If you are feeling under the weather, but aren't sure if it's a hangover, a cold or something a little more serious, you can now check your symptoms with your smartphone via the NHS Direct app.It's a free app, with the Android version available now, the iPhone version following in June. As we're at the end of May, that shouldn't mean much of a wait. When you do get it, the app helps you to self-assess your symptoms, offering advice on treating those symptoms using 'clinically-proven online self care advice' and as a nice side effect, easing the queue at your local doctor's surgery.The app brings together all 37 of NHS Direct's online symptom checkers including those for colds and flu, sore throats, bites and hayfever. Once you have answered a set of questions, the app will provide that self-care advice, generate a call-back from an NHS Direct Nurse Advisor or provide instructions on the most appropriate course of action. Obviously it depends on your giving accurate advice, so don't be tempted into talking up your illness. It's a medical app, not your boss.According to Roger Donald, associate director of multichannel at NHS Direct: 'The NHS Direct app has been developed in response to the popularity of this new mobile channel and to the specific needs of the growing number of patients who prefer to access health advice online. Patients can access rapid and convenient health advice through the app with the reassurance that the information is from a trusted source. Our online health and symptom checkers are already extremely popular and we hope making them mobile we will benefit more people and contribute to helping take pressure off other local NHS services.'
If you are an Android user, go get it now.