Why Google symptoms when you can consult real doctors during ECQ?

Posted on May 22, 2020 | 2 minute read

The enhanced community quarantine has confined most of us at home, which means plenty of us are probably turning to “Dr. Google” for our health concerns. We are, of course, talking about the practice of Googling symptoms to self-diagnose our pains. 

This practice is so common, people even joke that Google will tell us we have cancer once we type in our symptoms. And we totally get it: even before ECQ, going to the doctor feels intimidating and expensive, especially if you don’t have insurance. However, a 2015 study published in the British Medical Journal found that most free clinic sites like WebMD serve the right results first only 34% of the time. We don’t know about you, but we’re not ready to gamble our health on that percentage.

So aside from that low accuracy of symptom-checking sites, why is it important to get advice from real medical professionals? 

  • Googling symptoms can give us ‘cyberchondria’. It’s the term for the anxiety and stress that’s generated by our health-related Google searches. It’s bad for our mental health and adds unnecessary worry to our lives, especially during these times.
  • Most of us don’t have the training to diagnose ourselves. Our two hours of Googling will never match a doctor’s medical expertise. They are professionals because they have spent years investigating all relevant health factors before diagnosis, such as our personal and family history.
  • It’s too risky. You can overestimate your symptoms and take the wrong medication, or self-treatment. On the other hand, you can underestimate your symptoms and let a serious ailment worsen.

“But it’s ECQ! We can’t see a medical professional even if we wanted to.”

The good news is that ‘teleconsulting’ is now on the rise. Teleconsulting is a health consultation carried out via voice or video call between a patient and a medical professional. While teleconsulting has been a thing way before ECQ, it is now our best option to maintain our health and avoid cyberchondria as we self-quarantine. 

Check out the advantages of teleconsulting over good old Googling:

They are extremely affordable — even free. HealthNow, a medical platform that connects patients to volunteer Filipino doctors through Google Hangouts Meet, currently offers their services for free for a limited period in the spirit of bayanihan. Another medical platform, Konsulta MD, works on a subscription basis. They will connect you to licensed doctors through the Konsulta MD app or hotline for as low as P60-150 per month. Of course, depending on your internet