Google boosts health search with more medical sources

February 10, 2015
Google begins tuning its mobile search application to better answer people's questions about common ailments from tennis elbow to the measles

Google on Tuesday began tuning its mobile search application to better answer people's questions about common ailments from tennis elbow to the measles.

Google product manager Prem Ramaswami said that the Internet titan will apply Knowledge Graph technology to common medical queries, putting to work figuring out the meanings behind words and relationships between topics.

"Starting in the next few days, when you ask Google about common health conditions, you'll start getting relevant medical facts right up front," Ramaswami said in an online post.

"We'll show you typical symptoms and treatments, as well as details on how common the condition is—whether it's critical, if it's contagious, what ages it affects, and more."

Google worked with a team of doctors to compile information that represents real-life clinical knowledge and high-quality medical sources on the Internet regarding a host of common medical woes, according to Ramaswami.

One out of 20 searches at Google are for health-related information, he noted.

California-based Google cautioned that such search results were intended for informational purposes and not intended as medical advice.

"But, we hope this can empower you in your health decisions by helping you learn more about common conditions," Ramaswami said.

"Once you get this basic info from Google, you should find it easier to do more research on other sites around the web, or know what questions to ask your doctor."

In coming days, Knowledge Graph technology will be woven into the Google English language search application in the United States for smartphones and tablets.

Google said that it plans to expand the number of handled by the feature and to extend it other parts of the world.

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