Picture this: you woke up with a headache. It’s been getting worse all day, and you aren’t sure if you should be worried or not. If you’re like many of us then chances are you’ll go online and search for your symptoms. You’re not alone. Roughly 1 percent of searches on Google are symptom-related. But health content on the web can be difficult to navigate, and tends to lead people from mild symptoms to scary and unlikely conditions, which can cause unnecessary anxiety and stress.
In 2016, we introduced health condition cards to make it easier for Indians to find reliable health information. Starting this week, we will be adding information about commonly searched symptoms. Say you’re not feeling well and search for symptoms like “cough and pain”, we’ll show you a list of related conditions (“common cold, acute bronchitis, flu, pneumonia, chest infection”). For individual symptoms like “सिरदर्द ” 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 talk to a health professional or do more in-depth research on the web.
To make sure the information is tailored to India, we’ve been working closely with a team of medical doctors at Apollo Hospitals. “Apollo Hospitals has always been committed to empowering individuals with knowledge and involving them in their own care,” says Ms. Sangita Reddy, Joint Managing Director, Apollo Hospitals Enterprise Limited. “This is a significant trend and we are happy to have partnered on this initiative with Google. At Apollo Hospitals, we have always made optimal use of digital technology for the benefit of patients. The abundant experience and expertise of our consultants was drawn towards providing clinical validation of the symptoms to spread the message of awareness and prevention of diseases. With the launch of the Symptom Search Project, we aim to provide quality healthcare information which can be accessed by a billion Indians.”
These search results are intended for informational purposes only, and you should always consult a doctor for medical advice and treatment. We hope that this basic information helps make it easier for you to know what questions to ask your doctor. So the next time you’re worried about an upset stomach, or want to look up symptoms for someone in your family, a Google search will be a helpful place to start.
The new symptom search experience will be available in Hindi and English on the Google App (Android and iOS).
Posted by Henrique Bejgel, Software Engineer, Google Search