It's 2012 and WebMD, one of the web's leading medical information sources, has decided to get its affairs in order and finally brush up its Android application to implement those cool holo design ideas that Google unveiled back in October 2011. Waiiiiiit. Checks calendar. Refreshes time & date. Checks calendar again. I'll be damned, it's 2015!
But let's not call the Material Police just yet. I've attended medical lectures in this decade presented with the Comic Sans font — by comparison, Holo is the peak of modernism. And let's just say that the folks in the medical profession are more concerned with their cells than their pixels. Priorities: genetic code > computer code, treatment guidelines > design guidelines, and reanimating people > animating FABs. It's not like the drug would have less side effects if the information was presented in cards, or your medical condition would get any easier to treat if you could browse your way to it with a hamburger menu.
So with that in mind, let's take a second to commend WebMD for actually digging its app out of the Froyo (Eclair? Donut?) era. Only a few days ago, it looked like... this:
So the "enhanced design" is definitely a major leap forward. It makes the app look less like a joke and more like something you won't mind using if you frequently require more detailed medical information than what's provided in Google's new knowledge cards.
The updated app also gained a new icon and landscape support, which will be very useful on tablets, along with a bunch of new features that bring it closer to its parent website. Medical terms, tests, procedures, and an expanded search function are available now. Of course the app keeps its signature features: the symptom checker, pill identifier, local listings for doctors, pharmacists, and hospitals, and detailed information for all drugs and conditions are all still there.
- A new enhanced design and support for landscape view.
- Expanded Search: Search the entire WebMD site directly from the home screen
- Medical Terms: Easily access a glossary of common medical terms
- Test & Procedures: Look up common tests and procedures to learn more about each one
- Performance enhancements and bug fixes
WebMD is free on the Play Store and well worth an install if you're a health professional, student, or intern, or even if you or your relatives suffer from certain conditions that require frequent management. It's an invaluable source that I often go back to when I need to brush up on my knowledge as a pharmacist or when I come across new drugs or diseases.
Alternate title: WebMD Changes Its Treatment Guidelines From Froyos To Ice Cream Sandwiches. More Studies Are Needed Before Recommending Lollipops.
Alternate title: WebMD Dismissively Says, "I'm The MD And No, That Doesn't Mean What You Think It Means."