Infographic: The Inevitability of Online Self-Diagnosis

Almost every day I receive an email from someone with a new infographic they would like me to consider posting on my blog. Most of them never see the light of day; however, this one interested me.  It points out the reality and inevitability of online self-diagnosis. It also addresses some potential dangers of online self-diagnosis. My problem with this graphic is that it doesn’t tell the whole story. It fails to point out the benefit of having access to this online health information and to other people who’ve experienced the same symptoms or illness. The real question is: Do the rewards outweigh the risks.

I would also point out that there’s a whole lot more that healthcare organizations can be doing online to engage patients and concerned family members, and provide them with legitimate information and resources about their condition. Here’s the deal: If there is a void, someone is going to fill it. If you look at the proliferation of online patient communities it is easy to see that hospitals and health systems were not the first to meet the unfilled needs of patients seeking information (and community). Even thought they are late to the game, this is an opportunity that every hospital should be working to address.

Dangers of Online Self-Diagnosis

Credit for the Infographic goes to

6 comments on “Infographic: The Inevitability of Online Self-Diagnosis

  1. Interesting information, and very clever of the people who put it out, since they are promoting the sale of insurance –and of course the infographic (probably wisely) pushes people to go see a doctor. If people diagnose themselves online, they may be less likely to need and buy health insurance to see a doctor.

  2. Rod Neaveill

    The old saying “A person who represents himself has a fool for an attorney.” I believe the same holds true for someone who uses bits and pieces of medical information to self-diagnose . There are always institutions, be it insurance companies, hospitals, physician groups, who have a vested interest in moving people away from self-diagnosing. But common sense (not as common as you would expect) should play a role. A wise person knows when to seek help. The strongest driver to self-diagnosing is either arrogance or lack of resources to pay for professional help.

  3. Dan, very good point about what happens when there’s a void…and feeling good that more and more knowledgeable medical sources are moving to fill it. Also, pretty sure I know several Cyberchondriacs 🙂

  4. Pingback: Infographic: The Inevitability of Online Self-Diagnosis | Medicine in Pictures

  5. Pingback: Over to you: Online self-diagnosis – dangerous, inevitable, or both? | Qreview

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