Doctors Significantly Better Than Google, According To New Research

doctor-computer-1920-950x534In the article “Doctors Significantly Better Than Google, According To New Research”, author Kathryn Doyle begins by suggesting that a small study has determined that doctors are more accurate at diagnosing a health concern than researching the symptoms on the internet. The study found that human doctors were right 72 percent of the time compared to the research being done by the patients, which was correct 34 percent of the time. When doing research, Dr. Ateev Mehrotra was not surprised to conclude that the current websites used to check the symptoms do not outperform the human doctors, but did suggest that both, computer and human, can be used in a way that develops the best possible diagnosis. The author continues by breaking down the study that the researchers did. They basically created a platform called Human Dx to distribute sets of medical history and symptom information to a group of physicians who were not allowed to  examine or run tests on their hypothetical patients. It was found that when these same physicians were able to examine the patients with a hands on approach and not just a computer, they were correct more often than the Human Dx platform they were given previously. The study also found that in cases with a more serious diagnosis the human doctors were correct more times than the computer. In less serious cases the computer concluded a correct diagnosis for the patient most of the time. The author concludes by counter arguing that physicians misdiagnose about 10 to 15 percent of the time, therefore the computers will always be there when information is needed quickly in certain situations.

In today’s day in age, people are becoming more technologically savvy. They use their phones for just about everything, from scheduling flights out of their hometown to video chatting with a friend from another country to even ordering their groceries to have them be delivered to their house. The internet can be used for almost anything, which is why some people have turned to it for their health questions. This relates to a story I found on U.S. News about a first time mom who turned to the internet when her son began to roll his eyes back into his head. While doing her research she found articles suggesting that it could be a sign of a developmental delay. Being a worried first time mother she took her son to the doctor and was told that it was nothing to be alarmed about because it was just something he did when he felt embarrassed. Personally, I am one of those people who goes to the internet as soon as I think something is wrong with me, but after reading this article I know that most articles on the internet are not true, therefore I should not be alarmed by everything I read. Although most websites trying to help find out your diagnosis, I would still like to know why a group of doctors hasn’t created a website that is more accurate than the ones people find on the internet today?




3 thoughts on “Doctors Significantly Better Than Google, According To New Research

  1. Brianna,
    I completely agree with you whenever I need to know any type of information my first instinct is to search the internet. However, I think generally as humans we tend to expect the worst and we do not expect any medical situation to turn out for the best. Doctors most likely do not have a more accurate website, because there are many different diseases and medical cases that they do not want to be held accountable possibly legally with any misinformation since every medical situation is different. I would rename this article “Doctors Know More Specifics than the Internet” because I do not think the internet is the best place to receive accurate information since each situation is different.


  2. Brianna,
    Thank you for bringing this article to my attention. This article reminds me of the times I have also searched up symptoms on the internet only to find out the results were worse than I expected, however I now know that most articles are false. The problem nowadays is most people seem to rely on the internet for their everyday needs, so much as to relying on an internet article that diagnoses them with cancer, when in reality it could just simply be a migraine. I believe it is best people go visit their doctors and rely on their advice rather than the internet, because after all you can’t believe everything you see on the internet.

    An alternate name for this article could be ” Don’t believe everything you read on the internet”, because even though in some cases an online diagnosis may be right, in most it is not, therefore it is best to visit a professional for any possible concerns.


  3. Brianna,

    In response to your question regarding a medically-sanctioned website to diagnose illnesses, I do not know of one, but I did hear recently of this pretty ingenious contraption that works with your smartphone. Because parents of infants and toddlers spend so much time in urgent care waiting rooms, assuming their children have ear infections (which are, admittedly, common in young children), a group of doctors got together and created a device that you clip onto your smart phone. The other end of the device is then inserted in the child’s ear and works as a camera, capturing images and video of the ear canal. It then sends the images to a group of doctors on-call to analyze the images and let the parents know if they need to go to the doctor for an infection or not. It’s pretty cool. I should’ve bought stock in it. Lol.


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