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Apps help combat the flu

Apps can give you medical advice. And as the season of coughs and sneezes settles in, an app may even help you determine what's wrong.

For a general medical app, WebMD is probably your best bet (free for iPhone, iPad and Android). It's jammed with data, and can present it to you in a number of ways. A hypochondriac's dream, the app's Symptom Checker first asks that you tap on the corresponding part of an image of the body and then, choosing from detailed lists, specify which symptom you have. Once you select a symptom, the app leads you through a short question-and-answer session to refine your input, like exactly what kind of cough you have. You can input a number of symptoms, perhaps adding sneezes, for example, then press the "view possible conditions" button.

An alternative app on iOS, also free, is iTriage. It too has a comprehensive list of illnesses, and a symptom-checker section where you tap on a body image to input each symptom you're experiencing. But iTriage also provides information on a list of medical procedures. And you can record in a "my iTriage" section details of your insurance, health record, previous ailments and so on. The app is more graphical than WebMD, and is thus a little easier to use.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's official Influenza app (free on iOS or Android) is packed with data, including graphs, maps and medical terminology. It is mainly intended for professionals, but ordinary users can use it to find out where the flu is prevalent in the United States. It also has useful information about vaccination and flu prevention.

A much simpler and possibly more useful app is called Flu­Defender (free on iOS). This app's main attractions are detailed information about influenza, a built-in link to the CDC's Twitter feed about flu and a map that shows how common flu infections are state by state.

New York Times

Apps help combat the flu 12/23/12 [Last modified: Sunday, December 23, 2012 6:47pm]

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