Can your computer replace your doctor?

For many people a visit to the doctor is difficult to organise either because of a lack of appointments or because it is not easy to get time off work therefore the computer is for some the first port of call when trying to find advice on health issues.

There are many websites that can offer help and support for health issues as well as the government funded online advice service. These sites give the user the opportunity to enter their symptoms into a symptom checker and search for advice and information on prescribed medication, but these sites should be used with caution as the advice they give may not take into account wider ranging health concerns that the individual suffers from.

Health forums can be used to collect anecdotal responses to various medications and treatments and can be useful when researching new approaches to health conditions.

Many charities offer online support groups which can be of benefit to suffers linking them to others with the same condition and advising on new treatments that may be available.

Can your computer replace your doctor? The answer is probably no but it may give you the information that you need to inform your discussion with your doctor.