Google to offer better medical advice when you search your symptoms

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Google to offer better medical advice when you search your symptoms

Headache? Sneezing? Coughing?

Google wants to make it easier for users to find answers to their symptom-related questions.

The internet search engine said Monday it’s improving its catalog of searched Googled health symptoms by adding information on related health conditions that have been vetted by the Mayo Clinic and Harvard Medical School.

Type “headache on one side,” for example, and Google will offer up a list of associated conditions like “migraine,” “common cold” or “tension headache.”

For general searches like “headache,” the company will also give an overview description along with information on self-treatment options or symptoms that warrant a doctor’s visit, according to the company’s post.

In Google’s official blog, the company said roughly 1 percent of the searches on Google, which equals millions of searches, are related to symptoms users are researching. But search results can sometimes be confusing, and result in “unnecessary anxiety and stress,” Google said.

The company plans to use its Knowledge Graph feature, which it launched last year, to enhance the search results it provides.

“We create the list of symptoms by looking for health conditions mentioned in web results,” according to Google’s blog post, “and then checking them against high-quality medical information we’ve collected from doctors for our Knowledge Graph.”

“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,” Google wrote.

The new features will be available in English in the U.S. over the next few days. Over time, the company hopes to cover more symptoms and extend its features to other languages and countries, according to the post.

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