Dr. Google is free and has office hours 24/7. There are plenty of free medical web sites including WebMD, Cleveland Clinic as well as Wikipedia that will give you the information you need quickly, but is that information helpful, or is it advertising for health services. Can your search of different symptoms result in your proper diagnosis of a problem that you or a family member may be experiencing now?
If you look up a problem such as plantar fasciitis, you may get many similar sites echoing the same basic information, but rarely does this information help you find the right practitioner or the right home treatment to understand and resolve a problem. Type in fever, and you will get a number of ideas as well as drug advertisements that may never explain to you why you have a fever. You may find natural methods to reduce a fever however, there are times you will need to seek the help of a health care provider.
Consumer Reports recently published an article regarding the free health information readily available on the internet. If you think it’s true because you read it on the internet, think again. Check out this Consumer Reports article.
Should You Google Your Medical Symptoms?
Here, whether the information you get is accurate, and the privacy risks you’re taking, too
By Catherine Roberts
May 17, 2018
Ever felt an odd stomach pain or noticed a strange rash and sought guidance by typing your symptoms into Google? If so, you’re not alone, according to Consumer Reports’ latest medical privacy survey, a nationally representative phone survey of U.S. adults.
But by looking up information about you or your family’s health online, you may be revealing more information than you realize.
In the past year, our survey found, 65 percent of Americans used an internet search or went to medical websites to learn about medical conditions that they (or friends or family members) might have. That’s not counting people who used their healthcare provider’s patient portal or insurance company’s website.