Study shows MD diagnosis more accurate than Google, for now


#1

Originally published at: http://boingboing.net/2016/10/12/study-shows-doctors-diagnosis.html


#2

My self diagnosis of hunger is uncanningly accurate around midday, everyday.


#3

did they include one group with MDs using Google? I think the combination of profession and expert/AI systems would combine the best of the two worlds


#4

Call me when Google can do surgery.


#5

With a rusty spoon.


#6

"My elbow hurts"
WebMD: ELBOW CANCER!

I like my doctor, they’re a ton more helpful than taking a photo of various things and asking any internet based doctors, let alone an algorithm.


#7

I have that right now!


#8

The British?


#9

Wrong. Google is better. I used Waze to estimate how long that Mexican dinner would take to go through me, and it was right on! Plus, I caught a Charizard while I was on the toilet, which was nice.


#10

looks like they didn’t study it, but it is on their radar…


#11

Me three. It started as weenus cancer but then it spread.


#12

I wish there had been more information in the article about who the patients were. Or was it just a list of different symptom profiles?

If a patient is in a group that typically receives worse treatment – if their first language isn’t local, or they’re a woman, or they’re in an age group with less credibility (teenagers or the elderly) – they might be better off using a symptom checker to at least get some education before seeing an MD. That way they’ll have some ammunition when the doctor tells them they’re wrong – or a hypochondriac.

Yeah, I’m prejudiced – my ear infection and vertigo was dismissed as me being in denial about being pregnant. I wasn’t pregnant.


#13

I’m fairly certain Google isn’t as good at wringing money out of insurance agencies, so MD programs still have something going for them.

An insurance agency is not an insurance company. Agencies never pay claims.

Also, poor insurance companies are being wrung by wicked doctors? What’s the rest of that?


#14

Fighting with insurance companies is probably actually something that expert systems could be pretty good at(at least until the insurance companies started using CAPTCHA-like systems to try to slow them down).

Medical billing and coding is crazy complex; but rule bound; and Team Insurance likes to take advantage of the fact that time-wasting procedural hurdles can be thrown up quite cheaply(keeping you on hold or spewing forms at you costs very little; but slows you down considerably); and can be time consuming to navigate and complex enough that one not skilled in the dark arts can make a mistake that derails the process; all delaying any payout, ideally until the target gives up.

An expert system capable of at least ‘slightly more than word salad’ responses would be capable of swiftly and relentlessly checking boxes, crossing 't’s and dotting 'i’s, as well as rules lawyering and keeping a full record of all communications relevant to the case. It wouldn’t be as good as a qualified human; but it could be good enough to cut through some of the stalling tactics; and cheap enough to make it an arms race that the insurance guys would have trouble winning(at least until they brought in their own expert system to issue form denials; at which point we all learn that ‘the singularity’ will actually be bureaucracy-bots knife fighting with one another at ever higher speeds, forever.).

It’ll be grand.


#15

I’m not surprised that a doctor would be a condescending asshole who refused to listen to a patient report; but doesn’t it seem a bit…bold…to advance a diagnosis of ‘pregnancy’, a condition associated with a variety of handy hormonal markers that can be tested fairly cheaply and accurately, without actually bothering to do any tests?

Even if you work from the perspective that patients are a bunch of lying idiots who are only bothering you because they have no idea what is wrong with them, it seems pretty gutsy, definitely shading into ‘foolish’, to just make assumptions about things you could settle with trivial tests. That’s the sort of diagnostic technique that could get somebody killed if your luck runs out.


#16

Well, no doubt, but he was the guy with the MD.

The thing is, I’m not the only woman I know who’s give to the doctor’s with
an ear infection and been left untreated due to a bogus pregnancy
diagnosis. It happened to a colleague of mine, years later, in a different
city, with a different doctor.

Incidentally, I was told a pregnancy test wouldn’t work on me because I was
on the pill. Yet I also wasn’t told to stop taking the pill like you’re
supposed to, although I knew that already from when it was prescribed.

It happened a long time ago, but it still annoys me because it was an awful
ear infection, and my ex had the same thing, but got a course of
antibiotics and an ear flush – I guess because he couldn’t possibly be
pregnant.


#17

This topic was automatically closed after 5 days. New replies are no longer allowed.