Tuesday, November 25, 2008


With people doing self-diagnosis (say with WebMD), "you've got a raging stomachache and you're feeling kind of fatigued, so you search online for the cause of your malady and conclude that you've got cancer." This link to the related Microsoft study is via Lifehacker and NYTimes.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

From the Microsoft Research link provided :
..."However, the Web has the potential to increase the anxieties of people who have little or no medical training, especially when Web search is employed as a diagnostic procedure. We use the term cyberchondria to refer to the unfounded escalation of concerns about common symptomatology, based on the review of search results and literature on the Web. We performed a large-scale, longitudinal, log-based study of how people search for medical information online, supported by a large-scale survey of 515 individuals’ health-related search experiences."

An interesting question would also be whether there is an increase in public users anxiety with searching medical information online due to their increased percent of American public without any health insurance. Do they have to rely now *solely* on websites for health diagnosis? How has this continued to increase as more people lack access to medical care in person?

Who will be the intermediaries?