More than one-third of people search online for a health diagnosis, according to recent statistics. Among college-educated adults, around 50 percent. With more people diagnosing themselves online these days these days, it’s important physicians acknowledge how much online health researching we’re doing.
KING 5’s Dr. Wendy Sue Swanson, a pediatrician at the Everett Clinic and known online as "Seattle Mama Doc," gives us information about all our searches online.
Statistics from The Pew Research Center’s Internet & American Life Project
80 percent of people look up health info, but 35 percent now go online to self-diagnose
77 percent of people use a search engine first
About one-half of people went in to see their doctor based on findings online
85 percent of all adults in US have cell phone, more than 50 percent have smart phone
1 in 5 Americans have a health app on their phone
New Research Shows Not All Apps Work (from JAMA Dermatology, Jan. 2013)
Doctors loaded photos of moles into four popular skin cancer screening apps
They found highly variable resuts: none of the apps were perfect
3 of 4 skin cancer apps missed 30 percent of the cancerous moles
The best app sent the photo of mole to a dermatologist to evaluate
What Parents Need To Know
Health apps still don't replace a visit. Many are not ready for "prime time"
Create a "breadcrumb trail" when you're online - print out info & bring it to your doctor’s appointment
Take photos of rashes or conditions you're concerned about
Use health apps you like but confirm results with your doctor
Read health info from medical institution websites & content written by experts