Search engines provide irrelevant information that might lead to incorrect self-diagnosis, treatment, and apparently people delay consulting with doctors that worsens the condition, says a new study.
The researchers found that each month half a billion of internet searches are for health-related information that makes internet users to put their health at risk.
Dr. Guido Zuccon, of the University of Queensland in Australia, said that people commonly turn to search engines to self-diagnose illnesses, but only three of the first 10 results are highly useful for self-diagnosis, and only half of the top 10 were somewhat relevant to the self-diagnosis of the medical condition.
Zuccon added that this way people either keep searching or get the wrong advice, which can be potentially harmful as search engines perform effectively only if the name of the illness is already known.
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