Health IT, Patient Engagement

Google updates health search features

This update represents the outgrowth of a Google partnership with Mayo Clinic?, announced in February, to provide more accurate health information to Internet searchers.

In this week that Google rolled out a new look — and two weeks after restructuring under a corporate umbrella called Alphabet — the changes are more than cosmetic, notably in the area of health searches.

The Internet search behemoth on Thursday announced in a blog post that it is doubling the number of health conditions it is providing quick summaries of on results pages and attempting to making it easier for people to locate the exact information they need.

Among those conditions Google is adding are the 17 World Health Organization-designated neglected tropical diseases. “We think it’s important for people to have facts on these diseases, such as dengue fever (already included), chikungunya, and leishmaniases (to be added soon). Today the feature is still only in U.S. English, but we plan to expand it to more languages and regions,” Google Search product manager Prem Ramaswami wrote.

This update seemingly represents the outgrowth of a partnership with Mayo Clinic, announced in February, to provide more accurate health information to Internet searchers. Other partners include Lumiata and VoxHealth.