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Google To Offer Symptom Search Results For Medical Queries

Ben covers web and technology giants such as Google, Amazon, and Microsoft and their impact on the cloud computing industry, whilst also writing about data centre players and their increasing importance in Europe. He also covers future technologies such as drones, aerospace, science, and the effect of technology on the environment.

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‘I’m Feeling Yucky’ – Google uses Knowledge Graph to give users more information on their medical searchs

Google is boosting its health technology credentials this week by launching a service that will show users related conditions and treatment options when they Google search their medical moans.

Announced in a blog post titled ‘I’m Feeling Yucky’, Google said the goal of the service is to help users navigate and explore health conditions to quickly get to the point where more research or professional health advice can be reached.

Google said that around one percent of all its searches are for medical conditions, and that current medical results often lead searchers to rather startling assumptions that cause “unnecessary anxiety and stress”.

Knowledge Graph

I'm Feeling Yucky
I’m Feeling Yucky

“So 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”),” said Google.

“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.”

But the service does come with a caveat; namely, Google is just a search engine, not a medical doctor.

“Symptom search (like all medical information on Google) is intended for informational purposes only, and you should always consult a doctor for medical advice,” it warned.

“We rely on search results, and we reflect what’s on the web.”

Lists of symptoms are gathered from health conditions mentioned in previous web results, and are checked against medical information that Google collected from doctors for its Knowledge Graph – the database used by Google to improve its searches.

Google also worked with a team of doctors and experts from Harvard Medical School and the Mayo Clinic to evaluate related conditions.

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