Web searches likely to be part of consultations

Using the internet to search for diagnoses will be expected in consultations, according to an expert in medical informatics.

Martin Gardner, from the University of Glasgow, said that better integration of web information with clinical record systems means such searches could soon become part of the consultation process.

GPs would benefit from a ‘collaborative filtering technique’ where a web search engine that stores queries from other doctors to help GPs quickly prioritise search results.

A survey by GP in December 2006, showed that 55 per cent of GPs use search engines during consultations, with Google proving the most popular.

But claims last year that doctors should use web search engines for tricky diagnoses were met with calls to stick to authoritative information sources (GP, 17 November 2006).

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