A new way to visit the doctor 62



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Forget going to the doctor every time you have a question about what you think is an illness – you can now ask Google.

Yes, Google has stepped up and revealed that in the next few days, relevant health facts will be given to you from something called a ‘Knowledge Graph’. So, if you ask Google “Do I have a migraine?” or “Can I catch laryngitis?”, your first result will be a chart of symptoms and treatments, as well as details on how common the condition is—whether it’s critical, if it’s contagious, what ages it affects and so on.

But is it safe to be Googling symptoms? Shouldn’t I just go to the doctor to be sure? Of course Google cannot replace a doctor, but it could give you piece of mind about things that are not serious or urgent. Just like you can Google literally anything you want to know, it seems like just a normal progression for Google to collate the enormous amount of data they have on a myriad of health conditions.

According to Google’s blog, one in 20 searches are for health information, so now it can be accessed quickly and easily within seconds.

And, some conditions have high-quality illustrations to accompany all the information. Google have said that their main aim is to help users research and know what questions to ask your doctor if there are signs that your issue is serious.

Google has worked with a team of medical doctors to “carefully compile, curate, and review this information. All of the gathered facts represent real-life clinical knowledge from these doctors and high-quality medical sources across the web, and the information has been checked by medical doctors at Google and the Mayo Clinic for accuracy”, says representative Prem Ramaswami.

Prem also enthuses that search results are not intended to replace medical advice as cases can vary in severity and the new Dr Google search is for informational purposes only.


So, would you attempt to use it? Have you Googled symptoms before? Tell us below.

Starts at 60 Writers

The Starts at 60 writers team seek out interesting topics and write them especially for you.

  1. I think we visit the doctor too much and I think we get given meds we don’t need… Don’t think doctors are the answer to every pain.

    2 REPLY
    • No I’m not , but I said I THINK….. You don’t have to agree … I don’t agree to Labour shutting two hospitals and another three emergency departments in 3 other hospitals either.. Just saying think people block up the system with minor issues and doctors are there to prop up pharmaceuticals
      …my opinion doesn’t have to be yours…. See what happened under labour ???? Just saying….

  2. You always have to tell the doctor what is up with you anyway. Then he prescribes drugs etc or X-rays and charges you his exorbitant fee. Great idea Google I will be consulting you next time I am not well.

    1 REPLY
  3. Yes, I think it is a very good idea. I already check the internet if I want to check up on symptoms; so, to have a dedicated site, would be a real help.

    4 REPLY
    • And when the diagnosez comes back as posibly three or four diseases which one do you pick…the least seriou one or the most serious one…you life could be in danger here how do you as a layman without medical training pick the right one on symptons alone. That is why doctors do blood tests and scans etc. These are done not to waste you money or time but to ensure that you get the right treatment.

    • Also so many symptoms by themselves don’t mean much but put together a doctor has the medical training to recognise these warning signs..your health is not worth playing around with.

    • Thank you both for responding. I do agree with both of you and I would always consult a doctor if I was really unwell.
      There are occasions, though, when I know myself that the condition is not serious but I just need some advice on the best way to proceed.

  4. Only take meds when I have too. But right now the doctors are my best friends they keep me alive.

    2 REPLY
    • One SHOULD only take meds when required medication is not to be ingested just for the fun of it.

    • No medication is fun Joan. Sometimes I prefer to put up with the pain than reach for the pill, not that smart in the long run.

  5. Can’t you just hear the doctors screaming about self diagnosis, I also google medical symptoms and find it utterly brilliant and gives me a much better idea of my ailments. At least you aren’t being rushed out of the drs room like a sheep in a race!

    3 REPLY
    • We should count our selves lucky we live in a country that have one of the top health care standards in the world.

    • Indeed we are lucky, but they still rush you through and good to be able to check up about your diagnosis and fully understand, when you get home.

  6. I use the Internet for symptoms and treatments before seeing the DR. I can take my time reading about them and get a good understanding. Maybe no so good for hypochondriacs but not much is going to stop them, and DR know who they are anyway.

    2 REPLY
    • Why is it that hypochondriacs are so demeaned ..at least they have the good sense to check wether their illness is real or imagines. What gives you and Dr Google the eight years of training and the medical expertise to decide wether your illness is a simple cold or a major problem …who do you sue if you misdiagnose yourself.

    • Well I had a relative who sadly suffered from it. And insisted that the surgeon remove a perfectly good organ. It’s was proved so. Maybe it’s called something else I don’t know. She was a house wife not a great education but if u heard her talk she sounded like a doctor her knowledge of medical information was incredible.
      But misdiagnosed herself all the time it’s was imagined.

  7. for anything small, I would check the internet but any major illness I would go straight to my doctor

  8. How impersonal have we become? How do we know where the diagnosis comes from on Google? Think too much dependence on Internet these days. Very sceptical.

  9. Good for folk not within easy reach of a Doctor.
    On this site last week a person was advocating low dose asprin to help prevent DVT…WRONG info…

  10. I think not some illnesses have very simillar symptons to several other illnesses it would be far to easy to misdiagnose yourself. You know the old saying ….”a little knowledge is dangerous”

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