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How Aysa, an AI App, Helped a Mother with her Child’s Rash

Aysa, a new app for your tablet or smart phone, can help you determine what is wrong so you'll know whether you need to see the doctor.

Nicole Pharr is used to keeping a close eye on her daughter Madison’s skin. Madison is prone to eczema and has had highly sensitive skin since she was a baby. Still, Nicole was concerned after her daughter’s arms and legs were suddenly covered in raised, itchy patches.

Nicole’s story is not unique. Moms and dads around the world are often met with middle-of-the-night challenges: hives that appear out of nowhere, rashes that are hard to identify, and more. And, like Nicole, they are faced with uncertainties. Do they rush to the emergency room or urgent care? Do they call the doctor? Or do they take a wait-and-see approach?

A Picture Is Worth a Parent’s Peace of Mind:

Now there’s a new skin-focused app called Aysa designed to offer peace of mind and information you can trust. Aysa is developed by the team at VisualDx, the leading diagnostic decision support software used and trusted by doctors and health care professionals around the world.

Here’s how it works: You take a picture of your or your family member’s rash, lesion, or skin issue. The app will analyze the picture and ask some simple additional questions, like “Does it itch?” and “Do you have a fever?” Then from its knowledge base and image recognition technology, Aysa will offer images and information on what it could be as well as provide next steps. Aysa does not diagnose, but it does arm you with guidance to make better health choices for you and your family.

What Was Madison’s Rash?

For Nicole, Aysa narrowed down the possibilities and showed her that Madison’s rash could be poison ivy. She treated Madison with Benadryl and topical cream to help soothe the itch. Then came the follow-up visit with Madison’s doctor who was able to confirm the diagnosis and prescribe the best medication.

Nicole Pharr told the developers of Aysa:

“I highly recommend downloading the app just to have on hand for any skin condition you or your child may face.  It draws on the experience of more than 47,000 physicians and nurses, and more than 137,000,000 health searches, so you can feel confident in the advice it provides. It’s the perfect on-the-go tool to help you address various skin concerns.”

Aysa is currently free in Apple’s App Store. After this initial launch, the app will cost $9.99 a year. An Android version is in development.


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About the Author
Terry Graedon, PhD, is a medical anthropologist and co-host of The People’s Pharmacy radio show, co-author of The People’s Pharmacy syndicated newspaper columns and numerous books, and co-founder of The People’s Pharmacy website. Terry taught in the Duke University School of Nursing and was an adjunct assistant professor in the Department of Anthropology. She is a Fellow of the Society of Applied Anthropology. Terry is one of the country's leading authorities on the science behind folk remedies..
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