Mobile Apps & Resources: Medscape


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.






Nicole Loroff & Catherine Young

Version reviewed

Apple iPhone Version 5.11.6; Android App Version 4.8.1

Device & OS used

Apple iPhone 8, iOS 11.4.1 (Nicole); Samsung Galaxy Tablet E 9.6", Android 7.1.1 (Catherine)

Date of review

August 24, 2018



Image Source: Medscape, Apple App Store. ​Retrieved on September 5, 2018 from

App developer

WebMD, LLC. 



No specific contact information is listed in-app. However, in the Help section under the general menu, there is an option to link to the Online Help Center, which further links to a Contact Us page on the main Medscape website:



iPhone, iPad, and iPod Touch 

Requires iOS 10.0 or later


Last updated August 22, 2018 (version 5.11.7)

Android phones and tablets

Require 4.0.3 and up

Last updated August 6, 2018 (version 4.8.1)

Country of origin


United States





30 MB (Android), 54.3 MB (Apple)


The app covers a wide range of medical specialties and disciplines.


The purpose statement for Medscape specifically mentions physicians, medical students, and nurses as the primary audience, but the robustness of the app makes it appeal to a variety of health care professionals.


Stated Purpose  

 “Medscape provides fast and accurate clinical answers at the point-of-care and is the leading medical resource for physicians, medical students, nurses, and other healthcare professionals. 

Using Medscape Consult, physicians can access a community of more than 250K physicians worldwide to share cases, ask questions, and benefit from their knowledge and diverse experiences. Discuss clinical challenges and crowdsource the answers in a 24/7 moderated environment.”


 Medscape can be downloaded for free but does require new users to register for an account.

The app is available in English, German, Spanish, French, and Portuguese. 


According to the About page in-app:

“Medscape Mobile provides the most comprehensive set of tools to support clinicians with all of their professional needs, including decision-making support at the point-of-care, medical news and perspectives from thought leaders across medicine, engaging CME courses to support professional development, and much more.”

The About page can be found in the Help tab under the general menu. 


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

It appears that Medscape has multiple editorial or advisory boards for the various medical specialties it covers. There is no information regarding specialty editorial/advisory committee(s) or forwarding links available in-app. Individual entries that do include author information also list the chief editor responsible for the entry; affiliations and disclosures are stated. However, the inclusion of author and editor information is not consistently applied in some sections for the app.

No grading system was used in the development of materials. 

Part 2: Source and authorship information for 3 entries

Overall, each entry under Conditions and Procedures is well organized and supported, with clear indication of where relevant evidence is being used and sourced from. However, the same attention to detail is not afforded to other parts of the app. In particular, the drug monographs (under the Drugs section) are said to be based on FDA labelling information and other primary medical literature, but there is no references or in-text citations included.   



Organization      of information


The app has a simple and easy to understand organization. The home page (Drugs & Diseases) provides the following navigation:

  • Drugs
  • Conditions
  • Procedures
  • Drug Interaction Checker
  • Pill Identifier
  • Calculators
  • Formulary
  • Directory

A drop-down general (top left corner) menu also provides access to:

  • Drugs & Diseases
  • News & Perspective
  • CME & Education
  • Specialties (selection customizes news on homepage)
  • Invitations
  • Saved Content
  • Data Updates
  • Help/Feedback
  • Notifications


In regard to content, the various subsections under Drugs & Diseases (the main portion of the app), are also well organized into different parts that are easy to understand and navigate.












Navigation is mainly hierarchical, with content categorized based on intuitive topics that narrow as the user moves along the pathway to find specific information. There is also back arrow provided throughout, so that navigating back to the home page is quick and easy. ​



Medscape provides a number of customization options:

  • Saved list of articles, drugs
  • Share content via email or Facebook
  • Adjust text size
  • Add a drug monograph to the interactions module
  • Push preferences – follows, replies, mentions
  • Medical specialty selection (customizes News & Perspective and CME & Education parts of the app. Located in general menu)
  • Formulary (only for US states)

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



There are over 100 calculators available relating to a variety of conditions, which also include notes and references.

Drug monographs are a major part of the app, however, as mentioned previously, supporting evidence for the monographs is unclear. 

Additional notable features include a Drug Interaction Checker for quick reference of potential negative interactions between two or more known medications, and a Pill Identifier for unknown medications.