinent notes, documents and appointment dates related to their care. The app can be used to manage one's own care or that of a family member, and it is automatically updated with medication information, relevant health news and a journal for documenting physician notes and updating others individuals with access to the information.

Dispatch Health (Denver). Users of the Dispatch Health app have a fleet of mobile emergency care teams at their fingertips that will be sent to deliver care at the push of a button. Dispatch Health cars and teams are equipped with certified lab equipment, medications, IVs and WiFi, and they are capable of handling a number of treatable acute conditions on site, including minor fractures, UTIs and lacerations. The company accepts most local insurance and will treat uninsured patients for a flat fee. At the moment, Dispatch Health is only offered in Denver, but the company has plans to expand to additional cities.

Docphin (New York). One of the day-to-day challenges physicians face is keeping up with the latest research and discussion pertinent to their specialties. Docphin aims to address this problem by tailoring the content clinicians want to see and sending it directly it to their smartphones or tablets. The app records user preferences and sends specialty- and topic-specific journal articles, authors and PDFs as they are released. Users have the option of subscribing to a premium service that enables advanced alerts and searches.

Doctor On Demand (San Francisco). Using a $40, pay-per-visit model, Doctor On Demand offers patients telemedicine visits via computer or smartphone. Beyond medical and pediatric care, the app includes a model for 25- and 50-minute psychology sessions as well as lactation consultations. Doctor On Demand was named among the 50 fastest growing digital health companies by Rock Health.

Doximity (San Francisco). With over 60 percent of U.S. physicians registered as members, Doximity's vertical social network has surpassed AMA membership in just three years. The company aims to design simple, in-demand tools to make clinicians' lives easier by sourcing problems from the user community and developing solutions. Doximity's app enables users to send HIPAA-compliant faxes, create interest groups, aggregate relevant news, track articles for CME credits and help with job hunts.

Epocrates (San Mateo, Calif.). Ranked the No. 1 medical reference app among U.S. physicians by Manhattan Research's Taking the Pulse study, Epocrates puts clinical practice guidelines, billing codes and medication information at physicians' fingertips. The app is part of athenahealth and includes a prescription interaction check feature, a database of peer-reviewed disease content and drug safety information, among others. Epocrates integrates with athenahealth's EHR and allows clinicians to share alerts about patients.

Everseat (Baltimore). At a time when many services are made easier by smartphones, making healthcare appointments still requires multiple phone calls and confirmations for many consumers. Everseat aims to solve this problem on both the physician and consumer end by enabling providers to fill open slots in their schedules and notifying patients when more desirable slots open up. Inside the app, users can find and schedule appointments, tag preferred care delivery sites and get directions to the nearest provider. Everseat partnered with athenahealth earlier this year to make its solution accessible for providers in the vendor's network.

FairCare (San Francisco). Consumers curious about whether they are receiving a fair market price for their care can use the FairCare app to determine just that. In addition to connecting to a nationwide database of prices and providers, the app encourages users to anonymously share the cost of care they've received to help others make decisions. It also enables users to find physicians and hospitals based on their location. FairCare is currently free.

Figure 1 (Toronto). Having been called "Instragram for doctors," Figure-1 is a free app that enables clinicians to share pictures of medical cases for purposes of education and collaboration. When a physician uploads a picture to the app, it can be viewed and commented on by all users in the Figure 1 community. The app may share uploaded photos with medical journals or other educational sites, in which case the uploading user will be notified and can choose to receive credit. All photos require consent from patients. No details or protected patient information are included with images, and images containing identifying details are not allowed.

FollowMyHealth Mobile (Chicago). Developed by Allscripts, the FollowMyHealth Mobile app offers users smartphone- and device-ready access to a mobile version of their EHR. The app integrates with Apple Health to automatically update information such as blood pressure, changes in weight and glucose readings. FollowMyHealth also includes capabilities such as bill pay, prescription requests, appointment management and secure, two-way messaging with physicians.

