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​​Image of FRR iPhone app
The Finding Rehab Resources app puts best practices, dictionaries and more on mobile devices. (Photo: Ronald MacPherson)

Patients often turn to 'Dr. Google' to quickly find information, but the results aren't always reliable. Now they can use a new smartphone app called Finding Rehab Resources from the Toronto Rehabilitation Institute (Toronto Rehab) instead.

Ronald MacPherson, a programmer for Library and Information Services, developed the app based on one he designed for cancer specialists in Kuwait where mobile devices outnumber desktop computers. From the main menu, users can quickly access links to the latest best practices and medical definitions on their phones.

When Dr. Gaetan Tardif, clinical director, Toronto Rehab, saw the app he realized the same technology could help Toronto Rehab share its expertise with patients and rehab providers everywhere.  

"This app takes people to high quality online medical information from reputable sources faster than Google can," said Tardif.

Tardif hopes that by providing easy access to the same resources experts at Toronto Rehab use, the app will help patients become partners in care.

"I can use the app to quickly call up the most recent treatment guidelines and show them to my patients," said Tardif. "I can also use it to show them anatomical drawings and pictures of exercises when physical models aren't readily available. Patients can easily refer back to the same materials on their own later if they want to learn more."

Tardif and MacPherson will watch to see how people actually use the app. User feedback on what's useful, what's not and what's missing will guide updates.

"We hope users will become partners in development," said Tardif. "We're counting on them to use the feedback button and tell us what they think."

The free app is available for iPhone, Android and Windows mobile devices.​

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