Most of us–more than 70%–look up health information at least once a year, according to the Pew Internet Research Center. And yet, it’s often hard to know whether Google’s search results contain reliable and accurate information. Thankfully though, Google is about to inject some clarity into your medical-related searches online. The company announced today that it is adding doctor-reviewed information about common health conditions to its Knowledge Graph search results. The new feature will be rolled out in the U.S. “over the next few days.”
“We’ll show you typical symptoms and treatments, as well as details on how common the condition is—whether it’s critical, if it’s contagious, what ages it affects, and more,” the company explains on its official blog. “For some conditions you’ll also see high-quality illustrations from licensed medical illustrators. Once you get this basic info from Google, you should find it easier to do more research on other sites around the web, or know what questions to ask your doctor.”
The information in Google’s Knowledge Graph is curated, compiled and reviewed by medical professionals. It has been checked for accuracy by Google’s own team of medical doctors, as well as doctors at the Mayo Clinic.
Of course, Google’s medical additions to the Knowledge Graph are no substitute for a licensed health care provider, and the information should not be used as medical advice. (There are other apps that can provide qualified medical advice, if necessary.) But the Knowledge Graph can help educate you about your own body, and clue you in on just how serious a medical problem actually is. It’s good for research and preventative purposes too, in case you want to read up on the flu or measles, for example.
Google’s health information is rolling out now in the U.S. in English, and covers a number of common conditions. Future plans involve covering more medical conditions in more countries around the globe. You can give it a try later this week by performing a search on google.com or on the Google mobile app.
[Image credit: Google]