Feeling itchy? Think that pain in your side MIGHT be appendicitis? We’ve all done it- searched Dr. Google for the cure for what ails us, and done a self-diagnosis.
Well, looks like Google knows this and is trying to keep up.
The giant Internet company announced earlier this month that they are doing a massive overhaul of their database on Google search to upgrade their information on health conditions. Google is more than doubling their database to cover over 900 conditions, to better display basic info on symptoms, treatments, and prevalence when you search for conditions and diseases.
“Indeed, health conditions continue to be among the most important things people ask Google about, and one of our most popular features,” Google wrote in a blog post.
One of the updates coming with the overhaul is a “Download PDF” option, which allows users to print out the information that they search, and bring it to the doctor’s office when they do visit.
A writer on the Google blog tells of how when their infant son fell off a bed while on vacation, they were concerned that he might have a concussion, but when searching online, they couldn’t immediately find the information that they needed, “…and I work at Google!” Prem Ramaswami, admitted.
“Thankfully my son was OK, but the point is this stuff really matters: one in 20 Google searches are for health-related information. And you should find the health information you need more quickly and easily,” stated Ramaswami.
Here’s a video detailing what happened back in February:
The massive tech company worked with a team of medical doctors (led by our own Dr. Kapil Parakh, M.D., MPH, Ph.D.) to carefully compile, curate, and review the information that is now available through their feature.
According to the blog, all of the gathered facts “represent real-life clinical knowledge from these doctors and high-quality medical sources across the web, and the information has been checked by medical doctors at Google and the Mayo Clinic for accuracy.”
So, the next time you think that lump and bump might be something, why not download that PDF full of information, and bring it along with you to the doctor for examination.
It might help you to communicate better with the medical professionals, and at the very least, it can give you peace of mind that you are checking all angles. Like any good worry-wart worth their salt.
by Victoria Simpson