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Dr Tang and Dr Ng selected 26 difficult cases presented in the New England Journal of Medicine, including Cushing's syndrome, Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease, encephalitis and cirrhosis.
They then plugged the symptoms of each case into the search engine to come up with a diagnosis.
When these diagnoses were compared with the correct published diagnoses, the researchers found that Google got it right 58 per cent of the time.
58% ain't too bad for a search engine!
If in doubt, Google it, doctors puzzling over a diagnosis have been told. (...) Embarrassing as it may seem to professionals trained for many years in medicine, Google can often come up with the right answer.
In 58 per cent of the cases, Google came up with the right answer. (...) There were some errors. A condition deduced to be graft versus host disease turned out to be West Nile fever - quite a big difference. But the two doctors conclude that Google is well worth trying.