By Nick Taylor
A year is a long time in mobile. Last October when FierceBiotech IT rounded up the top apps in life sciences, the industry was just coming to terms with the potential of mobile devices. Now life science software providers are waking up to the fact that mobile is more than an opportunity, it is a necessity. It is increasingly hard to envisage a successful software company that lacks a mobile strategy.
This realization goes right to the top, where the big beasts in eClinical are making mobile moves. Just last month Medidata ($MDSO) introduced an iPhone app, Patient Cloud, to extend its data collection capabilities. Meanwhile its chief rival, Oracle ($ORCL), has brought clinical analytics software to the iPad. Expect to see more developments in 2013, by which time Microsoft hopes to have established Windows 8 as a credible rival to Apple and Android devices. A successful launch would provide a boost to BioClinica, which as a Microsoft partner is an early mover in Windows 8 life science apps.
Regardless of the success of Windows 8 the range of apps will continue to diversify, especially as phone and tablet makers add new device capabilities. Researchers can now convert iPads into tools for simulated chemical manipulation with the Dotmatics Elemental app, or electronic lab notebooks using irisnote. Nature turned to the iPad to make sense of the mass of information generated by the ENCODE project, while 23andMe is using iPhones to expand its new approach to data collection.
These apps show just how broad and innovative the life science mobile world has become. Yet each is trying to solve the same critical problem--how can we make drug development more efficient? Here we present 15 mobile apps that tried to answer that question in 2012. Click here to view the slideshow >>