In the days where every answer can be found with a few clicks and a search engine why not self-diagnosis yourself? Individuals have been googling their symptoms for years, but recently a new pseudo-professional has infiltrated the web. Dun–da–dun-tah no need to fear DR. GOOGLE is here.
A statement put up by Greg Leuch for the Dr. Google site states,
In the digital age of instant access to information, searching for health information has become commonplace for millions, helping people self-diagnose their conditions before treatment or consultation from official medical personnel. While most people search for symptoms and cures for common ailments, many reports have surfaced of people relying too much on the web site results produced by Google. A search on Twitter for “Dr. Google” will show hundreds of tweets daily for people thanking the invisible “Dr. Google” in their search for cures to their illnesses.
Dr. Google spoofs the Google search interface by providing a one-click diagnostic result (“I’m Feeling Icky”) to whatever search a person may have. These results are entirely fictitious and do not represent a true diagnosis, however, all viewers have the option for second opinions for their ailments.
(Not intended for actual medical consultation.)
Just put in your symptom(s) and hit “I’m Feeling Icky” and all your health problems will be solved! Right? WRONG. Dr. Google may provide individuals with health information, but that doesn’t mean that it is correct and/or safe information. Also, don’t you love the last line in the above statement, “not intended for actual medical consultation?” That line should be on the main Dr. Google page, because it is scary the amount of people out there that are not skeptical about the health information provided on the web!
What if an individual didn’t realize that the search interface,”I’m Feeling Icky” only distributed bogus results? I put in earache the other day and clicked on “I’m Feeling Icky” to see what would come up; it showed that I have heart disease (picture below). It is a little unnerving that someone might believe that they could have heart disease after using this feature.
If you want to search symptoms online fine, but please don’t self-diagnosis or self-medicate. The consequences of self-diagnosis could be disastrous. Dr. Google doesn’t and shouldn’t take the place of a “real” and trained health professional!