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Symptom checkers not very accurate, study suggests

from Medscape (free login required)

The online and mobile symptom checkers many people use to diagnose their ailments and to decide whether to seek medical help are not reliable in either respect, according to a new study published online July 8 in the BMJ. However, their ability to identify emergent symptoms is pretty good, the study found. Moreover, as the average performance of the symptom checkers is roughly comparable to that of nurse triage lines, and they cost very little to operate, "symptom checkers could potentially be a more cost effective way of providing triage advice than nurse-staffed phone lines," the researchers said. more


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