Can search engines be helpful for doctors in diagnosis? New Scientist reports:
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.
My question would’ve been: How could search possibly not be helpful in diagnosing? The medical profession ought to think about applying text-mining technology to vast databases to link natural, human descriptions of symptoms with relevant content, which may or may not already use the same descriptors. Matt Hurst would have more to add here than me.