“To fully realize the benefits of mobile health, the apps need to get smarter,” says Dr. Stephen J. Schueler, an emergency physician who led the team that created Virtual Doctor, a new iPhone app that helps people decide how to react when they have symptoms. Virtual Doctor is representative of a small, but specialized group of intelligent apps, called decision-support applications. Virtual Doctor performs a critical decision-making process, called symptom triage. “Performing triage is not the same as making a diagnosis,” says Schueler. “The goals of triage are to determine a person’s risk for serious illness, to assess how sick he or she is, and to decide when to seek care. In contrast, making a diagnosis requires a doctor to find the cause in order to select the right treatment. Most triage is performed outside the health care system, where consumers must decide when and where to seek care by themselves, with no physician input.”
LUBBOCK, TEXAS — Interim HealthCare of Texas and New Mexico, based in Lubbock, has released a new app
that allows users to uniquely access health information, right in the palm of their hand.