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More Credibility Google Symptom Search

by Bernie Monegain

Healthcare IT News

Article excerpt

Google partners with Harvard Medical School, Mayo Clinic for symptom search

Google, the world’s most used search engine, is partnering with two of the world’s leading health organizations to take the confusion out of symptom searching. “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 we show,” Veronica Pinchin, a product manager on Google’s search team, writes in a blog post introducing Google’s new offering.

Our take

Google’s Symptom Search to Provide More Reliable Health Query Results

A lot of consumers turn to Google when they have a health concern. Recognizing the volume of symptom-related searches, Google has teamed up with Harvard Medical School and Mayo Clinic to improve the accuracy and value of those searches. Through symptom search Google is hoping to help health browsers find more reliable information. Will these efforts benefit you?

They may. Providers have become increasingly aware of the tendency for patients to conduct their own self-diagnoses before seeking care. Armed with unreliable information those patients can be challenging to dissuade from ill-advised next steps. With Harvard Medical School and Mayo Clinic providing their input to Google’s system search development efforts, chances are that these results are likely to be at least somewhat better than what we’ve seen in the past. But, as Google’s spokesperson notes, they should still “always consult a doctor for medical advice.”