Google is rolling out an update to its mobile search that will allow users to quickly find information about medical symptoms.
In a blog post, Google says that 1% of its searches are related to symptoms. However, it can be hard to get specific answers with normal search results. The update to search is designed to make that process easier:
So starting in the coming days, when you ask Google about symptoms like "headache on one side," we'll show you a list of related conditions ("headache," "migraine," "tension headache," "cluster headache," "sinusitis," and "common cold"). For individual symptoms like "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.
Google created its list by viewing which symptoms are brought up in its search results and combining that with medical info from its 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 symptoms update will roll out in the next few days, and it will be available first in the U.S. Google does say that medical search results are for informational use only and that people should always consult a doctor to get solid medical advice.