Mayo Clinic helping change the way the world searches for health information
(THE MED CITY BEAT) - The Mayo Clinic has teamed up with Google to make it easier for users to search for the most reliable health information on the Internet.
Now when users search for common health conditions — from a concussion to a cold — the first result is a list of relevant medical facts, like how common the condition is or if it’s contagious.
"For some conditions you’ll also see high-quality illustrations from licensed medical illustrators," said Prem Ramaswami, a product manager at Google, in an online blog post. "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."
About 400 of the most common medical search terms have been added so far. The USA TODAY reports much of the information used in the new feature is sourced from the Rochester-based Mayo Clinic.
“Good information is good medicine," said Dr. Phil Hagen of Mayo Clinic Global Business Solutions, according to the Mayo News Network. "We took a special interest in Google’s technology for providing quick, reliable, useful information."
Doctors note that the information is not intended to be medical advice, and anyone with an immediate concern should still contact a health care professional.
The new feature will at first only be available to users in the U.S. But over time, the company intends to launch the feature to other parts of the world and add even more medical conditions.
About 5 percent of Google's 100 billion monthly searches are related to health.