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Mobile app helps prevent misdiagnosis

Misdiagnosis can be a major concern for New York patients, as studies indicate that around 5 percent of all patients across the country receive an incorrect diagnosis from their doctor each year. Some tools that are being developed to help decrease the chance of a mistaken diagnosis and improve accuracy include mobile apps that give doctors additional guidance and insight when ordering lab tests or making a diagnosis. Many of these apps are untested and do not have research to back up their use, but one study at Baylor College of Medicine examined PTT Advisor, an app created by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The app aims to reduce misdiagnosis and increase accuracy when ordering laboratory tests and providing a diagnosis. The study examined the use of the app when diagnosing disorders related to bleeding and coagulation. Each of the 46 doctors involved in the study were given eight case studies to diagnose and evaluate. Of these, they were asked to order tests for and diagnose four of the cases while using the app. They were asked to do the same for the other four while using their typical clinical practices, including consulting others, using the internet or referring to texts.

The study found that doctors were 13 percent more likely to make accurate decisions on laboratory tests and diagnoses when using the app, a significant result. The doctors involved in the study also reached accurate diagnoses more quickly while using the app.

People who have been misdiagnosed may experience an array of health outcomes as a result. When people who were misdiagnosed have a serious disease like cancer, the consequences can be devastating. A medical malpractice attorney may be able to evaluate the case of a person who has suffered worsened medical conditions following a failed or mistaken diagnosis and determine the potential next steps to seek compensation.

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