Just about anyone has done one of two things in their lives when it comes to experiencing unusual bodily symptoms that may indicate illness. They either ignore whatever it is, in hopes that it will go away, or they go online and see what these symptoms could possibly mean. You could also say that going straight to the doctor is in that mix of options, but based off the people I have lived around and befriended, physically going to the doctor is often a last resort, and an annoying one at that, since you usually need to go and make an appointment, both of which take time out of the day. Have you ever wondered though? How accurate are these sites online? Harvard was curious about, so they decided to get some research done on the matter.
How the institution tested this was with online symptom checkers. For those who do not know, how a symptom checker works is by inputting your symptoms into a site, and the site then gives you a diagnosis as to what it thinks you have, and then tells you how to treat it. Sounds awesome right? Well, if it actually worked a sufficient amount of the time, then maybe. It turns out, Harvard concluded that these sites were only accurate with their diagnoses thirty three percent of the time.
I am just as guilty as the next person for doing this, but I cannot stress enough that if you are worried at all about something going on with your health, the appropriate doctor is the person to go to. I can only imagine how many people self diagnosed themselves with something and then something much worse ended up happening to them. Before something happens to you as well, seek professional help.