The internet search engine Google has added another impressive string to itshow -by helping doctors diagnose illnesses, acording to a new study.Researchers found that almost six in-10 difficult cases can be solved by using the world wide web as a diagostic aid. Doctors fight disease by carring about two million facts in their heads but with medicalknowledge expanding rapidly,even this may not be enough.Misdiagnosis is still a common occurrence in the medical profession dispite all the tools available such as the blood tests and state of the art scanning equipment. Studies of autopsies have shown doctors seriously misdiagnose fatal illnesses about 20% of the time.
So millions of patients are being treated for he wrong disease. And the more astonishing fact may be that the rate has not really changed since the rate has not really changed since the 1930s. So a team at the princess Alexandra Hospital in Brisbrane identified 26 diffcult diagnostic cases published in the New England Journal of Medicene last year, including obscure conditions such as Cushing's Syndrome and creutzfeldt-Jokob disease.
They selected three to five search terms from each case and did a google search while blind to the correct diagnoses. Google gives users quick access to more than three billion medical articles. The researchers then selected and recorded the three diagnoses that were ranked most prominently and appeared to fit the symptoms and signs, and compared the results with the correct diagnoses as published in the journal.
Google searches found the correct diagnosis in 15 (58%) of case. Hanngwi Tang, who led the study, said: "Doctors adept at using the Internet use Google adept at using the Internet use Google adept at using the Internet use Google to help them diagnose difficult cases." "As described in the New England Journal of Medicine,a doctor astonished her colleagues including an eminent professor by correctly diagnosing IPEX (Immunodeficiency, polyendocrinopathy, enteropathy, X linked) syndrome.
She admitted that the diagnosis 'popped right out' after she entered the salient features into Gooogle," The researchers suggest Google is likely to be a useful aid for conditions with unique sysptoms and signs that can easily be used as search terms. - Source - DAILY MIAL, LONDON
posted on 10:40 PM