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New mobile app helps demystify medical tests

A website developed by a University of Surrey professor has been transformed into a free mobile app.

Patients can now get instant mobile access to detailed information about the clinical tests they may be offered as part of their care, thanks to a free app based on a website developed by a University of Surrey professor.

Professor Stephen Halloran MBE, Consultant Biochemist at the Royal Surrey County Hospital, was the editor at the launch of the website www.labtestsonline.org.uk, which helps patients learn more about the clinical laboratory tests used by doctors to diagnose and treat medical conditions.

Professor Halloran based the UK site on an American site, and introduced editorial material which reflected clinical practice in the UK. Since its launch in 2004, Lab Tests Online has had over 150 million visitors and has been adapted for use in 17 countries worldwide.

Both the UK website and the new app are non-commercial, and feature clear, jargon-free descriptions of clinical laboratory tests and medical conditions, written by doctors and scientists, which can be easily understood by patients who may be unwilling or unable to seek explanations from their own doctor.

Professor Halloran, who was managing editor and chairman of Lab Tests Online until last year, said: “It was a logical step to develop an app. It appeals to a different group of people to the website users and it complements how doctors work now - junior doctors can use it on their rounds to determine what tests to perform and why, and check the kind of results they should expect.

“I am pleased to have been involved with something that helps the public to understand more about laboratory medicine and what clinical tests are about. Laboratory testing is central to many diagnoses, and is the science at the heart of modern medicine. I hope that by raising awareness of the work done in labs, more people might be attracted to the profession.”

You can download the app from iTunes or the Android store.

 

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