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Mobile apps could improve diagnostic accuracy

Mobile health applications may help Hawaii doctors make more accurate medical diagnoses, according to a study published in the Journal of the American Medical Informatics Association. The study was conducted by researchers from the Baylor College of Medicine and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

According to the authors of the study, physician-focused apps are becoming more common in the health care industry, but no research had been done to determine their effectiveness. To address the problem, researchers developed a method to evaluate the CDC's PTT Advisor app, which is designed to help doctors make better diagnostic and testing decisions when assessing patients for bleeding and coagulation disorders.

For the evaluation, researchers developed eight challenging case studies based on details from actual clinical cases. They then asked 46 physicians from seven different health care facilities to diagnose four cases using the PTT Advisor app and four cases using typical decision-making resources, including the internet. They found that physicians using the app were 13 percent more accurate when making test ordering and diagnostic decisions than physicians using typical resources. Physicians also diagnosed the cases 51 seconds faster when using the app. The physicians reported that they believed the app could improve clinical decision-making and help patients.

A patient who suffers medical harm due to misdiagnosis has the right to pursue legal action against the health care professionals responsible for the mistake. A medical malpractice attorney could gather medical records and other evidence to show medical negligence was the cause of the client's worsened medical condition. As a result, the patient could be awarded a financial settlement that covers medical costs, lost wages, pain and suffering and other related damages.

Source: Medical Xpress, "Study finds use of mobile app improved physician lab test ordering and diagnosis", April 25, 2018

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