British Medical Journal Study Points to Google As An Important Clinical Tool for Diagnosis

Doctors have been discovered to be successful using Google to help diagnose medical conditions. A study byDr Hangwi Tang published online by the British Medical Journal reported Google to be likely to be a useful aid for conditions with unique symptoms and signs that can easily be entered as search terms.

Experts say that the efficiency of the search and the usefulness of the retrieved information depend on the searchers’ knowledge base.
“Doctors and patients are increasing proficient with the internet and frequently use Google to search for medical information,” according to Dr Hangwi Tang.

Doctors practice their art by carrying about two million facts in their heads, but with medical knowledge expanding rapidly and Internet search technology becoming state of the art, it is apparently time to implement that technology as an important clinical tool.

MJ, doi:10.1136/bmj.39003.640567.AE (published 10 November 2006)