Phone app can identify disease outbreaks

Nov. 26, 2012 at 6:02 PM
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LIVERPOOL, England, Nov. 26 (UPI) -- Scientists in Britain have created a cellphone app for doctors they say can map disease outbreaks by logging patient diagnoses and treatments.

Researchers at Liverpool University have launched ClickClinica, a free app for doctors that contains authoritative guidelines for handling medical issues so doctors can check best practice before treating their patients, The Guardian reported Monday.

But more than just a digital reference book, it creators said, it allows doctors to record what symptoms their patient has and the treatment they provided, data that can, when collected worldwide, provide real-time global disease surveillance.

Already proving its effectiveness, ClickClinica has recorded three new cases of TB in Britain, five cases of the severe brain infection encephalitis and a new case of H1N1 influenza, The Guardian said.

"Notification of many major infectious diseases is required from junior doctors, who are often unaware of which cases to notify, who they are supposed to notify, how they are supposed to do it," said Benedict Michael, the app's developer.

"Even those with adequate knowledge of the process can find it time consuming when also dealing with the welfare of their patient and other important administrative duties."

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