Epic, athenahealth & more offer app stores — Here's how many apps they offer

Although consumer app stores — such as Google Play or Apple's App Store — are widely known among the general public, the healthcare industry has been slow to adopt its own app stores, according to a report by market research firm Chilmark Research.

Healthcare app stores serve as online marketplaces for physicians or patients to access relevant applications. The most common developers of these marketplaces are EHRs vendors, which connect providers with apps from third-party developers that run on their software infrastructure. However, some large providers are also exploring app stores for their patient populations.

Here's a breakdown of app stores offered by four of the most popular EHR vendors, ranked by their app count as of July:

  • More Disruption Please, athenahealth Marketplace (athenahealth): 214
  • Allscripts Developer Program, Allscripts Application Store (Allscripts): 200
  • Open Epic, App Orchard (Epic): 73
  • Cerner CODE, Cerner App Gallery (Cerner): 21

eClinicalWorks offers its eClinicalWorks Open Interoperability platform to help third-party developers build patient-facing apps that operate in the EHR vendor's network, the report notes. However, eClinicalWorks has not released a formal app store program.

Most apps available on app stores today are targeted toward patients; however, they tend to be underutilized, according to the report. Apps for clinicians are more limited, despite strong demand for the products.

"As [application programming interface] programs expand in scope and acceptance, healthcare app stores will gain interest and amass larger catalogs," the report reads. "The research conducted for this report provides evidence that the number of developers, the number of companies involved, and the number and variety of available apps will increase over time."

To download Chilmark Research's report, click here.

More articles on EHRs & interoperability:
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Meditech adds PDMP access to Expanse EHR
Pew, AMA: 6 components to consider when assessing EHR safety, usability

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