Doctors using Google to diagnose, treat and care for patients

A new survey shows that doctors are using Google with increasing frequency.

Wolters Kluwer Health

A recent survey of American Medical Associations members indicates that doctors use technology, more specifically Internet search engines, to diagnose patients. The results of the survey, available Tuesday, show that Google is the third most-consulted source that doctors use for information. The popular search engine ranks behind professional journals and colleagues, but ahead of conferences and medical reference books, among other things.

Wolters Kluwer Health conducted the survey. They highlight in their press release that close to 90 percent of physicians think that the better access to information via search engines has had a positive influence on quality of care. In that vein, over 60 percent of them report that they "occasionally or frequently change" their initial decisions based on something they've found online.

The results of this survey reflect the extent to which access to technology and the scope of the Internet can have a significant impact on a profession. Doctors surveyed also reported that they believed that easier access to medical knowledge via the Internet had improved their relationship with patients, who could better understand their own conditions.

[via Washington Post]

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