Symptom checkers are design not to give medical advice but instead intended for informational purposes only and it can never be used as a substitute for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Just a heads up, never ignore advice coming from a doctor and disregard it just because you read somewhere that you can get a much cheaper and easier treatment for your illness. If you feel that you are not feeling well, do not think twice in seeking a doctor's advice and if you think that what you have is serious then do not spend another second and call 911.
Symptom checkers that you find on the internet will only serve as a guide for you to understand the symptoms that you are experiencing and provide additional medical information, possible causes, and treatment for those common and non-emergent symptoms.
Diagnosis is very important because this is a vital process in figuring out what is the cause of the signs and symptoms reported by the patient and is a vital part of the medical process because proper and accurate diagnosis will determine what will be the proper treatment and this process is never easy because most of the signs and symptoms are complex and not specific.
Steps in Diagnosis
- take appropriate history and collect relevant data
- physical examination
- generate differential diagnosis
- order, review test results
- reach final diagnosis
- provide discharge instructions
- document steps and the reasons for decisions made
Free Symptom Checkers
1. Mayo Clinic (Online): This site offers a list of both adult and child symptoms and has 1.2 million views yearly. Sadly, there is no mobile or tablet version for this application for now but they are doing things accessible for everybody.
2. iTriage (Online and Smartphone App): This is a popular site for patients and doctors. they are using an avatar locater for those patients who are not sure what symptoms do they have. They have an estimated 50 million views a year.
3. WebMD Symptom Checker (Online and on Google Play for Android): This application allows their users to use an avatar to point out the exact location of the pain. They are very elaborate because they ask more questions with each added symptom.
4. AskMD (Smartphone App): This is a new application and recommended by Dr. Oz and other medical TV personality. The benefit of this application is that it allows users to refer the patient to specialists in their area and keep insurance information as well as doctors in the same area.
5. Everyday Health Symptom Checker (Online): This is one of the most unique online symptom checker because it is an interactive video on a real emergency room interview. Dr. Schueler himself talks to the user through symptoms.
6. Symptify (Online and Smartphone App): This is a standard symptom checker that allows the user to give them the freedom to make better health decisions. Users or patients can freely enter a text format whatever it is that is bothering them or they can choose the lists of common complaints. One of the best features of this application is that it allows the users to send predicted causes straight to their chosen medical provider before they reach the clinic or facility so health care providers can prepare appropriate interventions.
7. Symcat (Online): This application is much similar to other symptom checkers but this application uses real and current data to tell users what illness they have. This application has some advantages that other symptom checkers don't, like the final care guide, compare the cost and wait time, allows the users to schedule an appointment instantly.
8. Isabel Symptom Checker (Online and Smartphone App): This is the symptom checker that doctors are using because this is much more intelligent than the others. It is using the latest searching technology and they have a database that consists of over 6,000 diseases. This application allows the user to enter limitless symptoms and then provided 10 possible causes with web resources for each cause to serve as a reference for the user to help them understand better and the results can be saved, printed, email and look for care within their area.
9. FamilyDoctor.org (Online): this application was developed by the American Academy of Family Physicians, they are using a flowchart that allows users to simply and easily track their symptoms before coming up to a diagnosis.