It's easy to search for medical advice on the internet and to come away from it thinking you're dying.
If you have a headache or a weird rash or stomach pains, the first thing you'll likely do is search for your symptoms and their likely causes on Google, but because the internet is a strange and wonderful and awful place, you'll end up with tonnes of misleading results. Well, Google thinks it can do better, because it's rolling out a new symptom search feature that's supposed to show you better results.
So, in the future, when you use the Google app for iOS and Android to search for a symptom like "headache", you will see a card-like list that shows related conditions (“migraine,” “tension headache,” “cluster headache", etc), an overview description, information on self-treatment options, and advice about what might warrant a doctor’s visit. Google is curating this list from health conditions mentioned in web results.
But it's gone a bit farther: Google checks those health conditions against medical information it collected from doctors for its Knowledge Graph: "We worked with a team of medical doctors to carefully review the individual symptom information, and experts at Harvard Medical School and Mayo Clinic evaluated related conditions for a representative sample of searches to help improve the lists," Google explained.
Google's card-like lists might also include illustrations, stuff you can swipe on, or drop-down menus that you can tap to see more information. Also, Google said it plans to expand this feature from US- and English-only to other countries and languages. It will also bring the feature to desktop. The company has likely developed this feature because more than 1 per cent of Google searches are symptom-related.
Keep in mind all medical information on Google should only be used for informational purposes. You should consult a doctor for medical advice.
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