The NHS Direct service, which allows you to call up and check your symptoms online, can now be accessed through a handy app on your Android smartphone.
The app allows you to search from a wide range of symptoms from abdominal pain to whiplash and helps you determine a correct course of action by asking you a series of questions. At the end of the short questionnaire, you’ll be advised on whether you need to visit a GP, administer first aid yourself or visit a walk-in clinic.
The ‘Contact’ shortcut at the bottom is a quick dial short cut to 08454647 (the NHS Direct number) should you wish to talk to someone, and you also have ability to save medical advice in the ‘Guides’ section.
The app is nicely designed with information clearly and legibly displayed and pages loading quickly. We like the idea of having a resource of trusted medical information in our pockets.
It still doesn't quite turn our Android phone into a Tricorder, but it's the closest thing we've seen so far, so we'll take it.
Roger Donald, associate director of Multichannel, NHS Direct said in a statement: "The NHS Direct app has been developed in response to the popularity of this new mobile channel and to the specific needs of the growing number of patients who prefer to access health advice online...
Our online health and symptom checkers are already extremely popular and we hope making them mobile we will benefit more people and contribute to helping take pressure off other local NHS services."
We understand that the iPhone version of the app has been submitted to the App Store for approval and so should be ready to download within the next ten days or so.
UPDATE: The iPhone version is now available for download. Click on the link below.
We imagine that NHS Direct apps will be rolled out to other smartphone platforms in the future (Windows Phone 7, BlackBerry etc) should these apps prove as useful and popular as the desktop version.