"It is true, and thus the question of whether it is sad or happy has no meaning whatever."
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Science is best when discussed: leave your thoughts and ideas in the comments!!

Wednesday, July 07, 2004

Calling All Hypochondriacs!! 

Harvard now has a disease risk evaluator on its website. It makes me sad when otherwise respectable institutions engage in this kind of DOQRAPS. Similar to the half-baked BMI calculations and assessments I mentioned earlier, this is not a diagnostic tool but, at best, a marketing campaign (although for what I'm not sure).

Yes, maybe one person will go to his or her doctor and find a real problem, but with that one there will be hundreds who go and spend unnecessary time and money and doctors' resources. A simple informative quiz would be better: 'which of the following things is good for reducing X risk?' followed by explanations of responses. It'll still send some people to their doctors, but fewer, and also they'll have some good information even if they don't go.

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