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Google teams up with Harvard Medical and Mayo Clinic to make its health search symptom specific

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A few days ago, while looking up the diagnosis for a sore throat and mild fever, Google came up with at least 20 disease names. Understandably, the sight of so many disease names wasn’t too comforting and I decided to visit the doctor, who pronounced it as nothing more than common cold. Well, to prevent such events from occurring, Google is teaming up with health experts from Harvard.

Yes sir, symptoms are some of the most researched topics on the web and as pet Google, account for 1 percent of total incoming searches. Arguably, Google wants to make its information as accurate as possible. No responsibility disclaimers quite apart, it doesn’t help Google if someone takes a wrong dose due to some diagnosis it threw up.

So here is what Google has done. After discussing the implications of the whole issue with its lawyers,       the search giant teamed up with various doctors to develop a list of symptoms. The tech giant then took experts from Harvard Medical School and Mayo Clinic into its confidence to evaluate and cross check the results.

The result? Nothing spectacular. No doctors are going to jump out of your screen or anything. However, the information provided by Google searches is now much more accurate — at least as far as health is concerned, and quite a bit — if not all — will have the backing of real, live, breathing doctors.

So the next time you search a symptom, along with diagnosis, Google will also throw up related conditions and information on whether you need to go to a doctor or if you can use homemade remedies or common medicines to treat it.

Starting in the coming days, when you ask Google about symptoms like “headache on one side,” we’ll show you a list of related conditions (“headache,” “migraine,” “tension headache,” “cluster headache,” “sinusitis,” and “common cold”). For individual symptoms like “headache,” we’ll also give you an overview description along with information on self-treatment options and what might warrant a doctor’s visit. By doing this, our goal is to help you to navigate and explore health conditions related to your symptoms, and quickly get to the point where you can do more in-depth research on the web or talk to a health professional.

Well, the feature is bound to prove of great help when you are unable or unwilling to visit a doctor.  The company is rolling it out to a limited number of english speakers in the US first but says that it will expand it to other countries and languages as well.

Way to go Google!


 

A bibliophile and a business enthusiast.

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