Could AI Replace Dr. Google?

Do I have cancer?

It’s been two days, your hiccups just won’t quit. You could head to your physician, but that’s inconvenient and Dr. Google is faster and free. It takes you mere seconds to type your symptoms into a search engine and just a few more to learn that those persistent throat spasms could be a sign of a pulmonary embolism. Or a stroke. Or, cancer.

Everyone Googles their symptoms, potential diagnoses and treatment plans. Google has enabled people to be a lot more knowledgeable and gain control over their health. But the flip side is that people are becoming unnecessarily scared. Millions of medical sites, blogs and Wiki pages can, intentionally or not, spew out overwhelming, confusing, panic-inducing, or just plain wrong information.

Could AI be the answer?

Shopping for a diagnosis online can be scary. Technology has progressed so much in the last decade. We have self-driving cars, are sending rockets to Mars, and can explore the farthest reaches of the oceans. It won’t be long before we have an AI-powered conversational platform that compiles all medical journals, articles and doctors’ diagnosis flows in one place to enable smart, comprehensive, and accurate diagnosis.

Until that time, we just need to take Google with a grain of salt.

Do you think an AI-enabled diagnosis engine could be the answer?