Dr. Wendy Sue Swanson: Online Diagnosers

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by KING 5 News

KING5.com

Posted on January 23, 2013 at 11:24 AM

Updated Thursday, Jan 24 at 8:01 PM

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

Links:

Do you use Dr Google?

Pew Internet Information on Health Search

JAMA Study: Melamona apps not ready for prime time

LA Times: How to find best medical info online

 

More about Dr. Swanson: Facebook | Twitter: @ | Read Her Blog

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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