‘Googlisation’ of Healthcare: Driving Better Solutions
The use of the Internet as a source of medical information has become increasingly popular as more patients are becoming technology savvy and 'go online' or 'google' their health concerns. With the Internet easily reaching the smaller towns and villages, use of smartphones for online search and increase in the awareness levels of the citizens, 'googlisation' of healthcare is bound to grow. Although this trend is helping patients to determine their own choice of treatment, it is leading to a change in provider-patient relationships. Medical professionals today are facing new challenges of tackling their 'web-informed' patients, since all information provided on the web may not be relevant or appropriate. Hence, it is critical for the healthcare sector to evolve a health-specific knowledge platform, which can have validated data and information that can be used by the consumers. It is also important for all providers to understand the changing information seeking trends and modify their patient interactions accordingly. Further, it is becoming increasingly difficult for the clinicians to keep pace with the enormous amount of clinical data, research papers and scientific studies available today. Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning are helping us not only in data analysis and application but also in clinical decision making. However, for AI to be able to use the data effectively and appropriately, it is important to structure the data in a way that the machines can make the best use of it. Regulation through evidencebased guidelines and quality standards will play an increasingly significant role in obtaining structured and relevant data for future analysis and for use in personalised precision medicine.