When you were a kid and you came down with a stomach flu, you scraped your knee running around the neighborhood, or you burned your hand on a hot coil on the stove, you ran to your mom trusting that she would know how to fix it. And somehow she always did, whether she gave you some cola syrup, disinfected a cut, held your hand under running water and then slathered on some aloe, or rushed you to the doctor’s office or hospital for care. Now that you’re an adult, of course, you realize that your mother was probably panicking on the inside, although she did a great job of hiding it. While most of us can use the knowledge passed down by parents or teachers to treat basic ailments once we get to be adults, the truth is that the vast majority of the population lacks definitive medical know-how, which is not a surprise considering how many years of schooling are required to become a doctor. But with the wide world of apps at our fingertips, it’s easier than ever to find the information you need when you suffer from an illness or injury. And the iTriage application can be a great help.
Users will no doubt note that the disclaimer for this app is extensive, likely to curb liability issues that have plagued other applications of a medical nature. But aside from the fact that you may want to take the proffered advice with a grain of salt, this app actually provides a lot of useful data. And it doesn’t hurt that all the medical info was reviewed by Harvard Medical School for accuracy. So what kind of information can you find in this app designed for self-diagnosis? It starts simply enough by entering your symptoms, which you can do in a couple of ways.
When you select the “symptoms” function in the app you’ll be routed to a screen containing a drawing of the human body. You can select the gender and then rotate the body to choose the area from which symptoms are emanating, whether you are suffering from stomach pain, sinus pressure, or a bug bite on your leg, for example. From there you will get a listing of potential symptoms associated with the area so that you can narrow your search. Or you can simply skip the dummy and go straight to the symptom list to start perusing. Once you have finished making your selections you can be informed of possible conditions that fit the bill to see whether or not you need to go to the hospital. Keep in mind that this app is not a substitute for seeing an actual doctor, though. So if you’re not sure you might want to use the hotline function to call someone who can help you make a determination about how to proceed.
That said, the app is designed to help you find the care you need when you’re ailing, which is why it will suggest treatments, doctors, and facilities in your area that could help you with your problem. And it provides useful information like average wait times, as well as allowing you to check in remotely at select emergency rooms when you’re on your way (potentially shortening your wait time). You can even enter health information like your insurance data, listings of your preferred healthcare providers, and appointments that you currently have scheduled. Whether you need to diagnose a bug bite, you can’t stop vomiting, or you’re scheduled to get a Stryker hip replacement, this free app for Apple devices can offer solutions that help you find the treatments and doctors you need and make and keep appointments. It’s like having a doctor in your pocket and then some.
Thanks to Evan Fischer for this guest post. He is a freelance writer and part-time student at California Lutheran University in Thousand Oaks, California.