Google Changing Health Related Search Results

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Google has been ruling the tech world for years but now the tech giant has decided to dive into the world of health too! Nearly 1 out of every 20 searches on Google are related to health issues, and therefore this effort, if done properly, can be helpful for many people around the world. However if it goes bad, it may itself be the cause of serious health issues.

 

Why is Google going to change health related search results?

 

Well their official statement would included that they basically want to help the humanity to get the best medical advice and be healthy. This could possibly be the real motive behind the move too. However, if we dig deeper into the issue, we’ll see that Google has been putting its feet into a lot of stuff in recent years, including the robotics, artificial intelligence, internet provision and so on. So on the business end, it’s about profit. Apple and Bing has already put their feet into it some years back.

 

How would the new health search results change?

 

Unlike Bing who relies mainly on the Wikipedia based info, written by non-professionals mostly, for its health related queries, Google has partnered with Mayo Clinic for its venture. They’ve created a database of the most commonly searched medical conditions and got it extensively checked and reviewed by the doctors at Mayo Clinic.

 

So now whenever someone searches for any medical issue related to the most common conditions, Google will show the results from the database on top of the results in its classic way. This would include the symptoms and info on management of the condition, along with information regarding how critical, common and contagious it is.

 

Amit Singhal, Google’s Search Vice President mentioned that the 400 conditions have been vetted by 11 doctors on average for each fact.

 

These results are currently not available all over the world and are returned to the US citizens only. However Google plans to expand this service to other countries and enhance the list of conditions and disorders as well.

 

Hazards of this change in health results

 

Although it could be a very good service to help people get familiar with the health conditions they have, this could also lead to some hazards including self diagnosis and self medication, which can lead to serious side effects, as proper diagnosis and management shouldn’t dependent on simply one or two symptoms, but rather on the overall condition and circumstance of the patient – and not just treating the obvious symptoms.

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