Google teamed up with Harvard Medical School and Mayo Clinic experts in order to provide accurate health information in its Knowledge Graph app.
According to VentureBeat, it is still difficult to investigate medical symptoms on the web. Searches for a full diagnosis online can easily spiral out of control if you take a wrong turn while investigating something harmless.
Being aware of this phenomenon and the need for a solution, Google teamed up with doctors from Mayo Clinic and Harvard Medical School to develop a list of symptoms. According to a Google blog post, around one percent of all searches using its search engine are "symptom-related."
Many internet users might feel overwhelmed after digging through health forums. According to HotHardware, Google Product Manager Veronica Pinchin explained that the app aims to help users to avoid the anxiety and unnecessary stress that may accompany symptom searches.
By looking at health conditions mentioned in web results and checking them against the medical information gathered from doctors through its Knowledge Graph, Google was able to come with a list of symptoms. The search engine will show users related medical conditions and will advise them whether or not they need to see a doctor.
For now, the feature is rolled out by Google slowly and only to a limited number of users, in just English to U.S. mobile users. Users will be asked in the few weeks after the launch whether or not they consider that the new feature is helpful. Based on these results Google will add more symptoms and refine the search.
Currently there are around nine hundred symptoms in the Google Knowledge Graph database. The company is currently working on a desktop version.
It is expected that the list of symptoms will expand and the feature will also be released in other countries and languages. However, it is recommended to consult a doctor for real medical advice, since the Google app is intended for information purposes only.