According to the “Mobile & Social Media Study: Physicians’ Views of Emerging Technology” report from SDI ( — a healthcare analytics organization — approximately 30% of physicians access medical information using a handheld device or smartphone. The most popular handheld device or smartphone is the iPhone, with 31% of respondents owning one.

Not surprisingly, 95% of physicians who use handheld devices/smartphones download applications to access medical information. The most popular application reported is Epocrates, followed by Medscape and Skyscape. The majority of handheld device/smartphone users also access medical information utilizing desktop and laptop computers.

However, the type of medical information physicians seek differs greatly by device. When using a handheld device or smartphone, physicians are most likely to access information about drugs, drug interactions, and prescribing. When using a computer, physicians are more likely to seek articles, abstracts, and continuing medical education-related information.

Handheld device/smartphone users generally access medical data more frequently than desktop/laptop users. For example, 52% of handheld users obtain medical information several times a day, compared to 37% of those using a desktop or laptop.