Google to Roll Out New Symptom Search Feature
Users who search Google for specific symptoms can get detailed information on associated diseases and health conditions.
Do you have a headache or a sore throat, and you're not quite sure what's causing it? Google may have an answer for you. In the next few days, the company will roll out a new feature in Search that will let users ask Google about specific symptoms they might be experiencing or want to know more about, and get detailed information on related conditions and potential causes for them. For instance, if a user searches for "headache on one side," Google will serve up a list of related conditions such as "migraine," "sinusitis" and "cluster headache." For individual symptoms, like "headache" or "earache," Google will also offer information on potential self-treatment options and whether the symptoms, as described by the user, merit a visit to the doctor, Veronica Pinchin, Google product manager for Search, wrote in a blog post. The goal is to give users enough information so they can conduct more informed research on their symptoms and quickly decide whether a visit to a health care professional is necessary, Pinchin said.
The new feature offers a slightly new spin on the health-related information that users can already pull up via Google Search. As a result of a Search feature update announced last year, users can get curated medical information on hundreds of common and uncommon diseases and ailments. By entering the name for a particular disease, users can get information on symptoms, the severity of the symptoms, disease causes, whether it is contagious, how it spreads, how long it lasts and how a medical professional would typically diagnose the disease.