Being diagnosed with a life-changing illness can be overwhelming. Understanding the situation is key to coping well. It's risky to ask 'Dr Google' for answers to your medical questions. It's better to talk to your doctor online through Discovery Health's Connected Care platform on your smartphone.
'Dr Google' will see you now
Over the years, Google has become an invaluable resource for information about every subject.
It's natural to want to know more about any medical issue we're dealing with. However, when we turn to Google for answers to health-related questions, we run a huge risk.
"The problem is that although there are many excellent, trusted and authoritative sources on Google, the online world is cluttered with so much information that it's often difficult to discern misinformation from fact," says Dr Maurice Goodman, Chief Medical Officer at Discovery Health.
"Patients often come away from online searches feeling confused, anxious and panicked about worst-case scenarios that may never materialise," Dr Goodman adds.
Are you running the risk of becoming a cyberchondriac?
According to a December 2019 Forbes article, the ten most searched health questions of the year included, 'How to lower blood pressure', 'How to lower cholesterol,' 'How long does the flu last?', 'What causes kidney stones?', 'What is HPV?', and more.
Almost 7% of Google's daily searches are health-related. With over 70 000 health-related search queries every minute. This means around 1 billion health questions every day.
"The COVID-19 pandemic has only increased curiosity. Google's 'Year in Search 2020' shows 'coronavirus' at the top of the list on searches.
The word 'cyberchondria' refers to people who go online for answers to medical questions and end up diagnosing themselves with serious conditions based on their findings - which are far from credible or accurate.
Knowledge is power: Connected Care revamps the online consultation experience
"Having access to reliable, credible, and useful medical information is key to empowering ourselves to manage our health. Knowledge is power, and when we are diagnosed with a life-changing or advanced illness, the knowledge that is based on credible insights will empower us to make important decisions throughout the healthcare journey that lies ahead," adds Dr Goodman.
Discovery Connected Care is an improved, integrated healthcare ecosystem of benefits, services and connected digital capabilities to help you manage your health and wellness at home.
Discovery Connected Care integrates with a range of industry-leading healthcare devices for remote diagnostics and monitoring, which enhances the online doctor consultation experience and brings it closer to a face-to-face doctor visit.
With Connected Care you can:
- Find doctors near you.
- Book online doctor consultations using video, voice or text consultations when you need it most.
- Link the latest medical technology, such as the TytoHome device, to enable a remotely-guided consultation with your doctor, sending a live feed of clinical-grade images and sounds so your doctor can accurately diagnose common conditions.
You also have access to improved benefits for home-based healthcare services enabled through Connected Care. Read more about the benefits available on your health plan.
All medical information on this website including content, graphics and images is for educational and informational purposes only. Discovery Health publishes this content to help to empower patients and their families by promoting a better understanding of conditions. The views all the contributing healthcare providers express are their independent professional medical opinions aimed at supporting patients. These views are not necessarily the views of Discovery Health.