Doctor Schueler's Home Medical Advisor. (medical software for consumers) (Software Review) (Evaluation)
by Sherry Roberts
Healthcare reform comes in various packages, and this one--Doctor Schueler's Home Medical Advisor (Windows 3.1 version)--is lively with colorful graphics, packed with information, and fun to use.
The aim of Home Medical Advisor is to nurture informed healthcare consumers--a lofty goal that might help us to carve away at a national cancer called healthcare costs. It's produced by Pixel Perfect and written by Stephen J. Schueler, chairman of the Department of Emergency Medicine at Holmes Regional Medical Center in Melbourne, Florida.
Home Medical Advisor is a handy resource that you don't have to be a computer whiz to use. In fact, children and adults alike enjoy Home Medical Advisor at the St. Louis Science Center, where the DOS version of this popular program is part of the Medical Technology Gallery.
>From abdominal pain to zinc oxide poisoning, you can find information on it in seven linked files: Symptom, Disease, Injury, Poison, Drug, Test, and Health & Diet. You navigate the program with simple keyboard or mouse commands. You can access information by clicking on menu buttons that run along the bottom of the screen or by typing keywords in the dialog box for the Scan command.
The Windows version of Home Medical Advisor is a wonderfully souped-up model of the DOS version. Redraws are quicker, the color graphics spicier, and the information more complete. Now you can tell the doctor where it hurts in the Symptom File by using an anatomical drawing and simply clicking on the part of the body that's under the weather.
The Disease File offers detailed information about the signs, symptoms, evaluation, and treatment of more than 500 diseases (50 more than in the DOS version). The injury File is a guide to more than 130 different injuries, the Poison File names some 500 poisons, and the Test File gives you the lowdown on 130 of the most frequently performed medical tests. The Drug File is much more extensive than in the DOS version, which covered about 800 prescription and nonprescription drugs; this version tackles 1200.
A new feature is the Health & Diet File, a cornucopia of tips for better living. it includes information on vitamins, nutrition, home safety, health, and travel, as well as a vaccination schedule for parents to refer to.
Look for the CD-ROM version--which promises to be even more visually exciting--in the fall. In the meantime, the Windows 3.1 version of Doctor Schueler's Home Medical Advisor is one way the ordinary person can get a handle on the healthcare issue. Pixel Perfect (800) 788-2099 (407) 779-0310 $87.50 Circle Reader Service Number 438