With an abundance of websites and apps offering similar services, consumers are increasingly acting as their own diagnosticians when they experience a new health problem. That can be alarming for doctors, especially if patients show up armed with a scary list of unlikely maladies from the Internet, demanding expensive and unnecessary tests. It can also be dangerous for patients if they fail to seek expert medical advice for a problem after mistakenly concluding they don't need a doctor.
Now more health-care providers are turning the tables, steering patients to new and improved computerized symptom-checkers that make it easier for them to get reliable information about possible diagnoses,…
Imagine the autonomy you’d have as a patient by being able to reach into your pocket, open up an app, and diagnose yourself by chatting with AI-driven health companion. Exciting, right?
Now with more than a billion users, TikTok is the go-to app for the latest trends (and fads). Some are good, some are entertaining and funny, but others seem downright questionable, such as the latest trend of people self-diagnosing themselves with mental health conditions.
The internet, among other things, is perfect for medical neuroses. But while self diagnosis may soothe, agitate or confirm, it doesn’t treat.
The Human Dx platform aims to improve the accuracy of individual physicians.
New apps promise to diagnose mental health problems. But there are reasons to be cautious.
Beware using the Web for self-diagnosis, you'll probably end up with a lot of unnecessary stress, according to a recent study by Microsoft. Christie Nicholson reports.
Considering there are at least 10,000 diseases in the world, symptoms of one condition will often overlap the symptoms associated with dozens of other conditions. Although the internet is an excellent tool, it can often be more harmful than good — especially when it comes to your physical and mental health.
Online self-diagnosis can be helpful. But leave the treatment to your physician.
With the company’s new and improved symptom search, which recently launched on mobile in the United States, Google aims to deliver more accurate and accessible medical information to users.
What Dentith is really excited about is the future of self-diagnosis and the use of AI and machine learning to further streamline and automate the self-prescription process. Dentith plans to develop his technology so a patient can directly input or self diagnose problems, which are then forwarded directly to a GP (or clinical nurse) to prescribe medication, or to a fully automated AI machine able to prescribe under the supervision of the company’s chief medical officer.
It comes down to these three questions: How are you using online medical information? Are you able to evaluate the information you find online objectively? And, do you ultimately trust your doctor’s expertise? If you’re using the internet to supplement, rather than supplant, expert medical advice; if you are more curious than panicked when you look up your symptoms online; and if you do have a regular physician whose opinion you trust, then checking out your symptoms on WebMD can be useful.
The bottom line is when you’re wading through TV, radio and newspaper headlines, remember to look at all of the new studies with a critical eye, avoid falling for sensations and stick with credible data and of course, your circle of wisdom. Internet overload no more!
Doctors who treat themselves may have fools for patients, but they look like geniuses compared with a reporter who tried to diagnose herself via the Internet.
Online symptom checkers are the digital version of the DIY doctor. Plug in what’s ailing you — headache, stomach pains, weird skin rash — and you get a list of what’s (likely) causing the problem. The key word is ‘likely.’
For those patients who are desperate to find out why they’re sick and how to restore normal life, Functional Medicine, the Undiagnosed Diseases Network, and CrowdMed might be worth considering.
The challenge before us is this: how can we find and capitalize on all good information — and avoid wrong information — to have healthier lives and societies?
The smart webapp walks you through what a medical professional might ask in a quick background check, from what your symptoms are and how long you've been experiencing them to how old you are and your gender, and family history of diseases. Symcat then uses clinical data (aggregate patient health records) to predict what could be wrong and give you advice.
Should you crowdsource your medical problems?
Trying to find an underlying diagnosis for many conditions can be a very long and frustrating experience. With more rare conditions, a diagnosis can often take many years. Although this can be incredibly difficult, the following information may help you navigate through the process of trying to obtain a diagnosis.
So it’s possible that the next time you go in for something that stumps your regular physician, instead of seeing a specialist across town, you’ll see five or 10 from around the country. All it takes is a few minutes over lunch or in an elevator to put on a Sherlock Holmes hat, hop into the cloud, and sleuth through your case.
Now more health-care providers are turning the tables, steering patients to new and improved computerized symptom-checkers that make it easier for them to get reliable information about possible diagnoses, research their condition and even connect directly to a doctor. Doctors are adding these tools to their websites and incorporating them into electronic medical records, encouraging patients to use them before office visits to save time and make consultations more productive. Another benefit: Results turned up by a symptom-checker may actually help doctors think of something they hadn't considered.
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