A new iPhone application which empowers patients to make more informed decisions and better manage their health has been launched.
The application, named Wellnote by Dr. Darzi, is the first smartphone health portal of its kind which allows patients to rate the healthcare services they use, as well as maintain their own health records and set medication and appointment reminders.
Developed by Professor Lord Ara Darzi and his team at Imperial College London and Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust, the technology allows users to anonymously rate healthcare services in England in the same way that music can be rated on iTunes. These scores, along with official ratings by the governments Commission for Care Quality (CQC), are then available for all users to see and compare.
Users can also enter their medical history onto the application, including any medical problems, allergies and test results. This information can then be easily emailed to their doctor or showed to a clinician in the event of an emergency.
The application has a list of more than 2,000 medications to help patients enter their prescriptions. Users can create alerts to remind them when to take which tablets a particularly useful feature given that up to half of patients do not take their medication correctly.
Wellnote by Dr. Darzi also allows users to add health appointments directly to their iPhone calendar and set reminders. Almost 10 percent of NHS appointments are missed, at a cost of around £600million a year.
Professor Darzi, Chair of the Institute of Global Health Innovation at Imperial College London and consultant surgeon at Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust, said: "Wellnote will empower the public by giving them the tools they need to make informed decisions about their health and wellbeing.
"By designing a new way for patients to share their knowledge based on personal experience, we will continue to drive up the quality of healthcare services in this country.
"We want the public to use the application in a similar way to how they use online hotel and restaurant rating sites."
Michael OConnor, a 27-year-old diabetes patient who trialled the app, said Wellnote by Dr. Darzi is very useful for helping to manage his condition.
"I occasionally forget to take my insulin but as I always have my phone close to hand, the medication reminder service is very helpful," he said. "Also, I am away from home a lot so it is very useful to use the application to find local healthcare services especially in an emergency."
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Wellnote by Dr Darzi is free to download and is available on the Apple store.