The scourge of emotionally-charged and often wildly inaccurate self-diagnosis via the internet is about to head in the right direction. New tools like Sniffle’s Symptom Checker are ready to transform triage, just like virtual health is advancing care to the next level. It starts with a mammoth database of more than 8 million health check-ups, and then powers through it with artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning to review symptoms, find dependencies and common patterns in data, and provide users with an accurate analysis of their inputs. Since the database is always consuming more new information, it’s constantly getting even smarter, with a reported 93% accuracy based on confirmed cases from several leading medical organizations.
While automated tools may never ultimately replace a doctor’s exhaustive training and proven insights, the Symptom Checker can improve patient flow by identifying who can self-treat, who can qualify for a virtual consult, who needs to see a primary care doctor, or who should seek immediate medical treatment. It’s all part of Sniffle’s mission to make healthcare more accessible and efficient for everyone, including doctors and their practice managers. Experts estimate that leading patients to proper care could also save $18 billion in healthcare costs per year.*
Instead of dreading the thought of patients attempting a self-diagnosis, and fearing the extra work required to undo their unfounded conclusions, you can now take heart and hope for the best. Technology is giving patients the power to work with you. The Symptom Checker is always on call, with 24/7 access, and is available with a $10 per month Sniffle Plus subscription, or a virtual health appointment booked on the Sniffle app.
*NEHI Research Brief, NPR