Anxiety and Stress Amongst Tech Professionals May Lead to Addiction: Here’s Why

Why Self-Diagnosis Online is (Hardly Ever) a Good Idea

People are turning in droves to online platforms more than ever to check symptoms, get initial diagnostics, and try to remedy what ails them all in the click of a button. They seek advice on whether to get medical care or just rest at home until they feel better. The first wide-scale study of accuracy round general-purpose symptom checkers found although online programs may be wrong, they are similar to triage at the doctor’s office. They are frontline ways to discern who needs next level care. Find out why this form of self-diagnosis can be dangerous and how to move forward in seeking better healthcare options.

Why it Works

The tools are useful because they are readily available to so many people. With smartphones, tablets, laptops, and free access at libraries, there is pretty much nowhere a person can go that is not connected. Users should be cautious not to take the information they receive from these only symptom checkers as gospel. Symptom checkers are mostly hosted by medical schools, hospital systems, insurance companies, and government agencies. They are there to listen symptoms, provide multiple-choice checklists, and offer free information. The potential list of illnesses can alert someone to a problem, but it may also give them a sense more is wrong than is actually the case.

Getting it Right

In many cases, the exact diagnosis is not as important as getting the correct advice when going to the doctor. Nearly all the symptoms provided correct triage advice in 58 percent of cases, with checkers performing better in more critical cases in one study. Symptom checkers evaluated tended to be overly cautious, encouraging people to seek care for situations where staying at home might be reasonable. This tendency toward conservative advice encouraged people to seek care to support their overall health.

Online Platforms

The challenge of online platforms is just that-they provide quick, easy solutions to things which may be more complex. This larger trend in patient-practitioner platforms can be an algorithm for disaster when looking at whether or not a problem truly exists. The tools are there and are not going away. The key is how to use them effectively and not land ourselves in hot water. It is important to track performance to see if they can reach full potential in helping people get the right care they need.

The Palmetto Center is based on a Therapeutic Community model. We help people learn how to live free of addiction. Our community support provides structure while trained counselors offer life skills training and therapeutic techniques to help you move past addiction. Our program provides special focus for professionals including chiropractors, nurses, doctors, lawyers, and more who need help with addiction recovery. Call us to find out more: 866-848-3001.