Semmelweis University is a leading higher education institution in medicine and health sciences in Central and Eastern Europe. Besides its mission based on the integrity of education, research and development and patient care, the university sees educating the public as a priority.
Semmelweis HELP, a free health advice platform geared towards the general public, is based on the data compiled by the university’s doctors and communications experts, and contains the symptoms of more than 220 children diseases
, said Béla Merkely, rector of Semmelweis University at the press conference introducing the application.
“A key to the university’s success lies in its people who won’t stop when they have done what they are supposed to as they want to live up to their full potential”, he added. Because excellence can only be achieved through hard work and the intention and drive to innovate, the rector said.
In his speech, Gábor Orbán, Chief Executive Officer of Gedeon Richter Plc., a Budapest-based pharmaceutical company best known for its portfolio of medicine to treat gynecological diseases, underlined the core values the two institutions share, and the patient-centric mindset that plays a key role in the life of both. For Richter, a leading pharmaceutical company in Europe, expanding therapeutic options and seeking innovative solutions is of essence therefore supporting the creation of Semmelweis HELP was an obvious choice, Orbán said.
The CEO also highlighted the importance of cooperation among health industry players, which helps develop trusted and verified sources of health information, such as Semmelweis HELP, even patients at home can easily have access to.
“We are very proud that following 2 years of planning and development, the app, tested by the university’s medical, legal and general staff with small children for six months, received the approval of the National Institute of Pharmacy and Nutrition (OGYÉI), the national licensing authority for pharmaceutical and public administrational matters”, said Eszter Kovács, deputy head at the Communications Directorate, mastermind behind Semmelweis HELP.
She noted that Semmelweis HELP, which is not an artificial intelligence based app, will not give a diagnosis, nor does it replace a visit to the doctor’s but it does show the extent symptoms correspond to a condition and helps parents decide when unsure whether or not to get in touch with the doctor on call services. Health-related information from the right sources can save lives, Kovács added.
“The app is designed to check acute symptoms of children under 18 in the first place”, said Péter Krivácsy, lead medical expert of Semmelweis HELP, head of ER at Semmelweis University’s Department of Pediatrics. The primary aim is to have sick children receive the level of care they need.
The app has many “hidden” aids to assist users yet it is crucial that is used in the right headspace, he noted. Besides helping parents make informed decisions, the app gives advice on the proper ways of reducing fever, managing pain or applying dressing on wounds – should it see these problems arise. The expansion of the list that now contains 220 diseases is ongoing. A knowledge base/center that includes a list of children’s diseases in alphabetical order – with detailed descriptions and ways to relieve symptoms – is also available on the website.
Talking about the future, the creators said they plan to expand the app for diseases in adults (e.g. gynecology, cardiology) as well.