Medical students use Google for rapid route to useful imaging information

Another story of how the use of the Internet is boosting healthcare.

This article from DiMag shares that researchers from Johns Hopkins University have designed a test to determine which web resources best delivered accurate information to medical students most efficiently (efficiency was based on the number of links one had to view). The study was conducted with students being randomly selected to complete the exam by using either Google or any other web resource. Participants repeated the exam with the alternative arm in two weeks.

Here’s the interesting part:

  • An analysis of the results from 86 medical students who completed the protocol showed that Google was more efficient compared with all alternatives (mean links 1.50 versus 1.94, p = 0.002). Following a Google search, 89% of end-sites identified that provided correct answers were medical websites
  • The most frequent alternatives used to initiate a search were the search engines Yahoo and Ask, and the encyclopedia Wikipedia. Yahoo yielded comparable correctness to Google (96% versus 97%) but was less efficient (mean links 1.90 versus 1.54, p<0.001).

Havins said that, the study also indicated that non-Google search engines were more efficient than other resources such as medical websites, Wikipedia, and Pubmed.

More bandwidth anyone?

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