Chatbots that analyze users' symptoms and offer advice are all the rage in Silicon Valley.
But I had never actually used one -- until Northern California-based hospital chain Sutter Health gave me early access to a new service they've developed with Ada Health, a European tech company that is bringing its symptom-checking software to the United States.
About four million people have downloaded and used Ada's app, according to its website. But in a few weeks, a version of its symptom-checking software will also be available for folks to use for free via Sutter Health's website, without needing to sign up via the app.
As luck would have it -- or rather, bad luck -- I recently had a bout of what seemed like food poisoning to put it to the test.
Here's how it went:
I signed up with my first name, date of birth and some basic health information, like whether I'm a smoker. At that point, I started typing in my symptoms, primarily nausea and vomiting, as well as how long I'd had them. It wasn't particularly serious, so I noted that it cleared up in less than a day.