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Can You Self-Diagnose with Technology?

Self-diagnosis is the practice of someone diagnosing and treating themselves.  It started with the ancient Egyptians and Babylonians, who believed they could cure their own diseases if they had the right ingredients.  They would take a portion of their own blood, mix it with water and then drink it.  While this is probably the most popular and well-known example, modern self-diagnosis is just a recent phenomenon.  However., have you ever gotten curious and thought, can you self-diagnose with technology?

Self-Diagnosing with Technology: Can You Do It?  Is It Possible?

Most of us know that a doctor can help us diagnose which diseases we might have.  However, do you know if you can diagnose yourself with the help of various forms of technology?  The answer is yes; you can use a variety of tools to do so.

There’s no denying the power of technology in the health arena: With the help of telemonitoring, doctors can monitor patients from afar and get instant access to their vital signs.  They’re able to catch early warnings of health problems and make quick adjustments to treatments.  The technology can also be used for non-medical purposes, such as self-diagnosing.

Tips for Accurate Self-diagnose with Technology 

As technology continues to become more accessible and affordable, so do the ways in which we can diagnose ourselves.  In the past, we would rely on our own input to help us through the process of self-diagnosis.  Now, with the help of technology, we can take the guesswork out of the equation by using the features built into our devices.

Here are some tips on how you can do self-diagnose with technology the more accurate way:

  • Lists all of the symptoms that you have observed.  Before you hit the books to find the cause of your illness, it’s important to know and input all the symptoms you’re experiencing.  If you are experiencing a headache, sweating, and pale complexion, it’s best to include them in your self-diagnosis.  This will help you to narrow down the cause.
  • Search for a reliable website.  I’ll be the first to tell you that while a good self-diagnosis is important, it’s not the only requirement to find and treat medical problems successfully.  A good self-diagnosis won’t work if there is no way to verify the results or if you’re simply being misled by a website that’s betting on its own profitability.  The Internet can be an incredible tool to help you identify when something’s wrong, but it can also make it easier to misdiagnose things that are.  Google, for example, is a great way to find out what a particular medical condition is named and how it affects your body.  But as often as not, it doesn’t tell you much about the severity of the condition, so you could be missing out on serious health problems that could put you at risk for future health problems.  That is why make sure you only use a reliable website and, of course, better consult a doctor just to be safe.
  • Identify the good from bad medical research.  One of the biggest differences between a good and bad research is the way the results are presented and interpreted.  A paper that uses a good research design will be presented accurately, with clear conclusions and suggestions for further research.  On the other hand, a bad research paper is often confusing and hard to understand, driven by a false or exaggerated claim, and presented in a way that appears to be designed to get the reader to incorrect conclusions.
  • Avoid doing self-medications.  Virtually every disease, from cancer to heart disease to diabetes, has numerous symptoms and, equally important, causes.  The problem is that there’s a real danger that you may self-diagnose—and self-medicate—without taking a lot of time to talk to a doctor or nurse, who can help you sort out the fact from fiction.
  • Know when is the perfect time to consult a doctor.  When a medical condition gets to the point that you need to see a doctor, do you know when to seek professional medical care?  There are some symptoms that everyone should be aware of, such as a rapid heartbeat or chest pain.  But there are also some signs that you don’t have to have a doctor look into right away.  One of the most common signs people think they should see a doctor about is a rash on their skin.

You should be able to diagnose yourself with a smartphone today, thanks to a variety of apps that let you take detailed measurements of your health and fitness.  But make sure that you know when to self-diagnose and when is the perfect time to consult a doctor to avoid getting into a difficult situation.

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