As new technology is developed and becomes more advanced, digital health is playing a greater role in healthcare systems around the world, and New Zealand is no exception.
In January this year, Awanui Clinical Microbiologist Max Bloomfield and Te Whatu Ora Medical House Officer Aidan Wilson launched a new app called ‘Diagnostic,’ which delivers easier access to information on recommended best practise approaches and procedures for diagnosing various infections.
“Aidan had helped to design another app which was developed locally for antibiotic treatment guideline. This proved popular so we had the idea to do something similar for the diagnosis side,” says Max.
“We had been thinking of doing something like this for a long time. We had started putting information on the Wellington SCL website in late 2021 and as the website material went into production, we saw it could be made more accessible.”
The thinking and collaboration led them to start developing Diagnostic in June last year.
“The information was already there, and the groundwork had been done, so essentially we took what was on the website and looked at how it could function as an app,” says Aidan.
“Once the information was coded and I translated it to the app. Most of the time was ensuring it was user friendly and presentable. The difference is a lot of the flowcharts on the website which the app turns into buttons and checkboxes so very easy to use.”
Max says the other apps they saw which are similar, are not user friendly. “They have a lot of information, but it is hard to filter. With Diagnostic, we pared back the information, so people got what they wanted and can make the right decisions and prevent unnecessary testing.”
“It was actually simple for me as I just handed the information to Aidan,” says Max.
Diagnostic is available for both Android and Apple and the feedback since the launch has been positive.
“Hospitals can be very paper based with charts, reports, flowcharts,” says Aidan. “The app not only reduces the need for paper, but easily keeps information updated, and the data for requestors updated as well. If a process is changed, this can be communicated quicker and more easily to requestors as well.”
Max and Aidan plan to gradually expand the scope of information on the app over time and make it an even better resource, including build on what it offers such as its information and content being integrated into lab reports.
“It was fun process to create the app,” says Max. “While we have no current plans for more at this stage, we are always open to new ideas.”