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PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — Your kid is sick and you want to know what’s wrong. There’s an app for that.
“This is an application that parents can go to, they can trust. It’s Children’s Hospital, it’s physicians from Children’s, they’ve looked at what’s out there, they can trust the information and the guidance that they’re getting,” Dr. Raymond Pitetti, an emergency room physician, said.
Children’s is one of the first pediatric hospitals in the nation to have its own app. The idea is to help parents take care of injuries and illnesses with something already in their pocket: a cell phone.
You can enter a symptom from an alphabetical list, body part or keyword search.
Based on clinical protocols used by doctors and nurses from practices and advice call centers, you can get a recommendation.
“It may be as simple as we recommend that you put ice on it, rest the limb, elevate the limb for 24 to 48 hours, follow up with your pediatrician if things don’t get better in 48 hours,” explains Dr. Pitetti, “or it might say based on the symptoms, unable to move the leg, numbness, you need to go to the emergency department now.”
When it comes to self care, you can access doses for over-the-counter medicines, pictures to help you figure out rashes and first aid illustrations.
“I don’t think they’ll bypass the doctor all together,” says Dr. Pitetti. “I think what it’s going to do is provide them a little bit of clarity about when to call their physician.”
Of course, the app also includes directions to a Children’s Express Care Center and a way to request doctors’ appointments online.
Right now, you can download this free on iPhones, iPads, and iPod touches. Since its launch March 9, it has been downloaded more than a thousand times. Children’s is also working on an app for droids. That is expected to be available within 90 days.