People using Google to diagnose ill health misdiagnose their symptoms

Posted on July 30, 2012


A study conducted by scientists from the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology reveals that people who use the internet to diagnose ill health, often misinterpret their own symptoms which leads to misdiagnosis. Although it is widely believed that using the internet can make it easier to diagnose illness, the study suggests that self diagnosis using Google could result in not receiving appropriate treatment.

Research indicates that individuals are not effective in the diagnosis of their own symptoms, either underestimating the chance of illness or believing that they have a disease when they haven’t. For instance, while one individual may consider symptoms as having indigestion, another will think the symptoms indicate a heart attack. During the study carried out by the scientists at Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, students were presented with a range of information of numerous diseases. They were also given the base rate, which indicates how common the illness is throughout the population and the case risk, which specifies the health profile of just one individual. People believe that they have a higher likelihood of suffering from a condition with a low base rate than others. The opposite may also apply; people may think they will not contract a common illness.

Google provides answers to a range of queries, which is why it has an integral role in a company’s SEO campaign. Search engine optimisation for all companies, whether they are in Liverpool or overseas will ensure that their information is available for all to see.


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