New study finds online self-diagnosis correct 34% of the time

GREENVILLE, N.C. (WNCT) – More than one third of Americans say they use Google when they feel under the weather.

In a recent study done by Harvard, only 34%of self-diagnosis cases are correct.

A lot goes into making a diagnosis.

Doctors use family history, a physical exam, and/or lab tests to further investigate.

Online symptom checks can diagnose you with a common cold to cancer, which could result in additional symptoms such as anxiety in patients.

“So then now the question becomes does the internet, does their research scare them into wanting to pursue, more diagnosis,” said Dr. Thomas Ellis of East Carolina University Physicians. “Could it potentially make them not want to come to the doctor’s office?”

It’s a controversial topic among doctors.

In some cases, the internet could help you.

“Well I think some of the benefits could be that a patient has an awareness of how big a list could be and how we then can start with that list and then narrow it down to the patient.” Ellis added.

Doctors do urge if you are not feeling well don’t wait as it could mean getting better sooner.

When in doubt get it checked out.

There are reputable sites on the internet.

Doctors say to always look for sites ending in .GOV or .ORG or a website from your healthcare provider.

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