Happy Birthday Google! Looking at the Search Engine's Impact on Health

September 27, 2010
Sean Johnson

Today is Google's 12th birthday, and to celebrate, we look at the search engine's impact on health care since its debut in 1998.

Today is Google’s 12th birthday, and to celebrate, we look at the search engine’s impact on health care since its debut in 1998. Here are three of the company’s top products in the health care arena:

Google Health

What kind of a list would this be if Google Health didn’t come first? Only a couple years old, Google Health has been making headlines since it first became publicly available in May of 2008. Created to help consumers organize, track, monitor, and act on their health information, Google Health allows users to manage their health information, set personal health goals, track progress, and share health information with others (if they so choose). The features of the program continue to grow, and Google even recently wrote a blog posting in which they announced even more tools and a better design.

Google Scholar

In today’s immersive world of technology and information, it can sometimes be difficult to sift through the information overload and sort out the reliable and the unreliable. Just because something comes up on the first page of a search query doesn’t make it trusted information. Enter Google Scholar, which “provides a simple way to broadly search for scholarly literature.” Google makes it easy for users to search across a number of disciplines and sources, including articles, theses, books, abstracts and court opinions, professional societies, online repositories, universities, and more. So while Google Scholars is far from taking over PubMed, it does provide another avenue for health care professionals to find the reliable content they are looking for.

Google Docs

While the “Docs” in Google Docs clearly stands for the word “documents,” don’t be fooled — many physicians rely on this program to create files and share information. The ability to easily, quickly, and securely share spreadsheets, emails, and other forms of documents with colleagues is something that is beneficial to many industries. Add to this the ability to use templates and forms that Google provides and it just sweetens an already sweet deal.

Of course there are many other great Google products that can help a physician in his/her day-to-day tasks. For instance, Google Translate can help physicians communicate with their diverse patient populations, and Google Voice can help direct physicians’ phone calls at any hour to ensure that the calls are getting to the appropriate place. Take a look at all the Google products to see what other programs can help you do your job better, and join us in wishing Google a happy 12th birthday!

For more information, check out this archived Web exclusive from HCPLive, 5 Ways Google Can Make You a Better Doctor.