At the University of Hull, researchers have designed a website which attempts to diagnose illness and recommend treatment for people who visit their website and answer a number of questions. The idea is to reduce the waiting time for visitors at British hospitals by having people avoid coming in for minor issues that can be algorithmically diagnosed.
Professor Alyn Morice, who created the cough clinic, said: “In a digital era when medical information is at our fingertips, there is a growing trend for people to conduct research via the internet and try and diagnose themselves before seeing the doctor.
“This process is not always sound, but since this project has been devised by medical experts, it provides a credible approach to online diagnosis.”
Professor Morice said once the clinic gained momentum it would start to have a “real impact” on GP waiting times.
He said: “Those with chronic coughs visit the doctor on average between six to eight times; this amounts to a lot of time and often with little success.