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Mobile health app and improved diagnosing

Doctors in New Jersey have many tools, including mobile health applications, they can use to help test and diagnose patients. Researchers at the Centers for Disease Control and Baylor College of Medicine have explored whether using one particular app, the PTT Advisor created by the CDC, can enhance testing and diagnostic decisions regarding bleeding and coagulation disorders.

Ordering the right tests and making diagnoses for some hematologic disorders can very difficult. While there are a growing number of health apps physicians can use, and the ease at which physicians are able to use them is improving, it can be difficult for them to know exactly which apps can serve as effective diagnostic tools.

To determine how to evaluate mobile health apps, the researchers first consulted literature to find methodologies that had already been proven. When none was found, they created a methodology to serve as a foundation for evaluating the effectiveness of the apps.

Eight vignettes that were taken from actual and difficult clinical cases were used to evaluate the PPT Advisor. The chosen cases prompted physicians to make decisions about diagnosing and ordering clinical laboratory tests.

The decision-making of the physicians was evaluated as they used either the PPT Advisor or the customary clinical decision tools, such as text, internet or personal resources. Each of the 46 participating physicians solved half of the vignettes with the app as an aide and the other half using their typical clinical decision support tools.

An attorney who practices medical malpractice law may assist clients with obtaining financial compensation for misdiagnoses that resulted in a worsened medical condition, delayed treatment or unnecessary treatment. The negligent physicians and the health care facility in which they work may be sued to be held financially liable for the failure to diagnose potentially deadly hematologic disorders.

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