As more people look online for their health information, the number of symptom checkers are growing. Currently the evidence for safety and accuracy of these is generally limited and where evidence is available, it is often of poor quality. Also, researchers have found that some mental health websites are either drug company owned or receive funding from drug companies and that they recommend medication more than sites not funded by the industry.1 This means it is important to also check who is providing the information the symptom checker is using.
Further, while online symptom checkers hosted on reputable health websites may have more value than a general internet search for symptoms, they are dependent on the information that the user provides and they can miss important information. Many symptoms checkers are from other countries and may have information that differs from New Zealand recommendations. Therefore, it is important to use online symptom checkers with caution.