Heal (Santa Monica, Calif.). Heal is a mobile care delivery application that sends physicians to patients wherever they may be. Heal's physicians can be ordered for house calls when patients are sick, well and looking for a checkup, or in need of a new primary care physician. Uninsured patients pay a $99 flat fee and providers are on call seven days a week from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.

Healow (Westborough, Mass.). Created by eClinicalWorks, Healow — shorthand for "health and online wellness" — enables users to access data from all of their healthcare providers in one place, including a function that integrates information from multiple EHRs. Users can transfer their data between providers and view medical histories, and app also has appointment and prescription management components.

HealthLoop (Mountain View, Calif.). Designed with the goal of streamlining communication as much as possible, HealthLoop offers a set of tools to keep physicians and patients as connected as possible. The app enables automated check-ins that help monitor and guide patients, improve medication adherence and ensure that providers receive actionable information. HealthLoop is available for independent practices, multispecialty groups and health systems, with different specifications to integrate the app's infrastructure into any care setting. By automating follow-up care, the app aims to keep clinicians connected to patients between visits.

HealthTap (San Francisco). Offering a mobile directory containing more than 1.3 millions physicians, HealthTap enables users to connect with clinicians anywhere via video or text consultations using a pay-as-you-go plan. Physicians contacted through the app have the ability to refer to specialists, order lab tests and prescribe electronically for delivery at home. Additional features include thousands of customized checklists for health, lifestyle and pain management. It allows users to securely share data with their physicians and receive personalized feeds of tips, answers and relevant news daily.

Human Dx (San Francisco). The Human Diagnosis Project, a San Francisco-based group aiming to map every health problem on the planet into a genomic database, created the HumanDx app to collect information on patients and clinical cases. Clinicians using the app can access insights from colleagues and the medical community at large to apply knowledge to patient cases and treatments, accelerate learning and store anonymous data for reference and use. Users can update specific patient cases and view the cases others upload for help making complex diagnoses.

ICDEasy (New York). To make physician's lives a bit easier, ICDEasy enables them to input an ICD-9 code and spits out the corresponding ICD-10 code. It is available for $5.99 and integrates three types of code creation-translation settings, making codes searchable by keyword and chapter in addition to the existing ICD-9 version. The codes it pulls up include descriptions, and the app's search function is enabled even when a user does not have WiFi access, such as in a restricted access area or when off-network in a hospital.

Know My Patient (Boston). Designed to make patient information easily accessible to nurses on the go, Know My Patient makes that data accessible for reference in an app format. As nurses make rounds, they use verbal, paper-based and electronic information sources to learn about patients and their respective needs. The app enables them to move about more freely and to operate less tethered to a computer or paper file while offering frontline care.

LiveHealth Online (Indianapolis). The telemedicine platform for Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield customers, LiveHealth Online is a telemedicine app that enables two-way chat between patient and physician. Most health plans will cover the service for a co-pay of $49 per visit, and clinicians can provide prescriptions, review health records and send a visit summary to their primary care physician after using the service. The app is available for smartphones, tablets and computers.

Medscape (New York). The free Medspace app is a resource for physicians, nurses, medical students and other clinicians. It allows users to quickly look up medications and dosing guidelines, avoid adverse drug combinations and access a disease and condition reference database. The app is constantly updated with the latest news and provides resources for CME credits.

Medisafe (Boston). One in three prescriptions are never filled, and of those that are, only 50 percent of pills are actually taken, resulting in 125,000 deaths in the U.S. per year due to medication non-adherence. It's statistics like those that Medisafe's app aims to avert. Offering a "virtual pillbox," the app reminds users exactly when to take their prescription medications, how much of each to take and educates them about their conditions. Additionally, the free app curates prescription coupons, tracks progress and offers tips.

MyChart (Verona, Wis.). Epic Systems' app-based patient portal, MyChart is available for patient download, enabling them to access their medical records by smartphone or tablet. Although not all of the app's functions are available on mobile, it does allow patients to communicate with their physicians, view test results and medical history, manage appointments, upload health and fitness data and pay bills.

