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11 January 2013
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Q. Is putting time and money into writing medical apps for smartphones and tablets a good idea?

A. There are tens of thousands of people worldwide creating all kinds of mobile apps, hoping to make a living out of it. There are currently thousands of apps for all kinds of chronic diseases, patient information, wellness, medical calculators and medication. If you have a bright idea for a medical app, you must first see if it exists already. If not, you should then consider your business plan. How are you going to market this product to get people to buy it in sufficient quantities to make a profit? Hundreds of new apps come on the market every day and most sink without a trace. What is your potential audience and how much will they pay? What are the costs for product development, testing, support and upgrades? If you wish to develop an app for altruistic reasons, for fun, or you have a big financial backer to fund the project, then go ahead. But if you think you can give up the day job, think again.