Original URL: http://www.theregister.co.uk/2011/06/07/app_of_the_week_android_nhs/

NHS Direct

Nurse, the screen...

By Alun Taylor

Posted in Phones, 7th June 2011 09:00 GMT

Android App of the Week Welcome to the Age of the Weak. Got a sniffle? It’s Bird Flu not a cold. Don’t want to get out of bed in the morning? You're not workshy, you've got SAD.

To combat this pathetic malingering - or at least to stop it jamming up GPs' switchboards - NHS Direct is now available on an Android - iOS too - smartphone near you.

NHS DirectNHS Direct

Now, what seems to be the trouble?

It gives you mobile access to the symptom checker that appears on the existing NHS Direct website.

Diagnosis starts from a basic set of problems such as abdominal pain, mental health or bites & stings. There are also sections for male and female sexual health problems - which, I suspect, will be the most commonly consulted.

Move further into each section and you will be asked for basic details such as the age and location of the patient. Further symptom-related questions are then posed with handy explanations along the way to avoid confusion. It's all straightforward and makes you wonder why GPs get paid so much.

NHS DirectNHS Direct

Relax. I'll need some information first. Just the basic facts. Can you show me where it hurts?

At any time you can back-pedal through the diagnostic procedure in case you end up at a screen that says you’ve got less than an hour to live and decide you have been over-egging the pudding when it came to just how odd you feel.

The doctor will see you now

At the end of the process, you can either view suggestions for self-care, arrange a call-back from a NHS Direct operator or be told to get yourself down to your nearest GP, A&E or funeral director toot sweet.

NHS DirectNHS Direct

Take two aspirins and see me in the morning

Most of the advice I found was helpful but some of the self-treatment options are laughably self-evident. First in the list of treatments of sunburn is... "move out of the sun".

What the app doesn’t do is bring up the location and details of your nearest hospital, doctor or Sexual Health Clinic in Google Maps. The information can be accessed through links to the NHS website, but that’s a clumsy approach in this day and age.

NHS DirectNHS Direct

I can't take him, he's not dead yet

Verdict

RH Recommended Medal

If you are worried about a nasty rash, an inflamed ear or a dose of the trots or clap or pox or heebie-jeebies, I can see NHS Direct laying a few minds to rest. Of course, what it can’t do is diagnose hypochondria. Or stupidity. ®

Installed Size 0.8MB
App2SD Yes

NHS Direct QR

NHS Direct

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