Get full access to Outside Learn, our online education hub featuring in-depth fitness and nutrition courses and more than 2,000 instructional videos when you sign up for Outside+.
Google only provides an accurate medical diagnosis 36% of the time, according to research published in the Medical Journal of Australia. Mobile- and web-based symptom checkers are algorithm-based programs that provide potential diagnoses and triage advice, and even though they receive an estimated 70,000 health-related searches every minute, the results they provide are highly inaccurate.
Lead study author Michella Hill warns that a general web search will present a diagnosis without taking your full medical history into account and that most symptom trackers are not regulated by a governing body.
If your doctor has already confirmed you have a medical issue, a web search may help you glean further information about your condition, just take your findings with a grain of salt because remember — Doc Google never went to medical school.