Symptom Checkers

If you trust Google more than your doctor than maybe it's time to switch doctors - Jadelr and Cristina Cordova

Symptom Checkers

image by: Ambassade des États-Unis, Port-au-Prince (Haïti)

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Should You Diagnose Yourself Online? Here’s What Doctors Think

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.’ Depending on which version you use, that list could be spot on, or it could lead you astray — luring you into a false sense of reassurance that nothing is wrong, or sending you into a spiral of anxiety about a serious, and possibly even fatal, condition. None of that is new for web-based data searches. But because health information could literally mean the difference between life and death, does checking symptoms online even make sense for the patient?


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Last Updated : Friday, May 19, 2023