Researchers at the Harvard Medical School have released some research to show the potential pitfalls of Googling or otherwise seeking advice online relating to medical conditions.

The scientists tested 23 online symptom checkers including many brand name sites and better known reference points with the result being “as a whole they were astonishingly inaccurate.”

The correct diagnosis was only found in the first instance 34% of the time and 51% within the first three diagnoses.

How can our health system better address people looking to self-diagnose?

We and the government constantly look for ways to reduce the burden on GPs yet we don’t have a reliable second point for patients to reference.

Can community pharmacy work this angle?

Are online symptom checkers doing us damage? Or is it saving GP visits?