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Google now tells you why you're feeling sick

Engadget Engadget 20/06/2016 Billy Steele
© Provided by Engadget

Google made improvements to how you search for symptoms and illnesses in the past, and now it's looking to be even more helpful. The company will now show you a list of medical conditions when you search for symptoms. In the above example, entering "headache on one side" will bring up a group of related conditions that include headache, migraine, common cold, sinusitis and common cold. When you search for something less specific -- like just "headache" -- Google will serve up information on the issue alongside some self-treatment options that might keep you from having to go to the doctor.

Google says it's offering all of these details strictly for informational purposes and that you should always consult a real doctor for proper medical advice. In other words, don't try to diagnose your severe cold just through search results. However, the company did consult with a team of doctors to review symptom info and experts at Harvard Medical School and Mayo Clinic evaluated the conditions to help improve the lists. That's in addition to collected data from medical searches and doctors in Google's own Knowledge Graph.

The company also wants to know if the information it gives you in response to those queries is helpful, and will ask for you to offer feedback on the feature. The new symptoms search is rolling out on mobile over the next few days in the US, but only in English. Google says that eventually it plans to expand the tool to other countries and languages while also including answers about more symptoms.


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