Jump to Main ContentJump to Primary Navigation
Top

Google just made it even easier to get paranoid about your health

illness.jpg

It's still there. Throbbing away behind your left eye.

You'd call it a headache, but that would be a disservice to the pain coursing through your skull. You're pretty certain you can feel something inside your head. It's probably a tumour, right? You're probably about to die. This is it. This is what's going to finish you off.

Given that you live in a nation with free healthcare of the highest quality, you do what any normal individual would do: you fire up Google, slap in your symptoms and hit 'Search'.

Sound familiar? You're not alone in seeking out the advice of Dr Google: the company believes that around one percent of all search traffic are related to health symptoms - millions upon millions of people are turning to a search engine every day, trying to find out if they're going to die. 

Google wants to help. In the next few days, it will be rolling out a new feature to the Google Search app that draws in concise, helpful health results to appear at the top of all symptom searches. Input a search such as "headache on one side" and it'll display a list of related conditions ("headache", "migraine", "tension headache", "cluster headache", "sinusitis", and "common cold").

Google

Google isn't pulling in details from any old amateur with a blog on the health benefits of eating grass and nuts: "We create the list of symptoms by looking for health conditions mentioned in web results, and then checking them against high-quality medical information we’ve collected from doctors for our Knowledge Graph.

"We worked with a team of medical doctors to carefully review the individual symptom information, and experts at Harvard Medical School and Mayo Clinic evaluated related conditions for a representative sample of searches to help improve the lists we show."

The point should be stressed that a Google search doesn't offer the same accuracy as going to a doctor for an assessment of your symptoms. Google emphasises that this is for "informational purposes only". No search engine will replicate the process of a qualified, experienced doctor examining you in person. 

You can expect the new Symptoms feature to roll out in the next few days, starting in the US before going worldwide. Which is good news - we've been wondering what this rash might be a sign of...

Related

googlehq.jpg

Here's all the insane stuff that's going to be in Google's London HQ

pirates2-disneyscreencaps.com-15948.jpg

A Kraken has been spotted on Google earth

grandmacomputer.jpg

Humanity needs to take life advice from this incredibly polite grandma

Comments

More

iPhone 8 rumours suggest it'll have a revolutionary curved screen

And it could be coming out NEXT YEAR!!!

by Jamie Carson
07 Dec 2016

Amazon is launching checkout-free shop where you simply walk out

Goodbye stubborn self-checkout machine, hello freakishly smart tech

by Emily Badiozzaman
06 Dec 2016

The Last Of Us 2 and nine more new Playstation games set for 2017

A certain spin-kicking marsupial is back, too!

by Chris Sayer
05 Dec 2016

New app will allow you to check the potency of your sperm

Get to know your baby makers up-close and personal

by Chris Sayer
05 Dec 2016

WhatsApp is about to stop working for millions of smartphone users

And it's bad news for Nokia or Blackberry users

by Tom Fordy
02 Dec 2016

Delete yourself from the internet with this handy website

And just like that, he was gone.

by Sam Diss
28 Nov 2016

Get on ‘Sindr’ the Catholic Church’s confession app

Swipe to find God in your area

24 Nov 2016

Apple to replace faulty batteries on iPhone 6s devices

21 Nov 2016

These are the worst passwords on the web

Best check yours isn't one of them

17 Nov 2016

What does Facebook really know about you

From ads to linked apps to everything in between

by David Cornish
17 Nov 2016