Announcing Our New Self-Care App
The Symptom Checker puts self-care in the palm of your hand. This easy to use and customizable app provides over 100 adult and pediatric symptom self triage protocols and 55 illustrated first aid topics. The guidelines in our Symptom Checker are used by over 90% of North American clinical contact centres and have supported more than 150 million nurse telephone triage calls.
We know that Over 70% of Canadians search the internet for health information and according to a study from Catalyst, 68% of Canadians now use a smart phone compared with 55% in 2014. In order to capitalize on this trend and to help people that want to be an informed owner of their health, we have launched Canadian versions of the extremely popular web and mobile healthcare applications from Selfcare Decisions. These tools developed for the internet and the Android and IOS mobile operating systems provide a one stop shop for information on health problems. It also helps users decide where to go to get care based on the issues they are facing. Many conditions do not require a trip to the hospital and the long waits and unnecessary procedures that this often entails. In many cases people just want to find out what their problem might be on their own. If after using the app they are still not certain, the sponsor of the program can easily provide an automatic link to a healthcare call centre where they can speak to a registered nurse at any time, day or night.
Sykes Assistance Services has chosen to create a Canadian version of the Selfcare Decisions application for several reasons:
- The Selfcare Decisions application is available for both the web and for the Apple (IOS) and Android operating systems making it available to almost anyone who has access to a computer or a smart phone
- The smart phone app can be used when there is no internet connection available,
- The Schmitt-Thompson triage protocols that are used in the app are the same as those that have been used by our nurses since 2003 allowing us to provide continuity in our assessments and advice.
- A key feature of the app is the user's ability to share their results with others including the triage nurse at a health call centre. This makes the solution efficient and seamless in any jurisdiction that has implemented both services"Symptom checkers that used the Schmitt-Thompson nurse triage protocols were more likely to provide appropriate triage decisions1"
- Based on the evidence the protocols used in the Symptom Checker are the most effective available.1
To make these tools available in Canada we have created a customized version of the health content based on Canadian healthcare practices and regulations. In addition since we have used the clinical symptom assessment protocols ourselves for over twelve years we have further customized many of the protocols based on feedback from our team of Medical Advisors and from the use of this content to support over 12 million callers since 2003.
The App includes:
- A user experience based on your brand, colours and strategy (see screen shots of the app using our CareCoach® brand below)
- Customizable content to support way finding, navigation and localized health information and advice
- A personal space to store key health contacts and information on problems, allergies and medications
- A tool to support sharing of the data with care partners, healthcare providers or a triage nurse at a healthcare facility or telephone triage service
The service can come as part of our end-to-end telehealth service or you can license it as a stand alone mobile or web based application for use in your own program.
1. In a recent review of mobile symptom checkers in the British Medical Journal the authors found: "Symptom checkers that used the Schmitt-Thompson nurse triage protocols were more likely to provide appropriate triage decisions than those that did not: 72% (95% confidence interval 60% to 84%) v 55% (50% to 59%)" : BMJ 2015;351:h3480