Dr Google aims to become more medical
With 1% of all Google searches related to medical symptoms, chances are some of your patients have searched on Dr Google before arriving at your door.
However for many, searching for symptoms on the internet can be a hindrance and not particularly trustworthy, particularly when a ‘worried well’ patient finds themselves researching a serious and probably unlikely condition after searching for a fairly mild symptom.
With this in mind, Google has announced they’re streamlining medical based searches to help people navigate medical content on the web.
In the future, when people search for symptoms like ‘headache to one side’, they’ll be shown a list of related conditions (for example “headache,” “migraine,” “tension headache,” “cluster headache,” “sinusitis,” and “common cold”).
The information will show up as a summary at the top of the page so people don’t have to crawl through multiple sites and blogs to find what they need.
They will also be given an overview description as well as self-treatment option and when it might be time to visit the doctor.
Product Manager Veronica Pinchin writes on the official Google blog that all the information has been collated alongside medical doctors and experts at Harvard Medical School and Mayo Clinic.
Although at this stage, the new changes will only be seen on US mobile searches, the company anticipates it will be gradually released in other languages and markets.
“By doing this, our goal is to help you to navigate and explore health conditions related to your symptoms, and quickly get to the point where you can do more in-depth research on the web or talk to a health professional,” she wrote.