Apple has launched an NHS Direct app described as a 'nurse in your pocket'.
Created by the National Health Service along with developer Mobikats, the app is now available from the Apple iTunes store, and purports to provides helpful advice on the symptoms of temporary blindness, RSI and wrist ache that may or may not be associated with excessive smartphone use, according to thinq_
The iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch release offers the same functionality as the Android offering released last week, providing access to 37 health and symptom checkers.
After answering a set of questions, users can get instructions on the most appropriate course of action, by dishing out advice on self-care or generating a call-back from an NHS Direct Nurse Advisor.
The free app's creators hope that providing targeted advice will free up the overstretched resources of a cash-strapped NHS by diverting simple queries away from local health services such as GPs and hospital A&E departments.
"The distinct difference between any other app and ours is that, should you need to [contact us] via this app, you will be offered the opportunity to speak to a health professional if your symptoms suggest you need to," said Roger Donald, acting associate director for multi-channel at NHS Direct. "There's nothing else on the market that will do that."