Chapter 1 - Essay Example

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This is quite a high success rate and it shows that Google search engine is a considerably reliable tool for diagnosis. I am impressed by these results because they vindicate the…
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Self-diagnosis using Google The ability of Google searches finding correct diagnosis for 57 percent cases is impressive. This is quite a high success rate and it shows that Google search engine is a considerably reliable tool for diagnosis. I am impressed by these results because they vindicate the internet as an alternative diagnostic tool from the pessimism that draws from cyberchondria. Whereas the 43 percent cases that Google search did not find correct is a significant portion, it demonstrates the truth that diagnostic tools are not correct, absolutely, but they have error margins. Diagnoses by medical practitioners are also not correct, absolutely, and some conditions are misdiagnosed or are not diagnosed at all (Improvements in Healthcare p3).
One of the implications of Princess Alexandra Hospital researchers’ finding is that it might reassure internet users of the reliability of Google and the internet at general in self-diagnosis. Many people are increasingly resorting to the internet to find out their possible medical conditions despite warnings about its unreliability and Google’s high success rate for diagnosis might change this perception. The other implication is that Google might now compete more favorably with other trusted internet sites used for self-diagnosis. MedLinePlus is one such site that is trusted by many online users for information because the National Library of Medicine manages it (Improvements in Healthcare p3).
An important implication for Google’s 57percent success rate is that if continually refined, the internet can serve as a complementary and alternative diagnostic tool. The contemporary world has become increasingly dependent on the internet that has traversed many aspects of life and medical field is not an exception. The reservations that most medical practitioners have with the internet as a diagnostic tool should be countered by improving on its shortcomings. After all, to many, the internet is more accessible than a medical practitioner is. Medical practitioners should therefore not feel threatened by the internet. Rather, they should embrace and incorporate it in their practice (Improvements in Healthcare p3).
Google’s success case demonstrates the potential of the internet in helping to provide more people with access to healthcare with minimal costs. Hospital settings are limited by space and time required to accommodate and attend to all the patients seeking treatment. These deny physicians quality time with every patient and this is something that can countered by using the internet. Additionally, many patients have difficulty communicating their conditions to medical practitioners but with the assistance of the information in the internet, patients can communicate more effectively thus saving on the limited time that medical practitioners have consulting with individual patients (Improvements in Healthcare p3).
In conclusion, this finding implies that it is high time people changed their perception about the use of the internet as a diagnostic tool. Particularly, the question should change from why anybody would self-diagnose using the internet to how accurately people can self-diagnose using it. This way, more research and resources would be directed to enhancing the medical use of internet. Patients would not only find the accurate diagnosis of their conditions, they would also get correct prescription from the prescription pads that the internet can help doctors provide online.
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