Monday, November 17, 2008

MedlinePlus: National Library of Medicine Brings FreeMD.com Symptom Checker to Health Consumers

(BUSINESS WIRE)--DSHI Systems, which uses new technology to give people likely diagnoses for their medical conditions online, has partnered with MedlinePlus, the leading authority for online health information. DSHI calls the revolutionary site FreeMD.com: a virtual doctor conducts an interview, analyzes symptoms, and provides expert advice.

FreeMD uses artificial intelligence to control a video doctor that asks questions and shows pictures. The virtual doctor analyzes over 3,000 symptoms and injuries in infants, children, and adults.

"Consumers are on their own when making the decision to see a doctor," says Dr. Stephen J. Schueler, founder of DSHI Systems. "Do they go to the emergency room, urgent care center, doctor's office, or the nurse retail clinic? How does the average person know what to do?"

FreeMD's advice includes answers to:

* What might be causing my symptoms?
* Do I need to see a doctor?
* Where should I go for care?
* How do I care for myself?

Every FreeMD interview creates a web page that contains care instructions and a personal health record. Consumers may e-mail the record to their doctor or print a copy and take it with them. This helps consumers to be better prepared for a doctor visit. FreeMD has created more than 130,000 personal health records in the past 3 months.

"We have created a life-like experience that provides personalized recommendations," says Dr. Schueler. "Other symptom checkers on the web today fail to satisfy these needs. We are pleased to provide MedlinePlus users with access to the FreeMD Symptom Checker."

"FreeMD provides our users with the opportunity to evaluate symptoms or injuries," says Naomi Miller, Manager of Consumer Health Information at the NLM. "After we determined that FreeMD.com met our quality guidelines, DSHI Systems worked with MedlinePlus to create custom links to the FreeMD Symptom Checker."

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