When it comes to health, the internet has surely been a blessing. It’s allowed doctors like myself to put credible information out there, information that would once have been available only to other doctors. And it’s allowed millions of people around the world to be more active in their own health care by using search engines to find information on every medical topic imaginable.
I love to see patients using the internet to stay informed, because informed patients make better decisions. But now your ability to freely find credible information is being curtailed.
Recently, Google launched a new search engine format for providing symptom-related search results. Now when you search on health symptoms, Google provides a list of possible health- related conditions and information on how to treat them.
Sounds like a great idea until you learn that Google wants to make sure that people searching for information on medical symptoms see FIRST the information THEY want you to see. And guess what sort of information Google wants you to see? The information placed by paying advertisers, such as big pharmaceutical companies. That’s right. When you search for health advice, most of the search returns showing up on page one of Google are paying to be there.
Researching Medical Advice On The Internet? Be Aware Of Advertising And Sponsored Articles!
In the article No Such Thing As A Free Diagnosis, a marketing executive at WebMD (a popular medical and health information/advise website) admits that their company generates revenues primarily through the sale of advertising and sponsorship programs to pharmaceutical, biotechnology, medical device companies and consumer products. So what do you think that WebMD will be promoting? Most certainly health products, advice and services offered by their paying sponsors.
The author of this same article talks about an example of unscrupulous tactics used by WebMD. Their website was used to coerce people (searching the internet for intelligent answers to their health problem) into taking drugs being pushed by their advertisers. This was done through a 2010 online questionnaire sponsored by Eli Lilly (one of the largest pharmaceutical companies in the world and one of WebMD’s original partners). “No matter how you answered the quiz, it diagnosed depression and linked you to a river of pills.” Fortunately, when this state of affairs was brought to light, WebMD dressed up its site and now is more subtle in pushing legalized drugs.
On October 4th, 2012, I personally did a Google search on the keyword ‘pain’. Many of the results listed on the first page were not actually informational, but instead, barely cloaked sales pitches for drugs and drug related therapies. 14 (out of 22) were paid advertisements, in which the advertiser pays Google so much money each time you click on their ad. It’s called – “Pay Per Click.” Understand that these sites are not on page one because of their valuable health information content, but because they are paying to be there.
Do these paid ads actually offer valuable and helpful information, or do they actually steer the reader in the wrong direction and towards a misdiagnosis? To cover all their bases, Google provides a well hidden disclaimer which states that your “search results provided are only a general reflection of content on the web not on the accuracy of the medical advice.” What in the world does this mean?
What it comes down to is the caveat ‘Consumer Beware’. Be aware that the Google is now using its search engine as a means to generate income and will place anyone on the first page as long as fees are paid to Google, regardless of the information provided on the website.
When you do a Google search on any medical issue, do not falsely assume that the first pages must have the most authoritative or valuable advice simply because they are listed first. Instead, look at the credentials of the website:
- Is it authored by a recognized medical authority on the subject?
- Is the information provided for your benefit, or is it trying to steer you towards purchasing drugs or questionable therapies?
Can Google provide a valuable free diagnosis on your health concerns? Only you can decide. But my advice is to start looking past page one on Google and/or to start using alternative search engines such as Bing, DuckDuckGo, Cuil, Gigablast or Alta Vista when you search for information on health.
Reading the Curing Chronic Pain website will give you more information about the abnormal foot structures Professor/ Dr.Rothbart discovered that cause many forms of chronic muscle and joint pain and help you determine whether an Initial Phone Consultation with Professor/Dr. Rothbart might be helpful.
For a more complete explanation of the Rothbarts Foot and PreClinical Clubfoot Deformity, read: Abnormal Foot Structures That Cause Chronic Pain
To find out if you may have one of two common inherited, abnormal foot structures that cause chronic muscle and joint pain, take the Rothbarts Foot Questionnaire.
As you learn more about my innovative therapy, you may find that addressing and effectively treating your foot structure may be the missing link to ending your long time battle with unrelenting muscle and joint pain.
If you have questions about what’s involved in being treated with Rothbart Proprioceptive Therapy by long distance, see our FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions) Page.
If you would like to contact me regarding an appointment to resolve your chronic muscle and joint pain, click here.
Professor/Dr. Brian A. Rothbart
Chronic Pain Elimination Specialist
Discovered the Rothbarts Foot and the PreClinical Clubfoot Deformity
Developer of Rothbart Proprioceptive Therapy
Inventor and Designer of Rothbart Proprioceptive Insoles
Founder of International Academy of Rothbart Proprioceptive Therapy
Author of Forever Free From Chronic Pain