Will online symptom checkers improve health care in Australia?

Adam G Dunn
Med J Aust 2020; 212 (11): . || doi: 10.5694/mja2.50621
Published online: 15 June 2020

The available tools are largely unregulated, and do not reliably guide people to the right care at the right time

In times when health services are under increasing strain, digital health technologies such as online symptom checkers appear convenient and cost‐effective tools for reducing the burden on clinics, telemedicine services, and emergency departments. In practical terms, an online symptom checker is a smartphone app or web‐based form that can provide a diagnosis on the basis of a set of self‐reported symptoms. They can suggest diagnoses for a broad range of conditions with which people may present to a clinic or emergency department. When they work properly, symptom checkers should turn current practice guidelines into tools that can diagnose and triage patients at low cost.

  • Adam G Dunn

  • The University of Sydney, Sydney, NSW


Competing interests:

No relevant disclosures.


remove_circle_outline Delete Author
add_circle_outline Add Author

Do you have any competing interests to declare? *

I/we agree to assign copyright to the Medical Journal of Australia and agree to the Conditions of publication *
I/we agree to the Terms of use of the Medical Journal of Australia *
Email me when people comment on this article

Online responses are no longer available. Please refer to our instructions for authors page for more information.