A new smartphone app has been launched to provide credible factual information about a range of illnesses to people in Ireland.

The RCSI MyHealth app aims to give people an alternative to carrying out internet searches on particular diseases, which often throw up confusing and incorrect information that leads to unnecessary fear and anxiety about worst-case scenarios.

The new app has been developed by the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland in conjunction with 16 medical charities, including Cystic Fibrosis Ireland, Diabetes Ireland and Epilepsy Ireland.

As well as providing a means of searching for factual information on 800 conditions, the app also provides users with information on where to seek advice and support.

According to a recent survey, one in 20 searches using Google was for health-related information and 81% of Irish adults had gone online seeking to self-diagnose. 

Just under half of those said doing so had led to increased stress or worry.

The app also has up-to-date information on blood supply levels in the country for anyone considering donating blood, as well as a BMI calculator and the latest health news. 

The app is available free of charge in the Apple App Store and in Google Play.