81% of Irish adults have gone online seeking to self-diagnose
Available today, a new app RCSI MyHealth offers easy access for users to a credible source of health information. The app has been developed by the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland (RCSI) in conjunction with 16 of Ireland’s leading charity organisations.
The app offers users the opportunity to discreetly search for information relating to specific health conditions and allows users to take charge of their own health. The information is presented in a clear, focused and organised manner that is easy to understand. It also provides users with information on where to seek advice and support if they are suffering from a health condition.
With 86% of adults in Ireland now having access to an online device (1), the number of people turning to mobile devices to manage their lives is soaring. Recent research has found that one in 20 searches using Google was for health-related information and 81% of Irish adults had gone online seeking to self-diagnose, with 46% reporting increased stress or worry as a result of their search (2).
Often, consulting search engines with health related queries, draws up the worst-case scenario for medical symptoms, which raises anxiety levels and cyberchondria, which is a condition described as the excessive use of internet health sites which fuels health anxiety.
RCSI MyHealth can put an end to these worries for people. The app has four easy to use features which provides users with access to information about more than 800 specific health conditions. It also provides a very helpful list of health services in Ireland ranging from emergency contact numbers to support organisations and hospital details. For those interested in reading about the latest health news, there are links to up to date health news websites. The app also includes up to date information on the level of blood supply left in the country for anyone who is thinking of donating blood. The app also allows a user to calculate their BMI.
Professor Cathal Kelly, RCSI Chief Executive / Registrar said “Recognising signs and symptoms of disease is a very effective method of reducing morbidity and mortality. However when looking for health information, it is important for patients to seek information from a credible source. This app is useful for patients looking for health information and also for health professionals who are looking to provide supplementary information to patients on specific health conditions.”
RCSI MyHealth is available free of charge in the Apple App Store and in Google Play.
The app has been developed in consultation with the Asthma Society of Ireland, Aware, Breast Cancer Ireland, Cystic Fibrosis Ireland, Diabetes Ireland, Epilepsy Ireland, Irish Cancer Society, Irish Heart Foundation, Irish Kidney Association, Irish Motor Neuron Disease Association, Irish Osteoporosis Society, Parkinson’s Association of Ireland, The Alzheimer Society of Ireland, The Irish Blood Transfusion Service, The Huntington’s Disease Association of Ireland and Shine. TEKenable were commissioned as the development partner.
RCSI is ranked among the top 50 most international universities in the world (Times Higher Education University World Rankings, 2014-15). It is an international not-for-profit health sciences institution, with its headquarters in Dublin, focused on education and research to drive improvements in human health worldwide.
Watch this video to find out more about the RCSI MyHealth app https://youtu.be/SgxYwFDLFRw
(1) Eircom Household Sentiment Survey March 2014
(2) Aviva Health Insurance survey carried out by Empathy Research from 26th January – 8th February 2015 among 1004 participants and is nationally representative of 18+ year olds living in the Republic of Ireland. It was quota controlled by age, gender and region.