Like every other new trend on the internet, the online symptom checker has also been welcomed by the web audience with open arms. An increasing number of internet users are using the online symptom checker to identify the type of medical condition they might be suffering. Even as this tool is helpful to some and is easy to access, it has its loop holes.
An online symptom checker possesses the capability to provide you with a probable disease or illness you might be suffering from based on the symptoms you enter in the form. But, how accurate are the results from these tools? This question has been widely discussed in many medical institutions and schools. The accuracy of the online symptom checker cannot be gauged until there is a thorough research on the platform, its credibility and how it’s algorithm. Some online symptom checkers have a high accuracy according to researchers. For example, online symptom checkers like Symcat and Isabel have a high accuracy rate of above 65%, according to some researchers.
A research on the accuracy of these tools:
A set of researchers compiled a list of diseases from various categories and a standard list of symptoms that are used by medical colleges to educate their students about the diseases. They checked these symptoms on the tools and found that the correct diagnosis was listed at the top in 34% of the cases, in the top 3 in about 51% and in the top 20 in about 58% of the cases.
Overall, the 23 online symptom checkers that were tested displayed the correct diagnosis in almost 58% of the cases. This percentage was better in the category of emergency/critical cases; the success rate was above 75%. Apart from this, the internet search engine succeeded in providing medical treatment centers in about 64% of the searches.
Trust factor with online symptom checkers:
An online symptom checker is used widely by both practitioners as well as patients, and it plays an important part in diagnosing the disease. As a patient, it is important to believe the results of an online symptom checker only to a certain extent; you must consult a doctor in any case for further assistance. As a practitioner, you must have an idea of how often you must refer to an online symptom checker and how much of the diagnosis you must include in your treatment process.
Online symptom checkers are significant to both practitioners and patients and have helped them effectively in many cases.