Omnio: A Purse, or Man Purse, for All Physician Information Resources
It’s called Omnio, named for what its creators call its omnipresent capabilities. Omnio was designed to be the ultimate app that doctors can whip out for both their work and leisure needs. Physicians Interactive, an information resource company, formally debuted Omnio today in the App Store.
New health care apps launch all the time, but few launch right into Apple’s Top 10 Free iPad Medical Apps from the start and stay there. Omnio was introduced in a soft launch back in December and has since proved to be popular with physicians, especially for an app that no one is supposed to know about yet.
The free app is available just for the iPad right now. Two of its main functionalities include drug reference and calculator tools, which can be customized to the user. Upon installation of the app, physicians indicate their specialty and subspecialty, and Omnio automatically sets them up with a default homepage based on how they identify themselves. Right away they can start adding to their homepage. For example, they can bookmark to the main page the drugs that they most frequently look up for interaction and dosing information.
The designers’ intent was to make sure that whatever physicians need to reference isn’t more than a click away when they are at the bedside or in the office. Users can also place information in an easy to reach place for when they’re not on the job.
“The beauty of this application, regardless if it’s a calculator, a drug or a chapter in a book, is that I can bookmark anything and add it to the homepage,” Gautam Gulati, MD, Chief Medical & Innovation Officer and SVP Product Management at Physicians Interactive, said. Gulati calls Omnio a little black bag. It can also be thought of as Mary Poppins’ purse, which she used to pull out anything she needed when she needed it.
The leisure aspect of Omnio is its learn tab, which lets physicians use RSS-like feeds to follow the latest news pertaining to their specialty or to medical practice in general. Another feature doctors can use in their downtime is the store, which Gulati said will serve as an amazon.com for medical professionals.
Many doctors know that this isn’t Physicians Interactive’s first app release of this kind. PI created Skyscape, which has been around since 1999 for the PalmPilot and Apple Newton. Today it still exists as a smartphone and tablet app. Part of the reason Omnio already has been successful is that Skyscape users have been seeing advertisements to try the new app.
Omnio was built on much of the same information that’s in Skyscape, but it was created with much more of a design focus. “Over the course of time we’ve learned a lot from our user base,” Gulati said. “Twelve, thirteen plus years, feedback from users, understanding how they engage with different types of content.”
Lots of updates are in store for Omnio. One thing the PI team learned in its research is that physicians look to peers within their specialty to provide trustworthy information. In a future version of Omnio users will be able to see what news sources, blogs and journals other physicians are reading. Gulati said users can also look out for an iPhone app in the summer and an Android version to follow.