Virtual Nurse – Birth Control for Android can sort general questions but needs more work

Purpose of the Review

We will review Virtual Nurse’s birth control app trying to answer the following questions:

  • Is this app helpful for women?
  • Does it provide valid information?
  • Should you recommend it to your patients?

Introduction

As health professionals it is always important that we impart information to patients in hopes that they will alter their behaviors and improve their health status. Patients need to know when, how, and why they need to make a lifestyle change.

However, not all subjects can be covered on a routine visit so having other reliable sources of information patients can check does help us perform better.

Virtual Nurse attempts to help patients triage their concerns and decide when should they make an appointment with their physician. This app was developed by Senstore and the medical content was provided by Harvard Medical School.

User Interface

We start the app and after the loading screen fades away we meet “Alice”, the Nurse in Virtual Nurse. The automaton-like voice asks us to tap on the microphone to speak our concern or we can just select it from a list.

Alice then walks us through a series of questions guiding us and clarifying concepts in a  simple and easy to follow manner.

We can tap on the top right corner “i” icon to find the about section. A medical disclaimer is nowhere to be found. This is quite odd considering Senstore got their information from Harvard Medical School.

Price

  • Free

Likes

  • App’s user interface is friendly
  • Information is reliable

Dislikes

  • Does not have a disclaimer
  • No source for information is mentioned inside the app

Conclusion

  • In general terms the app does an OK job. It provides information regarding birth control that women will find useful and the guiding questions are clear. It serves as starting point but does not give a final answer.
  • The lack of a medical disclaimer is quite alarming considering that the app is in fact giving medical information. Virtual Nurse could really use a bit more work and needs a little polishing if it aims to serve as patients’ first step towards medical help.

iMedicalApps recommended?

  •  Yes, but on a patient by patient basis.

Google Play Link

Rating: (1 to 5 stars): 3/5

  • User interface – 3
  • Multimedia usage – 3
  • Price - 5
  • Real world applicability - 2

Disclaimer:
This post does not establish, nor is it intended to establish, a patient physician relationship with anyone. It does not substitute for professional advice, and does not substitute for an in-person evaluation with your health care provider. It does not provide the definitive statement on the subject addressed. Before using these apps please consult with your own physician or health care provider as to the apps validity and accuracy as this post is not intended to affirm the validity or accuracy of the apps in question. The app(s) mentioned in this post should not be used without discussing the app first with your health care provider.

Author:

Guido Giunti, MD Follow Me

2 Responses to Virtual Nurse – Birth Control for Android can sort general questions but needs more work

  1. Antony Evans February 7, 2013 at 2:30 pm #

    Hello,

    I’m the developer of this app. This particular version of the app was just a beta test and will be retired shortly. The complete version of the app was launched a few weeks ago and can be downloaded from Google Play here:
    https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.senstore.alice.harvard

    The full version of course includes a medical disclaimer and more information on the app content. I would welcome any comments on the full version.

    Regards,
    Antony

    • Guido Giunti February 8, 2013 at 12:17 pm #

      Hello Antony,
      Thanks for letting us know. I’ll install the full version and check it out.
      Cheers

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