The scenario pitted 234 doctors against 23 online symptom checkers, websites, and apps that patients often use to come up with their own diagnosis. Who won? The doctors did, by a long-shot.
Harvard-based researchers presented the doctors and computers with 45 patient cases that included symptoms and history but no physical exam, lab tests, or imaging results. Some of the cases were serious, others more benign—26 common and 19 uncommon conditions. When it came to making a diagnosis based on symptoms and history alone, physicians were found to be far more accurate than computers.