True, most people who use desktop or laptop computers can find the same information online. "But if you look at the growth of the iPhone and the Droid the smartphone is really outpacing the use of desk-based computers. And from what I understand from my daughters, they don't do e-mail anymore. They text on their smartphones."
The information is or will soon all be there, much like a restaurant review system.
Burnich gave an example of how the app works at the hospital level. A hypothetical patient rafting on the American River endures a nasty cut on the leg and is bleeding profusely. In 30 seconds, Burnich's iPhone located the nearest appropriate Sutter emergency room. In the future, he says, iTriage will also show patients whether hospital emergency rooms are busy or are on bypass.
Dialing 911, through the smart phone's GPS, will dial the nearest emergency station as well.
"Your son twists an ankle in a soccer game. Is it broken? Sprained? Should you go to the emergency room to get X-rays?" rhetorically asks a Sutter Health statement on the iTriage launch. "Californians can use their smartphone to get instant health information and find a nearby healthcare provider through the free healthcare app iTriage.
The Sutter-iTriage partnership also will allow patients with Google Health access to quickly access their medical records through the use of a link to yourhealthrecord.com.
Burnich said smartphone apps like iTriage are revolutionizing healthcare. "The Web was one phase of this revolution," he says. "But having all of this in your hand, at your fingertips, anywhere, I think is the next big thing."
Sutter spokeswoman Kami Lloyd said Sutter Health, the second largest healthcare system in Northern California is the second system in California to partner with iTriage. She said information on affiliated clinics, urgent care centers, retail clinics and pharmacies nationwide come embedded and updated with the iTriage app.