Word of the week: Symcat
Symcat: Symcat is a disease calculator that uses hundreds of thousands of patient records to estimate the probability of a patient having an actual disease. An acronym for “symptom based computer assisted triage,” Symcat works as a way to give patients an alternative to making unnecessary trips to the ER by enabling them to check their symptoms through their disease calculator. Both a mobile health app and a website, Symcat uses a sophisticated algorithm that ranks the most likely medical conditions patients might have based on symptoms entered and then suggests care alternatives based on AHRQ (Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality) guidelines. Our recent blog post, “ Mobile apps and the future of Mhealth” discusses how mobile health apps contribute to the clinical decision process and potentially add value to the healthcare decision. Symcat is a health app that has the potential to also add value to healthcare; the mobile health market is an additional tool to help with the overall effort to improve healthcare, and Symcat would not only be contributing to the emerging mobile health market, but to the healthcare reform’s efforts to improve care overall and lower costs.