Google to Answer Burning Health Questions

The Internet has long been a popular source for the public to quell its inner hypochondriac. And, often after a few seconds of panic-induced searching, Dr. Google appeared to have an answer.

The Internet has long been a popular source for the public to quell its inner hypochondriac. And, often after a few seconds of panic-induced searching, Dr. Google appeared to have an answer.

In fact, one in 20 Google searches are for health-related information — whether symptoms people had felt or details surrounding esoteric conditions.

As such, Google is adding a new database of 400 commonly searched medical conditions to its search engine. The more reliable health information, slated to surface at the top of its search results,would be fact-checked, curated, and reviewed by a team of medical doctors from Google and the Mayo Clinic, led by Google's very own Kapil Parakh, MD,MPH, PhD, an expert in clinical research, epidemiology, and public health.

According to a post on the Official Google blog, “Starting in the next few days, when you ask Google about common health conditions, you’ll start getting relevant facts right up front from the Knowledge Graph.”

Prem Ramaswami, Google Product Manager, continued, “We’ll show you typical symptoms and treatments, as well as details on how common the condition is — whether it’s critical, if it’s contagious, what ages it affects, and more. For some conditions, you’ll also see high-quality illustrations from licenses medical illustrators. Once you get this basic info from Google, you should find it easier to do more research on other sites around the web, or know what questions to ask your doctor.”

Google’s updated feature is certainly no replacement for a physician. Rather, it’s presented as a reputable source of data for individuals to make informed decisions about their health.