The days of self-diagnosed cancer for everyday maladies may finally be behind us. Google has announced a new feature called “symptom search,” which is intended to increase the accuracy and helpfulness of medical information on its mobile browsers. The search engine has been developed in collaboration with experts from Harvard Medical School and the Mayo Clinic to increase the accuracy of diagnosis and assist users in proper care and treatment.
In the past, Google’s algorithm needed exact descriptions to bring up good information, but symptom search hopes to connect users with the materials they need using everyday descriptions. For instance, searching “headache on left side” will bring up general information about the issue, a list of related conditions, potential options for self-treatment, and advice of whether or not to seek medical consultation.
With about one percent of all searches dealing with medical conditions, it is no surprise the tech giant wants to improve its diagnosis functionality. Google hopes the new health feature will facilitate communication between patients and their doctors and improve the wellness of its users.
The symptom search feature will be on all iOS and Android mobile applications over the next month and Google hopes to make a desktop compatible version in the near future. Further expansions to include more symptoms and provide access in languages other than English are on the horizon as well.
Read more here: “Google Sharpens Search Results for ‘Skin Rash,’ ‘Tummy Ache’ and Other Symptoms” (Nathan Olivarez-Giles, WSJ)