If you would rather Google the symptoms you experience and give yourself a diagnosis than going to your GP to see what’s wrong, Google has a shiny new solution. The company announced that it has upgraded its health conditions feature with new information.
The upgrade includes over 900 diseases and conditions introduced in the database which you can access with a simple mouse click. You’ll be able to read overall description of the diseases, symptoms, recommended drugs, and occurrence in a geographical area.
Everyone can now look for and even print valuable information on an ailment before visiting a doctor. Some doctors may play along and find the feature useful.
The tech giant rolled out the health conditions feature seven months ago in an attempt to lure an ever growing segment of users over-concerned about their health, but too anxious to reach a real doctor. Some of these people are usually referred to as hypochondriacs in the medical literature.
The recent update was a quick response to the Legionnaires’ disease outbreak reported in New York earlier this summer. Google noted that searches on the disease skyrocketed by 1,000 percent during the outbreak.
The company also revealed that the information in the update was reviewed by medical doctors and should be safe and accurate. Among the 900 diseases and illnesses, there are also some exotic diseases including infections that can only be found in poorer regions of the world but some of them affect up to 1.5 billion people.
And Google’s move may be brilliant since surveys show that people are less willing to stay in line in the waiting room or wait weeks Many of them would rather get their medical advice via the telephone, Skype, or e-mail/IM aps, while others use online symptoms checkers when suspecting a disease. Nevertheless, critics warn that the methods are not safe despite being so convenient.
Yet, Google seems increasingly interested in expanding its health operations. Recently, its semi-secret Google Life Sciences division partnered with France-based pharma Sanofi to create mini-sensors that can monitor diabetes patients 24/7 in an attempt to better treat the condition.
Google has also teamed up with Novartis to design contact lenses that can report glucose levels in diabetes patients, and had a deal with DexCom to design a wearable that can keep track of blood sugar levels.
Google Life Sciences researchers are currently working on high-tech devices that can sense cardiac rhythm and can keep track of physical activity. The team also dreams about using nanotechnology in detecting cancer. Google said that the division would not morph into a medical research group, unlike San Francisco-based Calico, which currently looks for new ways of prolonging human lifespan.
Image Source: Torange
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