With increasing prevalence of cancer and other life-threatening diseases in our societies and the wealth of information available online through the world wide web, more people are going online with their medical questions. Dr Google has become as important in every country’s healthcare industry as actual Doctors and other health care professionals.
Dr Google will be asked every question from the symptoms of a particular disease to the diseases that could explain the cause of a boil under a person’s armpit or a particularly nasty cough.
Online research on medical interventions are not uncommon either, some patients actually arrive at the hospital only after arming themselves with information from Dr Google.
Dr Google Causes Some Problems
Dr. Google has supervised the birthing of more aware and educated patients who are as involved in their treatments as the doctors they take their problems to, but is it all good news?
Not according to statistics in the U.S which show that Americans spend at least $20 billion on unnecessary medical visits in the US, a factor that has played a huge part in the spiraling cost of health care in the U.S, which is predicted to soar to $5.5 trillion by 2024.
Patients who are seemingly in the ‘know’ can also present a unique problem for doctors as they insist on knowledge they have gathered online, sticking to their own amateur medical opinions.’
Some others just self-medicate or work themselves into an unnecessary frenzy fearing for worst-case scenarios that they never verify. This can lead to various other medical complications that result from worry and anxiety.
It would be a mostly ignorant move to ask that people stop going online to find answers to their health needs, it is a natural inclination, as natural as going online to compare phone specifications before deciding which to buy.
People must, however, be made aware of the flaky nature of the medical information that they gather online. Online searches work with information that you feed them and deliver results on every possible eventuality. They are bound by no oaths, perform no tests and care not a whit about delivering bad news to you gently.