'Googling' could help doctors' diagnoses

 作者:祝辋     |      日期:2019-03-02 02:06:00
By Peter Aldhous Every hypochondriac with web access has done it: tried to diagnose their symptoms using Google. In the hands of amateurs, this may do more harm than good, but could the search engine be a useful tool for the professionals? Yes, say two doctors who put Google’s medical prowess to the test by typing in key symptoms of difficult-to-diagnose cases from New England Journal of Medicine. Though Google pointed to the correct diagnosis in only 15 out of 26 cases, Hangwi Tang and Jennifer Hwee Kwoon Ng of the Princess Alexandra Hospital in Brisbane, Australia, say it would be useful to a professional. “It’s a fascinating pilot study,” says Peter Yellowlees, a specialist in medical informatics at UC Davis in California, US. But Mike Hogarth, another medical informatics researcher at UC Davis, raises questions about the study. “The article is an interesting one, but very vague on important ‘evaluation’ criteria on how they did the searching,” he says. “It made it sound as if Google will take in terms and give you a diagnosis back, which is ridiculous.” Hogarth stresses that Google will only help a trained medical practitioner: “It will return documents in response to terms and the documents may ‘help’ in determining the condition of interest.” Journal reference: (British Medical Journal, DOI: