Infographic: Modern physicians go mobile

Medical/healthcare apps are the third-fastest growing app category – find out why

Mobile is all the rage with physicians today, even inspiring new lab coats to accommodate their multiple devices.

Three out of four physicians are using mobile apps at work, according to a 2014 report by MedData Group. There are now more than 10,000 apps available in the healthcare category, as physicians use mobile to save time, lower costs, and improve their quality of care.

With "three screen use" (tablets, smartphone and PCs) becoming the norm to help physician's research new technology and access specialty-quality content, we wanted to know what the most important app features are for physicians. We conducted a survey to find out which functionalities were most important  to them when using mobile apps to access their Elsevier journal content. This infographic includes results from that survey.


Our goal was to create a survey that covered many specialties, Elsevier titles, and competitor analysis. We received over 160 responses from around the world, including users from Scotland, India, Egypt and the Ukraine. They identified four key areas for improvement, and we will use these results to  benchmark performance over time. This survey also complimented qualitative data that was gathered from user interviews.

Summary of results

  • Physicians are 250 percent more likely to own a tablet than other consumers, and 76 percent of physicians use mobile at work to access work related content. They say it helps them save time, lower costs and generally offer improved quality of care.
  • The top three uses of journal mobile apps are:
    • The ability to read journals anytime, anywhere, with or without online access.
    • The ability to view and share images, including the pinch and zoom feature to get a closer look.
    • To access and download PDFs.
  • Medical journals remain the No. 1 source of information for physicians, and apps bring new advantages to the table and enhance the journal experience. For instance, mobile apps allow the user to watch videos or "pinch and zoom" on an image or chart/graph for a better look. The app also    allows easy access to archival issues and includes search to physicians can read up on a particular topic that is of interest to them. With mobile apps, physicians can take notes and highlight articles, then share those articles and notes with colleagues, either via email or through social media. The    ability to add rich interactive content, such as videos is another major advantage over traditional paper formats.

The infographic

We created this infographic to help physicians who haven't made the switch understand why their colleagues are using mobile—and for those who do to get the most out of their mobile app experience.

Infographic Physicians and Mobile Apps


Elsevier Connect Contributors

Chad Carpenter

Chad Carpenter is a Senior User Experience Specialist for Elsevier. He has been with the User Centered Design team since 2003. His focus has been on understanding the information needs of health practitioners, such as physicians, nurses and  pharmacists. Chad collaborates with designers, product teams and development teams to realize user interface designs that meet end user needs. He has been working in the mobile information domain since 2010.

Rebecca GreenRebecca Green is Marketing Communication Manager for Mobile Apps at Elsevier. She joined Elsevier  a year ago when her previous employer, Knovel, was acquired. At Knovel, she specialized in marketing for customer retention and developed an interest in product marketing and mobile apps. Rebecca collaborates with the product team, publishing groups  and other marketing managers to ensure that end users are offered the best possible app experience.

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