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Google to Provide Instant Medical Information for Symptom Searches

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Google to Provide Instant Medical Information for Symptom Searches
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Searching for symptoms on Google is going to yield more immediate answers in the coming days, as the search giant rolls out an update which will see information about medical symptoms and conditions added to the Knowledge Graph.

The pending update is designed to provide relief for symptom-related searches, which Google says make up roughly 1% of all searches. When the update rolls out you’ll be able to search Google for very specific symptoms, such as “headache on one side”, and it will return a list of related health conditions. In addition, Google will also return a general description of the symptom you searched for, along with information on how you can treat it yourself, and whether or not a doctor’s visit is recommended.

When compiling this information Google worked alongside a team of medical doctors to review and verify the information about individual symptoms. The information about related conditions was evaluated by experts at Harvard Medical School and Mayo Clinic. When returning the list of symptoms and related conditions in search results, Google looks for mentions of health conditions related to the symptom being searched for, then compares that information against the data collected from doctors in the Knowledge Graph.

Google cautions that all medical information it returns is meant for informational purposes only, and is no substitute for getting actual medical advice from a real doctor. The update is set to roll out over the coming days, which will only be on mobile in US English search results to start with. Over time, Google says it hopes to cover more symptoms and open up symptom search to more languages.

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Matt Southern

Lead News Writer at Search Engine Journal

Matt Southern has been the lead news writer at Search Engine Journal since 2013. With a degree in communications, Matt ... [Read full bio]

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