Put a doctor in your pocket with WebMD for Android

by Caitlin M. Foyt

Hypochondriacs can rejoice. WebMD is available for the Android platform — and it works even better than the app's mother site.

It's a great, accessible (pretty much anyone can understand this stuff) resource to consult on the go if you need a medical question answered, but can't get to the doctor. (Note: We hope you're smart enough to recognize that WebMD is not a replacement for a medical doctor. More on this later.)

The app has a really helpful section called The System Checker, which, I would guess, is precisely what the majority of people use WebMD for — to check on irregular symptoms. Tap on this feature, and the app loads up a picture of a body that you can tap on to point out where your problem area is. After you've tapped on your stomach, arm, head or back, you can read about what's possibly causing the issue. Even more helpful, you can read about the things you can do to treat or cure your ailment.

WebMD also works like a "what to do in case of an emergency" guide, instructing you on what you can do should you accidentally rub up on poison ivy or have to perform CPR. There is also a features that allows you to quickly locate the nearest hospital.

The very first thing noticed about WebMD was how crisp and clean it looked. The app uses a lot of bright blues and greens, which was a refreshing variation from the tons of gray-scale apps out there. The app's interface is more sleek and professional-looking than its mother site.

Everything is neatly labeled and organized on WebMD. If users do have trouble with the app, either finding their way around or learning about the mechanics of the app, they can take a very thorough, well-explained tour of the entire application.

My one complaint with WebMD is the same one I've always had. The service itself doesn't know anything about you, so it's providing very general answers. In short, that pain in your stomach could be gas or it could be cancer. I've scared myself more than once trying to self-diagnose a problem using WebMD. Because it's so unreliable, it's hard to go out on a limb and actually recommend that anyone use WebMD for serious medical advice.

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