Citrus launches mobile app for The Alfred
DOCTORS hope a potentially life-saving iPhone app that puts the answer to common medical problems at users' fingertips will help make men more proactive about their health.
Developed by The Alfred hospital, myHealthMate is the first app of its kind to be launched by an Australian public hospital.
The app provides expert medical information on what to in situations ranging from chest pains and kidney stones to snoring and depression.
Medicos hope it will not only better inform patients, but help overcome men's reluctance to seek help from a GP.
A key feature of the app is a "symptom checker".
iPhone owners can tap on 20 highlighted areas of a male body to access detailed information designed to help self diagnose a range of ailments and what action to take.
The Alfred head of disease management, Dr Marco Bonollo, said with men representing more than 60 per cent of admissions every year, myHealthMate was created to encourage them to be more proactive about looking after themselves.
"It's a very real concern that men are over-represented as patients," Dr Bonollo said.
"MyHealthMate encourages men to find out more about any symptoms they are experiencing, rather than ignoring them until they possibly become larger problems."
Dr Bonollo stressed the app was not meant to be a substitute for a visit to the doctor.
"Every Australian male should become mates with his doctor," he said.
Dr Bonollo said the app was at the forefront of the changing nature of doctor patient relations.
He said many people researched often wildly inaccurate medical information on the web, with potentially dangerous consequences.
The new app contained links to reliable and up-to-date "evidence-based medicine" information approved by doctors designed to ensure patients are armed with the correct information about their health.
"This is a platform that is going to be fantastic in the future," Dr Bonollo said.
The app can be downloaded free from the Apple iTunes Store.