Dr Google No Longer Top Doc - Isabel Symptom Checker Powers Tool in Popular Health Website

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Patient.co.uk Launches New Sophisticated Online Symptom Checker

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Patient.co.uk Launches New Sophisticated Online Symptom Checker powered by Isabel

"... it is becoming vital for patients to become better informed about their own health." Jason Maude, founder and CEO, Isabel Healthcare

As of 22nd September, Patient.co.uk, the UK’s leading independent health information site, has launched a new diagnostic tool on their website for patients called Isabel Symptom Checker. Using state of the art technology, its aim is to provide patients with a reliable research tool when looking online for information about diagnosis and help them work more effectively with their doctor.

Currently over 16 million people a month visit Patient.co.uk to research health conditions. ‘Cyberchondria’ is on the increase and a new study found 92% of 20-something women diagnose themselves online rather than see a GP. Dr Sarah Brewer, GP says, “Studies have shown that one in four of us misdiagnose ourselves. There’s nothing wrong with a little online research but people need to visit trustworthy and reliable sites such as Patient.co.uk which uses the Isabel Symptom Checker.”

General search engines have not been designed as tools to help with the diagnosis of diseases. The Isabel Symptom Checker is a culmination of 14 years and over 150,000 man-hours of design and development. The search engine of the system uses powerful statistical natural language processing software which is applied to a specially designed medical database of disease presentations.

The Isabel Symptom Checker was initially developed as a tool to help support medical professionals deal with more complex diagnoses or who were in doubt about a particular diagnosis. People are increasingly turning to ‘Dr Google’ for help and information when they are unable to see a doctor quickly, or are anxious that a serious diagnosis (such as cancer, stroke or sepsis) is being missed. There is a vital need for tools such as Isabel and Patient.co.uk that are specifically designed to do this job and have been medically validated.

Clinical Editor of Patient.co.uk, Dr Hayley Willacy, says: “Isabel Symptom Checker has been integrated into the site because millions of people now go online to check their symptoms before visiting their GP. For the majority of people, discussing your symptoms with a health professional is still the best option, but where this is not possible the Isabel Symptom Checker can assist. The technology has been specifically developed to help suggest common diagnostic possibilities and help patients be more effective with their own research.”

Sir Graeme Catto, Emeritus Professor of Medicine at the University of Aberdeen and previously the President of the General Medical Council (2002 to 2009) states, “We all turn to the internet when illness strikes. Separating fact from fiction is, however, not straightforward and the information we select may sometimes mislead and make matters worse. Isabel Symptom Checker provides the authoritative and reliable guide we need. I am delighted that patient.co.uk has adopted “Isabel” for its website so that we can all access reliable, relevant and accurate information whenever necessary.”

Jason Maude, Founder of Isabel Healthcare who is behind the Isabel Symptom Checker, developed it as a direct result of his own daughter being misdiagnosed fourteen years ago. Jason says: "As medicine become more complex and the shortage of GPs gets worse, it is becoming vital for patients to become better informed about their own health. With Isabel now available and integrated on the highly respected patient.co.uk website, patients have a powerful tool to help them research their health effectively. ”

Dr Mark Dayer, A Consultant Cardiologist and Musgrove Park Hospital says, “Isabel powers the new symptom checker. It is the best-validated system on the market and has helped many doctors and patients get to the right diagnosis. Furthermore, it has links to carefully curated information to help patients understand more about their condition, and gives clear advice about what to do next.”

http://www.patient.co.uk/symptom-checker

For further information contact:
Mars Webb PR: Mars(at)marswebbpr(dot)co(dot)uk    Mobile: 07717718063    Tel: 02890 812070
For Patient.co.uk PR/press enquiries contact:
Stella Bolam – e: stella(dot)bolam(at)patient(dot)co(dot)uk t: 0114 215 7003 m/out of hours: 07773 500 951
Twitter: @patientuk

Spokespeople available:
Dr Hayley Willacy, Clinical Editor of Patient.co.uk
Jason Maude, Founder of Isabel Healthcare and father of Isabel

About Patient.co.uk

  • Patient.co.uk is the leading independent health information site in the UK, with 16 million monthly users including both the general public and healthcare professionals.
  • Established in 1997, the site has evolved and grown in status and size over the years, to become the leading source of clinician-authored health information online.
  • Patient.co.uk’s medical information is the same content which most GPs use during their consultations with patients and meets NHS England’s quality mark, The Information Standard.
  • Patient.co.uk is part of EMIS Group plc, the UK leader in connected healthcare software and services.

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Don Bauman, CEO Isabel Healthcare
@IsabelHealth
since: 06/2010
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