iOS App of the Day: WebMD

I am not a fan of waiting in the doctor’s office and admittedly have to be on my death-bed before I’ll pick up the phone to make an actual in-office appointment.  I’m sure my mother is shaking her head reading this, but it’s just one of those things I dread going through. Normally I hop on my laptop, pull up WebMD and start typing in my symptoms. Call me nuts, but using their symptom checker alone helps me make a better decision when it comes to my personal healthcare and what I should do next. My love for the WebMD website is what led me to their iOS app, and now I can have the best of their website at my fingertips wherever I am.

Pros:

  • Helpful key tour for features and easy navigation
  • WebMD symptom checker
  • Find medical related information on specific conditions
  • Extensive drugs and treatment database
  • Pill identification tool
  • First aid essentials
  • Local health listings
  • Create customized lists of drugs, conditions, and articles
  • Review saved information anytime
  • Get directions to closest health care facility or physician
  • Share articles with contacts via email
  • Add health care professionals to your iOS contacts
Cons:
  • Search function in app opens up web browser and directs you to desktop site of WebMD
  • No offline support
How it works: 
After a quick download of the app, you are prompted to take a tour of the application. I wish all apps had this feature as it makes the user’s life so much easier.  Key features are explained thoroughly and I was impressed with the app’s well-designed interface. After going through the quick tutorial you can then sign up to personalize your app experience and create custom lists. By choosing to sign up your saved conditions, drugs, first aid topics, and articles are stored there. After signing up I went on to explore the app’s key features which I elaborate on below.
  • Symptom Checker: You see an anatomical picture of a human body which you can tap on the body part to start typing in your symptoms. To select the back of the body you can tap on the “flip” button or you can shake your device to flip the body. You also have the option to manually look up symptoms without the aid of the human body visual by tapping on the list option and using the app’s extensive drop-down list of symptoms. After you’ve added your symptoms you tap on “view possible conditions” to see a list of conditions that match your combination of symptoms.
  • Conditions: Each condition has three tabs to help you learn more about it. You will see an overview of the condition, symptoms, and relevant articles from WebMD. Tapping on a link will keep you within the WebMD app.
  • Drugs & Treatments: Here you can search for drugs and results appear as you begin typing. You can also jump to a specific portion of the search results with the app’s A-Z navigation. You can save or send drug/treatment information to your account or email it to a friend. To learn more about a specific drug simply tap on the various information options after you’ve selected a specific drug. There is also an image option where you can view different drug images.
  • First Aid: Here you can search for First Aid topics. You can view a list of common emergency situations and more importantly information on what to do in those situations.
  • Local Health Listings: Here you can search for local health listings by using your GPS location or a location entered in manually. You can view results in a map and get one tap directions. You can also add a specific health care professional to your contacts by tapping on the “add to contacts” button.
Conclusion: The WebMD app is so much more than just a symptom checker. Surprisingly I find myself using this app on a weekly basis, especially now that I am a parent. I can keep myself up to date on health related topics that I am interested in and find useful medical information in a flash. I don’t have to wait until I get in front of the computer to use WebMD’s trusty symptom checker and I can easily get in touch with a local doctor wherever I am. The First Aid feature has helped me through numerous situations covering everything from a bee sting to a purple toe-nail. The only complaint I have with the app is that you can’t search through the app, and there is no offline support. This is not helpful for when I’m out camping. Small complaints aside, the app is beautifully designed and the key-features really work for the user. If you are a fan of the WebMD website there is no reason you shouldn’t have their iOS app as you go-to mobile app. Note: The WebMD app is not intended to replace seeing a health care professional when you are sick or in pain

WebMD is available for free in the iTunes Store. Requirements: Compatible with iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad.Requires iOS 3.0 or later. iTunes Link

This is part of our iOS App of the Day series. We take our favorite app for iOS for each day and post it here for you to check out. Feel free to check out all of our App of the Day posts here.