More and more people do self diagnosis on the Internet. Self diagnostics can lead to mistakes, especially if a health care professional is not involved. Researchers at Harvard Medical School showed that Doctors perform much better than system checker apps. 72.1% vs 34.0%.
If we compare Doctors to searches on the Internet the discrepancy might be even bigger.
We work with many medical device and service companies and clinics. So we have a lot of experience on both sides of the search equation: searching and making sure your website is found.
Here are some tips if you choose to do self diagnosis on the Internet:
- Step 1: Search on your symptom. Many of the results in the search engines may be commercial or trying to sell something.
- Since they are commercial they may be investing a lot of resources into being placed high in the search engine results. You can exploit their efforts by reading to see what condition they think you have. I have found these websites to be very helpful for this stage.
- However, at this point I wouldn’t recommend reading their solutions.
- Step 2: Verify the possible diagnosis on reputable websites. I use two methods:
- Search directly on reputable sites such as:
- Search on Google on university websites. You can do this quickly by adding ‘site:edu’ before your symptoms or diagnosis. For example: site:edu back pain
Some people only do a self diagnosis when they feel their doctors may not have made the correct diagnosis.
- Step 3: After you have your diagnosis, consult with a health professional. If you come up with something rare you may want to search for a doctor who specializes in that.
Note: This blog post is not intended for medical purposes. Always consult with your health care professional.