Pager (New York). Currently available in San Francisco and New York, Pager is a house call app, enabling users to page physicians for on demand care wherever they may be. The app's Nurse Chat feature connects users to nurses who help guide them to whichever Pager service would be most helpful. The app can be used to request a physician visit for flu shot administration, a phone consultation or an in-person visit, among other functionalities.

Patient IO (Austin, Texas). Available to patients of registered providers, Patient IO enables physicians to program daily tasks for patients based on their treatment plans, tracks which they follow and shares the information with their care team. Additionally, Patient IO sends push reminders for important health tasks and syncs with the native iPhone app Apple Health to enable seamless fitness and health tracking.

PillPack (Manchester, N.H.). A prescription management service, PillPack pharmacists manage user refills, including phone calls and fax follow-ups. The app includes a full schedule of which medications to take when and sends reminders before medications ship, enabling users to make changes to their orders. Users who don't use PillPack's full prescription management service are still able to use the app as a medication reminder program.

pingmd (New York). pingmd began as an app to help parents communicate with their children's pediatricians and has since grown into a multi-use communication platform. pingmd offers two-way messaging, call and video chat for providers to interface with referring networks, so physicians can collaborate by more quickly sharing pictures and information and patients spend less time waiting.

referralMD (San Francisco). referralMD's cloud-based web app aims to standardize referral network communication between primary care physicians and specialists. Capable of integrating across EMR platforms, the app provides real-time status updates, business intelligence and performance measurements to complete referral exchanges quickly and efficiently.

RevUp (San Diego). A product of MD Revolution, RevUp is a chronic pain management tool that enables patients to access, log and monitor their health information for improved care outcomes. The iOS app points to healthy behaviors — steps taken, healthy meals logged, medications recorded — to provide a holistic view of a patient's condition. With a personalized, customizable dashboard, the app provides a snapshot of the user's health status to enrich and empower the patient-provider relationship.

Sherpaa (New York City). Co-founded by Jay Parkinson, MD, and human resources worker, Cheryl Swirnow, the mobile app enables staff physician's to provide real-time medical advice to their clients' employees. Users may send a message and receive help making a diagnosis, prescribing drugs or determining if an emergency room visit is necessary. Staff physicians can also provide information concerning alternative treatments that are covered, or not covered, by a patient's insurance.

SmartConcierge (Chicago). The mobile app from Zest Health re-imagines the way patients access and navigate healthcare's broad array of choices while considering each member's payer benefits, cost profile and personal preferences. The app helps users understand health plans and benefit packages, schedule appointments and provides 24/7 support from registered nurses or benefits experts to help users make cost-conscious, quality-centered decisions.

Teladoc (Dallas). The nation's largest telehealth platform, Teladoc, resolves medical issues between patients and physicians via phone or video consults. Teladoc is the first telemedicine provider to reach 1 million telemedicine visits and is the only company certified by the National Committee for Quality Assurance for its physician credentialing process. Teladoc CEO Jason Gorevic was named Healthegy's "2015 Digital Healthcare Innovator of the Year".

Twine (Cambridge, Mass.). Twine helps clinicians provide continuous care to chronically ill patients through their devices, anytime, anywhere. The app collects data received from a patient's smart health monitoring devices, such as network-connected scales, glucose meters and blood pressure cuffs. This data is relayed to caregivers, giving them a comprehensive view of each patient's progress. The app then delivers a customized treatment plan to help patients better manage their health outcomes. Twine recently raised $6.75 million in venture funding to expand its services.

YouPlus (Los Angeles). Developed by a team of physicians, psychologists and MIT-trained computer scientists, the YouPlus mobile app provides daily lifestyle coaching to make healthy living easier. Science-driven exercise programs, meal recommendations for at-home or restaurant dining and restorative sleep advice provides users with personalized health guidance.

ZocDoc (New York). The online service helps patients schedule an appointment that will get them in front of a physician within 24 hours. With ZocDoc, users can see open appointment times at physician's practices across their area and book online instantly. Verified patient reviews can help users make informed care choices, and tailored reminder notifications allow users to stay on top of important checkups.

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