Finding Reliable Health Information Online

March 27, 2019

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Photo Courtesy: Irish Examiner

Tips And Tricks For Healthy Internet Searching

You start seeing a reoccurring, itchy rash on your foot, and you aren’t sure where it came from or when it got there. After about a week, it doesn’t go away and it just starts to get worse. You’re looking for an immediate solution to your problem, so, what do you do? You could call your doctor and schedule an appointment, but that puts you at least a few hours out. Or, to make things easier, you could just type “itchy foot rashes” into Google. Which would you choose?

Surprisingly, most people choose to Google their symptoms instead of calling their doctor and scheduling an appointment. This is normal, as our society is adapting to the new technology at our fingertips. However, when you go to Google and type in your symptoms, it’s hard to tell which websites are reliable and which websites aren’t. Below are a few tips and tricks to making sure the website you check for medical information, is safe and reliable. 

  1. Don’t just type into Google, search through Johns Hopkins Medicine Health Library or MedlinePlus.gov.  
  2. Check some commercial websites for medical informational showing bias/conflict
  3. Make sure the information you’re reading is up to date and somewhat recent (last two years)
  4. Look for names of the author, patients, doctor, or nurse to make sure what’s being shared is being said by a credible professional 

It’s important to trust the website you’re visiting to get your medical information from.

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