21 June 2016, USA :
Google has announced a few improvements in its search results that seek to provide more precise information on medical symptoms online.
Instead of consulting a doctor, users can search their symptoms on Google using keywords like “stomach ache’ or ‘headache.’ In response, the search engine will give them an overview of potential conditions, possible treatments, and which type of doctor they should consult. This was a much-needed upgrade as many symptoms are common in several different diseases.
Google is now making it easier to find a diagnosis based on the symptoms you describe, offering a simpler way for people to see what might be causing their head/heart/tooth ache, and what might be the best way to handle it.
Veronica Pinchin, a product manager on Google’s search team, said, “Before symptom search, you really had to know the exact name of what you were looking for to find the best health information. It was difficult to stumble on the right condition”.
For now, the digital cards will only be available in the US and in English; however, the company is looking forward to bringing this feature to international platforms, in many languages, and even to desktop platforms as well.
The Internet is filled with information with a host of diseases and conditions that are quite similar to one another, causing doctors and patients both to be on the edge, according to practicing cardiologist and assistant professor Seth Martin from Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine.
Individuals approach doctors after reading information off the internet, often trying to treat themselves, making their condition even worse. About 1% of all the searches made on Google’s search page are related to medical symptoms.