Google’s Latest Update Makes Life Easier for Hypochondriacs
Hypochondriacs, ever-concerned parents, and illness-prone humans of Earth—Google wants to make it easier to soothe your worries (or encourage you to head to the doc) by offering more quick, accurate, and straightforward health information in search.
“Health conditions continue to be among the most important things people ask Google about, and one of our most popular features,” says Prem Ramaswami, a Google product manager, in a blog post today. The company has said that around one in twenty Google searches are for health-related information.
So, the company is giving searchers what they want. Since February, Google has served up quick health information about common conditions, including symptoms and treatments, front-and-center in search results. But the company announced today that over the next few weeks it’ll add hundreds more, including some widespread but neglected tropical diseases, as well as more visual cues that let users quickly check if they have key symptoms.
The information is just that—information. It shouldn’t serve as a replacement for seeing a doctor IRL. But when your kid bumps her head or you feel a cold coming on, it’s helpful to search Google to at the very least get a rough idea of what might be going on. Google says it has worked with a team of doctors to determine what medical information should pop up and ensure the accuracy of the results.
Because, if you’re anything like me, you probably know that there’s almost nothing worse than feeling sick and falling down the rabbit hole of online self-diagnosis. But as a first step, instead of trusting other worried users on Yahoo Answers, now Google says, you can trust us.