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symptom checker

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Overview - The Isabel Symptom Checker

  • The Isabel symptom checker is very different to other symptom checkers you may have used before. Isabel has been adapted from the same system that is used by healthcare professionals around the world. It has undergone 12 years of development and is built using the latest statistical natural language searching technologies which enables it to be much easier to use but, at the same time, also cover many more diseases and provide more accurate results.
  • Isabel covers 6,000 diseases and allows you to enter an almost infinite number of symptoms in normal language rather than being forced to enter only the symptom that is included in a list or shown on a drawing of a human body. In addition, you can also include any other chronic conditions you may have such as diabetes or high blood pressure. The Isabel symptom checker is the latest generation of this type of tool.

When should Isabel be used?

  • Isabel is designed to be used when you don’t feel confident in the diagnosis made by your doctor. An example would be that you have a diagnosis but you are not responding to the treatment and have visited your doctor two or three times for the same complaint. Using Isabel should enable you to say; “Doctor, I know you think that I have disease x but could you please explain why you don’t think it could be disease y or z which have been suggested by the Isabel system and which I have read up on and explains my symptoms very well.”
  • We want you to be able to make sense of the vast amounts of medical knowledge out there, become better informed and work constructively with your doctor to find the right diagnosis as soon as possible.

Patient Checking Their Symptoms

How should it be used?

  • Isabel, like any symptom checker, will not be able to tell you what your diagnosis is. What it can do is suggest some diagnostic possibilities based on the symptoms that you have entered into the system.

  • The most important step in using Isabel is the symptoms you enter. This can clearly be a problem for a layperson as often it is hard to accurately describe your own symptoms. If you have already seen your doctor about your symptoms, he or she may have told you what the medical terminology is or described them more precisely. If you do not have this then simply try your best to describe the symptoms that are affecting you.
  • Try to enter the most important and initial ones first and then look at the results before adding others. You can also enter abnormal test results if you have them. However, you must enter the meaning of the result, such as high, low or whatever the medical term is, rather than the number. The system understands text but not numbers.
  • When the results appear you may feel rather daunted or alarmed, as there will be several diagnoses and some could be very serious. The suggested diagnoses are not ranked in an order of likelihood for you but on the basis of how well what you entered matches Isabel’s database of diseases. From the list you should end up with a short list of 2-3 possibilities that you can then discuss with your doctor. A judgement as to which diagnoses are most probable for you and should be further investigated will then need to be made by your doctor working with you.

More details on how to use Isabel are available from the Help section.