SOURCE: Sharecare

Sharecare

December 09, 2013 10:58 ET

Sharecare Launches AskMD to Help Consumers Get Better Care

ATLANTA, GA--(Marketwired - December 09, 2013) - Sharecare, the online health and wellness engagement platform founded by Dr. Mehmet Oz and Jeff Arnold, today launched AskMD, an app for iPhone and iPod touch to help you collect information about your symptoms, learn more about common causes, and connect you to the doctors and specialists qualified to treat them. This free, iOS-exclusive app helps you get organized around your health, enabling you to have a more productive doctor's visit and ultimately get better.

"If we are going to transform our health care system from one that merely treats the sick to one that fosters comprehensive health and wellness, consumers need access to healthcare anytime, anywhere -- and with AskMD, we wanted to find a way to put your doctor's exam room right in the palm of your hand, on your mobile phone," said Arnold, chairman and CEO of Sharecare. "While building the app, we focused as much on providing accurate clinical information as we did on creating a truly personalized experience to ensure people feel like AskMD was created just for them every time they use it -- and iOS was best positioned for us to realize this critical element of our user experience."

AskMD uses clinically-proven research to help you get from wondering what could be wrong to what you can do about it. By guiding you through a personalized questionnaire that takes into account all your symptoms and other factors, like medications and known conditions, and matching your answers against the latest clinical research, AskMD provides you with results that actually are relevant to you. AskMD's clinical knowledge management system was developed through Sharecare's acquisition of PKC Corporation, with the vision of bringing evidence-based medicine to patients and providers, and enabling clinically-informed communications.

"As a doctor, AskMD will make the time I spend with my patients more efficient because before they even walk into the exam room, the app collects and organizes important information I need to help them get better," said Dr. Oz. "And as you use AskMD more regularly, you'll start to notice patterns and gain insights into what triggers health issues for you -- and that's something that can benefit the entire health system."

Beyond helping you find out what's bothering you at the moment, AskMD has tools and information to help you understand more about your health day-to-day. From notes for a doctor's appointment to locating a doctor covered by your insurance, from a list of all the prescriptions your mom is taking to a list of the doctors and specialists for your entire family, and animations showing the impact your blood pressure and cholesterol are having on your body, AskMD takes the guesswork out of getting better and being well. 

The AskMD App for iPhone and iPod touch can help you:

  • Organize information about symptoms quickly and easily. AskMD, with voice recognition powered by Nuance (NASDAQ: NUAN) -- a leader in voice technologies that are reinventing the relationship between people and technology -- allows you to simply use your voice to initiate a series of questions relevant to your issue, taking into account all your symptoms and other factors, like medications and known conditions. During this consultation, the app utilizes Pattern Recognition Technology to match your answers against a dynamic clinical knowledge platform, yielding results that actually are relevant to you. 
  • Identify emergency situations. AskMD clearly labels situations that may be critical or life-threatening, providing you with detailed information and directing you to the closest Emergency Room.
  • Find a physician or specialist. Drawing from Sharecare's robust physician directory powered by its 2012 acquisition of The Little Blue Book, AskMD also locates doctors and specialists qualified to treat your symptoms or condition by area map or list, which also can be filtered by insurance, specialty and distance. You can even click to call and make an appointment directly from the app, and map your route to their office.
  • Prepare for your doctor's appointment. Once you've completed your consultation, AskMD arms you with a summary of your results and relevant details, which you can easily access, print or share privately from the app.
  • Organize health information you might need on a daily basis. AskMD stores your medications, insurance information, and contact details for all your doctors and specialists.
  • Keep track of your health. AskMD provides you with a personal snapshot of your health, which includes vitals such as height, weight, cholesterol, blood pressure and any known conditions, and uses animation and graphics to show you what those vitals mean to your overall health. 
  • Care for family and friends. AskMD allows you to create multiple health profiles in the app, so in addition to managing your own health, you also can manage the health of others for whom you care.

Through Hospital Corporation of America's (HCA) designation as the preferred health system sponsor for the launch of AskMD, users have access to thousands of physicians affiliated with HCA's local facilities throughout the country. HCA, which is one of the nation's leading providers of healthcare services and is responsible for more than 20 million patient encounters annually, has 165 hospitals and 116 surgery centers in 20 states and England. HCA facilities are presented in the app depending on the user's location, enabling patients to connect with appropriate caregivers nearby.

"Increasingly, patients and healthcare providers demand timely and accurate information to improve personal health outcomes and care," said Dr. Jonathan B. Perlin, President, Clinical Services and Chief Medical Officer for HCA. "We are excited about the potential of the AskMD App to help put this vital health information into the hands of patients through their smartphones."

The AskMD App is available for free from the App Store on iPhone and iPod touch, or at www.AppStore.com/AskMD. You also can access AskMD on the web at www.sharecare.com/askmd.

About Sharecare
Sharecare is a health and wellness social engagement platform that helps people to live healthier lives by connecting them to personalized resources including high-quality information from national experts, interactive tools and local healthcare providers. The power behind the site is its groundbreaking and popular, scientifically-based health risk assessment, the RealAge® Test, taken by more than 30 million people since its inception, and a unique, social Q&A format that provides the collective wisdom of America's top experts-greatly simplifying the search for health information. Created by Jeff Arnold and Dr. Mehmet Oz in partnership with Harpo Productions, Sony Pictures Television and Discovery Communications, Sharecare allows people to ask, learn and act upon questions of health and wellness, creating an active community where knowledge is shared and put into practice-simply said, sharing care. Launched in 2010, Sharecare is based in Atlanta. 

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