Tech giant Google announced a new health symptom checker that will supposedly give medically accurate information, making it easier for people to self-diagnose. The tool will roll out in the United States in a few days’ time.
Google said the results come up only if you look for health conditions that are verified on its database. A team of doctors will also go through the symptom information to ensure that Google puts up the right information.
“We worked with a team of medical doctors… 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,” said Product Manager Veronica Pinchin.
As of now, the results will only show in English for users in the United States. Gradually, it hopes to make the feature available in more countries and languages. There are also plans to add new symptoms to its catalogue.
Pinchin explained how the tool will work in a Google blog. “For individual symptoms such as 'headache,' we’ll also give you an overview description along with information on self-treatment options and what might warrant a doctor’s visit. By doing this, our goal is to help you to navigate and explore health conditions related to your symptoms, and quickly get to the point where you can do more in-depth research on the web or talk to a health professional,” she wrote in a Google blog.
However, Google maintains that the tool is for “informational purposes only”, and recommends that everyone consult a doctor if they need advice.