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A friend recently shared news of a newly launched smartphone app for Android, MyTabeeb (My Doctor), developed in Pakistan with an aim to get medical help to locals.

But don’t be misled by the name, which may lead some to believe it imparts medical know-how or diagnosis. Instead, it plays the role of a facilitator that connects you to doctors near you in case of a medical emergency.

Developed by Seventh Sense, the app promises to be comprehensive health database, with a claim to be “Pakistan’s premier health data service.”

Main app page ─ screenshot
Main app page ─ screenshot

How it works

Key features at a glance include:

  • Search for doctors, clinics, hospitals
  • Search medical help through proximity
  • View schedule, see practice locations and timings
  • Filter by specialisation, gender, proximity
  • Reach doctors through directions with maps
  • Instant calls to ambulance service

The app has two major sections: Doctors and hospitals

Users can search for a doctor by typing in a specialty, or by scrolling through a list of alphabetically organised categories.

But there’s a catch. To search for a doctor, users need to use the correct medical terms to define their illness. In other words, as of now the search may not be as user friendly as was intended. For example if my neck hurts, I can’t find a doctor just by searching for ‘neck pain’ or ‘pain in neck.’

Filter searches in the app
Filter searches in the app

Search results appear in an organised list, from where users can move to full details of doctors or hospitals. At this point, users can also sort search results by proximity among other criteria.

Hospitals are searched separately in a different section accessed through a menu on the left.

The menu can be accessed by swiping to the right or by tapping the button next to ‘Home’ on top of the screen.

Is it any good?

After going through the app, it appears the creators are on the right track. It's simple, user-friendly and fast.

An Internet connection is required to access the online database, though information for a particular category is available offline after being accessed once.

Graphics are neat and not excessive and the design is minimalist yet modern. Records are clear to read, buttons to make calls or to view maps where needed are spot on and making calls to ambulance services are quickly accessible.

Also read: doctHERs: Remote patient care with female doctors at the fore

What's missing?

The app has the potential to go beyond just record-keeping if other health organisations collaborate with its developers.

Here are some enhancements that would greatly benefit users:

Bookmarking

A record for instant offline access complete with the location map will be a great help for users when they are on the road or without Internet connection.

Rating system

Users should be allowed to rate a particular doctor or hospital and results should be viewable in search, along with the number of users who participated.

Blood bank

This is a major oversight. Willing blood donors should be able to list themselves and in case of an emergency, notified through the app or a text message. Developers can try linking blood banks for effective search by blood type.

Some immediate changes

Currently, the app has two search boxes for a single category – one to search doctors by specialty, and the other to search doctors by name.

A browse through the app shows options for doctors, with photos!
A browse through the app shows options for doctors, with photos!

To search for hospitals, users are required to switch to the ‘Hospitals’ section from the menu. Instead of different search boxes for the two categories, a universal search box paired with a dropdown list to search within ‘Problem,’ ‘Doctor’ or ‘Hospital’ databases will be faster and less confusing for users. In case of a connection error during search, the app prompts users to ‘retry’ or ‘exit.’

'Exit' should be replaced with a ‘back’ option, which should take users to the search screen instead of exiting the app.

Once a full record is accessed, call can only be made to the first phone number that appears. A better approach would be to show each phone number as a link that can be tapped or clicked to make calls.

The space assigned to display phone numbers should also resize accordingly. Right now records display just one or two complete numbers on the screen while the remaining numbers are only partially visible.

A link to set doctors’ schedules in the handset’s calendar would be a welcome feature as well.

MyTabeeb users will notice addition of more services by time, some of which include an increase in the list of emergency numbers and data from other cities in Pakistan.

Share doctor's information easily from mytabeeb app

#MyTabeeb #DidYouKnow: By using mytabeeb App you can share doctor's contact with your #family and #friends :) You can share on #WhatsApp, #SMS, #Facebook, #Twitter, #Email, #Skype and many more smile emoticonWebApp: https://www.mytabeeb.pkAndroidApp: https://goo.gl/YV6pNz

Posted by Mytabeeb on Tuesday, February 2, 2016

MyTabeeb is free for download on the Play Store.

The author is a graphic designer and freelance writer with a focus on tech.

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