Published Tue, 2011-11-29 18:47; updated 34 weeks ago.
This app is extremely useful for getting NHS advice on the best course of action if you or someone you're with is unwell.
It is essentially a comprehensive range of symptom checkers addressing everything from rashes to dizziness.
You have to work through a series of questions to establish how you are feeling and what your complaint is. The app then provides a suitable course of action appropriate to the complaint. A range of advice can be given, including arranging a call back with an NHS advisor, or self-care information relevant to your situation.
You first have to enter some information such as age and sex before answering a range of questions about your symptoms. Depending on what is wrong, this can take varying lengths of time. The app then uses your answers to give you suitable advice.
- Health assessment tool you can carry around
- A broad choice of symptom checkers
- Self care advice tailored to your situation
- Option to save the advice you get so you can refer back to it
This app is functional and well-intended, but it is ultimately limited in what it can deliver. The NHS, quite rightly, has to be very careful about the advice it gives, so the feedback this app can deliver is restricted to a few, pre-approved courses of action.
It is never going to be a substitute for going to see a medical professional and it should not be used as such. The symptom checkers are thorough, but this means that they can take a fair amount of time to work through – it's best not to use them if you are in a lot of pain, bleeding heavily, or in any other situation which constitutes an emergency.
Despite all this, the range of symptom checkers should be applauded: clearly a lot of effort has gone into creating this app. It is also conveys information clearly and is very easy to use.
The most significant benefit of this app is that it can stop people with minor injuries and ailments from going to A&E unnecessarily, which benefits the patient and saves the NHS money.