Use of Google as a Tool to Aid Diagnosis by Optometry Students

Frank Eperjesi, BSc, PhD, MBA, FCOptom, Dip
Jon Gibson, MB BS, MD, FRCS(Ed), FRCOphth
Hannah Bartlett, BSc (Hons), PhD, MCOptom,



Background: Previous work has shown that medical problems can be diagnosed by practitioners using Google. The aim of this study was to determine whether optometry students would benefit from using Google when diagnosing eye diseases.
Methods: Participants were given symptoms and signs and instructed to list three key words and use them to search Aston University e-Library and Google UK.
Results: Aston University e-Library only search resulted in correct diagnosis in 16 of 60 simulated cases. Aston e-Library plus Google search resulted in correct diagnosis in 31 of 60 simulated cases.
Conclusion: Google is a useful aid to help optometry students improve their success rate when diagnosing eye conditions.

Key Words:  Aston e-Library, diagnosis, Google, ocular conditions, optometry students

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