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Search engine as a diagnostic tool in difficult immunological and allergologic cases: is Google useful?

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Background: Web search engines are an important tool in communication and diffusion of knowledge. Among these, Google appears to be the most popular one: in August 2008, it accounted for 87% of all web searches in the UK, compared with Yahoo‘s 3.3%. Google’s value as a diagnostic guide in general medicine was recently reported. The aim of this comparative cross‐sectional study was to evaluate whether searching Google with disease‐related terms was effective in the identification and diagnosis of complex immunological and allergic cases.

Keywords: Google; allergy; difficult case; immunology; search engine

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: 1: Allergologic Unit, Department of Internal Medicine, Sant’Orsola Hospital, Brescia, Italy, and 2: Section of Allergy and Clinical Immunology, National Heart and Lung Institute, Imperial College of London and Royal Brompton Hospital, London, UK

Publication date: 2009-07-01

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