Google to start highlighting accurate health facts in search results
Tue 10 Feb 2015
Google has announced today that it will be displaying direct answers to health queries in related search results, adding further information to its Knowledge Graph.
According to a post on its Official Blog, Google reported that one out of every 20 searches seeks medical and well-being information. The new feature is expected to launch this week through the Knowledge Graph which appears as information boxes and image cards at the top of the search screen. In this case, Google will directly serve up details on symptoms, treatments, and other related health facts such as how common an illness is and if it is contagious or critical.
This addition is part of Google’s wider drive to provide its own answers to queries, instead of relying on links to other sites.
Google has advised that its display of medical facts should not be used as a self-diagnosis tool or a replacement to a doctor’s appointment, but rather for further research and discussion on a condition.
“That doesn’t mean these search results are intended as medical advice,” said product manager Prem Ramaswami. “We know that cases can vary in severity from person to person, and that there are bound to be exceptions. What we present is intended for informational purposes only—and you should always consult a healthcare professional if you have a medical concern.”
Google developed the service with a team of physicians from its own medical team and the Mayo Clinic to gather the data and review its content.
“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 […] for accuracy,” assured Ramaswami.
For now, the feature will be only accessible on US devices with plans for a broader release to other countries in the near future.