Mobile Apps & Resources: Epocrates

To keep you updated on the go, our ‘app of the month’ highlights one free informational app every month!

Librarian reviewers consider the audience and purpose of the apps, as well as highlighting additional features:
  • In the ‘Evidence’ section, we assess how easily an app user can identify the app’s currency and support from the evidence
  • In the ‘Usability’ section, we assess the organization of information and other usability factors that may contribute to user experience

Our complete grading criteria for evidence and usability are embedded in the review.

Please note that the reviewers are not healthcare professionals, and so cannot appraise the quality of any recommendations within the app. The reviews are not endorsements.

View the AHS policy on Mobile Wireless Devices and Services.






Marcus Vaska & Nicole Loroff

Version reviewed


Device & OS used

iPad iOS 11.0.2 

Date of review

December 27, 2017 (MV) / January 10, 2018 (NL)





Image Source: Epocrates, iTunes. ​Retrieved on January 19, 2018 from​

App developer

Epocrates, Inc.  


Comments and suggestions:
Questions on clinical content: 


iPhone, iPad and iPod touch
iOS 8.0 or later 
last updated December 11, 2017  

Android OS 4.0 and up 
last updated December 15, 2017

Country of origin

United States


127 MB


No specific specialty listed  


Clinicians and other health care professionals


Stated Purpose

According to the description in the App Store, the free version of Epocrates allows users to:

• Review drug prescribing and safety information for thousands of brand, generic, and OTC drugs
• Check for potentially harmful drug-drug interactions among up to 30 drugs at a time
• Identify pills by imprint code and physical characteristics
• Access timely medical news and research information
• Find providers for consults and referrals in the Provider Directory
• Select national and regional health care insurance formularies for drug coverage information
• Perform dozens of calculations, such as BMI and GFR
•Coordinate care securely with HIPAA-compliant text messaging


Notes None



Part 1: Editorial committee, content updates, and evidence grading

No information on the editorial committee for clinical content in Epocrates Dx (free version) is provided. Names of content editors for Epocrates Lab (paid upgrade feature) are listed. The app’s content is updated on a continuous basis. The user is given the option to “Update” or refresh the content

Part 2: Source and authorship information for 3 entries

Tylenol Arthritis Pain links to Alternatives & Drug Interactions (separate sections of the app); Diabetes Type Predictor TreeCalc contains links to source PubMed citations at bottom of entry; Influenza Antiviral Chemoprophylaxis: 2017-2018 CDC/ACIP Recommendations – Epocrates Guideline Synopsis contains link to original CDC source provided in “Resources” tab.

No author information with any of the entries.

Organization of information

Categorization clearly defined, organized, efficient, and intuitive.







App’s navigation is simple and uncomplicated. Hierarchy of information is easy to navigate. Entries themselves (depending on the category of information) are well organized, and related external links are easily accessible. Guidelines, calculators, and tables also have simple, intuitive design/navigation.  Each category is sub-divided making it easy to locate desired information.

Customization options are dependent on the type of entry. Drug Rx entries are given the options to: “Add to Interaction Check”, “Add to Favorites”, “Add a Note”. Table entries also offer to “Add to Favorites” and “Add a Note”. Customizations are not offered for Guidelines and Calculator entries.

Internet connection required for use: Yes; Text search field: Yes; Browsable content: Yes; Advertisements: No; Pop-up advertisements: No; In-app purchases: Yes





App has a devoted section to calculators. Organized into the categories: “Dosing Calculator”, ‘Dose Driven IV-Drip Rate Calculator”, “By Specialty/Category”, “Medical Equations”, “Clinical Criteria”, “Decision Trees”, “Units and & Dose Converters”. Drug classes; prescriptions.