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Google your way back to health

weekly roundup Didn't we all grow up wanting to be medical doctors, with a dream to rid the world of deadly diseases and end human suffering? It seems we can all be doctors now, well, kinda.
Written by Eileen Yu, Senior Contributing Editor on

weekly roundup Didn't we all grow up wanting to be medical doctors, with a dream to rid the world of deadly diseases and end human suffering? It seems we can all be doctors now, well, kinda.

According to a new study, Google can help diagnose illnesses of patients with unusual symptoms.

In fact, the search engine helped correctly diagnose 58 percent of past medical cases based on symptoms entered into the Google box, the survey found. More details on using Google as a diagnostic aid can be found online at the British Medical Journal Web site.

However, you wouldn't want to rely solely on search engines to self-diagnose and self-medicate, especially since the study established that patients may find Google search less efficient and be less likely to reach the correct diagnosis, compared to searches carried out by medical experts such as doctors.

But online diagnostics look set for further improvements in the future, where artificial intelligence becomes an integral part of search engines.

Small wonder then that Microsoft had hurried itself into the search market. Find out what else got the software giant in a scurry this week, and why Nov. 23 and Jan. 30, 2007 are important dates for Microsoft to remember.

Also, this week, mobile operating system Symbian celebrates a milestone while U.K. retailer Marks & Spencer plays tag. And, after releasing details about its open source Java initiative, Sun Microsystems ponders over whether to move its other open source platform Solaris to the same licensing model.

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