Googling symptoms: let’s do it together

The English Health Secretary, Jeremy Hunt, recently sparked anger when he suggested that parents could look online to determine the severity of their child’s rash. The medical community rightly rebuffed this firmly, highlighting the potential harm that could be caused, notably through the brilliant use of the #rashdecision hashtag on Twitter. We know, though, that members of the public are increasingly using the internet to seek health information. The NHS Choices website, for example, reports over 15 million visits per month1. Although the pursuit of online medical information seems to be prevalent across all age groups including older people2,...

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