We’re all guilty of turning to Dr. Internet for medical advice recently. Late night searches for a cure for vomiting or causes of a fever, can lead you to believe you are suffering from dire disease. Doctors have noted the number of patients who have diagnosed themselves with the help of Dr. Internet with medical advice that isn’t always accurate. About 1% of millions of searches are on medical symptoms1.
Google has come up with a new way to display medical term search results with more reliable information. You now see information about a condition in the right sidebar of the search results page. This is where ad results used to show. Google stopped showing ad results in the right sidebar not too long ago, perhaps in preparation for this new way of providing information. See examples of Google searches for medical terms below:
Google explains how it gets it’s search results for medical information:
“You can search on Google for medical information that’s been reviewed by doctors. Learn more about:
- Symptoms: Find out potential causes of symptoms like headaches and dizziness, and explore health conditions related to your symptoms.
- Treatments: Get key facts about common medications.
- Medical conditions: See how long a condition lasts, whether it’s treatable, and how common it is, from “Extremely rare” to “Very common.” “
Learn more about it here.
Google is using information that has been gathered from health conditions mentioned in web searches.
A team of doctors and experts at Harvard Medical School and Mayo Clinic evaluated the symptoms and related conditions. Google will continue to add on to coverage of more symptoms and will offer this service in multiple languages.