One of the key problems during many consultations is having enough time to thoroughly go through a diagnosis with the patient.
This problem is exacerbated in general practice where there are often time pressures on physicians to complete consultations quickly.
One way physicians complement their treatment and management is using leaflets which patients can take away and read at their leisure.
One of the premium websites for this which offers a huge range of leaflets for free is Patient.co.uk. This site has now released a mobile app form of their website which has been in the top 10 iTunes List for a number of weeks now.
The Universal app opens to reveal four major tabs:
- Condition leaflets
- Medicine leaflets
- Patient plus leaflets
- Local services (England only)
The conditions leaflet splits into an a-z list which contains a large number of patient leaflets.
The quality of these leaflets is high and they are often accessible containing a large amount of content which is often supplemented by diagrams.
One of the strengths of this app is the ability to export the leaflet via a range of media options including email, Facebook and Twitter. I am not convinced that Facebook is the ideal medium to communicate patient information and the lack of a print option is noticeable.
In order to access the medicine or condition leaflets, the user is required to subscribe with an in-app purchase. However, a bug on the app means that the cost of this cannot be seen. It should be pointed out that the leaflets are available on the Internet for free.
The following information is based on the website:
The medicine leaflets present information related to a particular drug and includes common facts such as what it is used for, side effects, how to take the drug etc. This is a useful resource for patients particularly if they are experiencing side effects and want to work out which drug is causing the problem.
The “patientplus” leaflets are designed for healthcare professionals and thus are different in terms of the language used. These are also available for free on the website and contain useful information to quickly recap a particular condition. Information provided is similar to that found in other medical resources such a Medscape.
One of the major drawbacks of this app is the inclusion of advertisements which constantly occupy part of the screen. A number of user reviews have pointed out that these ads easily convince users to part with money.
- Free, although an in-app purchase is required
- Large range of conditions included
- Leaflets for both patients and healthcare professionals
- Ability to email leaflets to patients
- Advertisements included
- Certain sections are UK only
- Need an in-app purchase to access certain leaflets but can’t tell how much subscription is
Healthcare providers that would benefit from the app
- Primary healthcare physicians
- Trainees and medical students.
- Any other healthcare professionals who disseminate patient education information
- Patient.co.uk is a fantastic website for clinicians to refer too. The mobile app seems to be plagued with problems and is not as useful as the website due to uncertain in-app purchases and the addition of advertisements which quite frankly ruin the credibility and appeal of any medical app.
- App = No, Website = Yes
Rating: (1 to 5 stars): 2.75/5
- User interface – 2
- Multimedia usage – 2
- Price – 3
- Real world applicability – 4