.When we feel sick, we often don’t know what to do?At that moment, some questions arise in mind that should I rest at home? Or should I have to rush to the hospital? As a result, most of the people are increasingly turning towards the online medium for self-diagnosis. In fact, majority of the public search their apparent symptoms on an online search engine like Google which provides them a possible diagnosis of the symptoms they are facing. However, this mostly results in confusing information. Plenty of new websites and mobile applications called the online TCM symptom checker tend to improve the diagnostic process.
Functions of online symptom checker:
The online symptom checker has mainly two functions:
- To help in self-diagnosis.
- To help identify the urgency of the illness and to decide whether a medical help is needed or not.
The self-diagnosis aspect helps the patient, to track the illness, by providing them a range of diagnoses that are according to their symptoms they have entered. The second function informs the patient whether to seek immediate medical help and how urgent should the assistance be taken.
With the increasing innovation in medical expertise and up-to-date digital engineering, the TCM online Clinic has become more accurate and are trusted and adopted. As the life has become busier with each day, it has become difficult to wait in the doctor’s clinic for one’s turn for diagnosis of the illness. An online symptom checker has provided the ease to detect the possible ailment and its cause.
Advantages and concerns about online medical symptom checker:
The online diagnosing system can help the patients with the diagnosis of a possible serious problem, for instance heart attack or stroke, to look for immediate emergency care. For the patients with mild complaints, the symptom checkers can recommend some remedies at home to elude avoidable hospital appointments. However, there are some concerns about theses diagnoses. If a patient who should seek immediate medical help is misguided, and advised a stay-at-home remedy, the situation could worsen and lead to mortality. Similarly, if a patient who can be treated at home, is lead to an appointment at the hospital that could increase the avoidable visits to the hospital and result in the increase in time and cost to the individual and the society as well.
Can the symptom checkers be trusted completely?
We have made the following hypothesis:
- As they do not have the perfect accuracy of diagnosing an illness with respect to a doctor, they cannot be fully trusted and are not a replacement of a doctor.
- The performance of online symptom checkers relating to the emergency helplines is almost equivalent to the emergency helplines which are mostly practiced. They can be regarded as the replacement of emergency help lines. Moreover, they maybe a cost effective alternative of emergency helplines.
- The performance of symptom checkers is better than the ordinary search engines for self-diagnosis. So they are more reliable than the ordinary search engines.