Nov 282012

By letting doctors record patients’ symptoms with a single click, ClickClinica provides real-time global disease surveillance

There are more than half a million apps at the iPhone App store, and few human interests are uncatered for. You can download books, have a tour of the stars, and lob exploding birds at hunkered-down pigs.

Academics are now getting in on the app action. Earlier this month, researchers at Liverpool University launched ClickClinica, a free app for doctors. It brings together authoritative guidelines for handling medical issues, from bodies such as the World Health Organisation (WHO) and the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE), so doctors can check best practice before treating their patients.

But the app has a second feature that makes it more than a digital reference book. With a single click, a doctor can record what symptoms their patient has and the treatment they provided. Collect enough of these together, from around the world, and you get real-time global disease surveillance.

The app was developed by Benedict Michael, a National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) research fellow at the university’s Institute of Infection and Global Health. In its first month, more than 1,000 doctors downloaded ClickClinica.

And it is already proving useful. ClickClinica has recorded three new cases of TB in Britain – in the West Midlands and the North East – including one who developed meningitis. A further five cases of the severe brain infection, encephalitis, were picked up in the UK, as was a new case of H1N1 influenza.

Reports from doctors in other countries have helped the researchers identify nine new cases of HIV, in Kuala Lumpur, Penang and Galilee, and one case that required therapy for a drug-resistant virus.

Read more . . .

via The Guardian

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