Dear Doctor Google, Please Make Me Better Again


How Can Google Make You Healthy?

We’ve seen a significant change in attitudes recently. Go back just five years, and people were deriding the medical information you could get on the internet. But with the dramatic improvement in the quality of health advice, things are changing for “doctor Google.” Now he/she/it is providing many people around the world with much-needed health information, including doctors themselves.

Worried you might be sick? Here’s how to put doctor Google to work for you.


Make Use Of Google Scholar

Blogs, wikis, and health channels are an increasingly accurate source of health information. But nothing compares to the scientific studies that underlie all the information out there on the internet. When it comes to health, it’s the science that counts, not the opinion of some random blogger. is Google’s academic journal search engine. Practically every study ever published in the English language is available on the search engine, though many studies are behind a paywall.

When searching for studies related to your condition on Google Scholar, remember to exercise scientific diligence. Don’t base your conclusions on a single study: instead, look for patterns in the data, corroborating evidence and the special interests behind the study. Sure, a study might show that a new drug is a cure-all for your particular condition, but if the trial was sponsored by a pharmaceutical company, then you might want to take the conclusions with a grain of salt.

Get Medical Help Quickly

With the rise of sites like, it doesn’t matter where you are in the world, you’re able to find the closest medical help near you. This is a great tool if you’re in an emergency situation and need to get to the medical room ASAP. Because Google Maps is ubiquitous, you can find places to get bandaged up in every major city in the world, and some minor ones too.

Risk Factor Calculators

Modern chronic diseases, like diabetes and heart disease, are usually preceded by what doctors call “risk factors.” The term risk factor first came into popular usage following trials in Framingham in the 1950s when investigators tried to find out what caused some people to get heart disease while others escaped. Their data showed that several factors were involved in the etiology of the disease, with the most important being a person’s cholesterol level.

Fast forward more than 60 years, and now we have a wealth of data linking specific risk factors to the likelihood of developing a subsequent disease. In fact, these risk factors correlate so well with a disease – thanks to very large sample sizes – that it’s now possible to create online calculators that can tell you your approximate risk for any particular illness.


Dear Doctor Google, Please Make Me Better Again
Sharing Is Healthy

All you have to do – if you want to, of course – is enter key risk metrics, like triglyceride levels, blood pressure, cholesterol, fasting blood sugar etcetera, and the program will give you a chance that you’ll get a disease. It sounds grim, but it gives you the opportunity to improve your scores through lifestyle changes and hopefully avoid disease.

Get Regular Medication Updates

Remembering to take one’s medications is a major problem across the Western world. It’s estimated that around 40 percent of people on a course of tablets deviate from the plan given to them by their doctor. It’s helpful, therefore, to get medical alerts, telling you when to take your drugs.

Google also now offers a drug interaction service which allows you to punch in the drugs you’re taking and see whether, in combination, they could cause you harm. This is extremely helpful because of the sheer number of drugs and potential interactions. Most doctors will only be aware of a small subset of the total number of possible side effects from combining two or more medications.

Ask Better Questions

It’s becoming increasingly clear that patients need to educate themselves about their own conditions, especially if they want to improve their quality of life. Part of that process is finding ways to ask better questions. But how?

Asking better questions is relatively straightforward once you have access to all the information online. You’ll be able to ask doctors for specific tests that they may not have thought of and examine with them possible ways in which your condition might be related to your environment.

Share Your Medical History With Your Pharmacy

Both doctors and pharmacies have specialist knowledge when it comes to drug interactions. It’s a good idea, therefore, to share your medical records with both so that they can assess ahead of time, whether you’re at risk of any adverse drug interactions.

There is so much information on Google, why not use it to improve your health?


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