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Online Self-Diagnosis: Strategies for Shared Decision-Making and Communication

October 27, 2017

With the prevalence of online self-diagnosis tools, the nature of physician-patient exchanges has shifted significantly. Search trends show that a large number of people research their symptoms online. In the U.S., one third of adults say that they have gone online in an effort to self-diagnose. 77% of these online searches begin with a major search engine such as Google, Yahoo, or Bing.1 With Google reporting in 2016 that they handle more than 2 trillion searches per year,2 and that 1% of all searches were related to medical symptoms,3 that’s more than 20 billion web searches for medical symptoms on Google alone every year.

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Filed under: Patient Communication, Article, Physician
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