Google’s new symptom search will tell you why you’re feeling sick

Last Updated: 21 June, 2016
Google symptom search

Google has always helped us to learn more about our illness and symptoms in the past, and the search giant is now making its search even more efficient. Google will be rolling out a new featured search called symptom search over the next few days that will help users to identify symptoms along with a list of related conditions.

When you search, entering “headache on one side” will bring up a group of related conditions that include headache, migraine, common cold, sinusitis and a common cold. But searching little less specific, like “headache” will show a general description of your problem, options for self-treatment, and suggestions on whether or not you should go to see a doctor.

“Roughly 1 percent of searches on Google (think: millions!) 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,” Google said in a blog post.

However, Google is insisting that all of this symptom info strictly for knowing purposes, and that you should consult a doctor for medical advice. Google has also got help from experts at Harvard Medical School and Mayo Clinic to review this symptom info. The company created this list of symptoms by collecting data from medical searches and then compared these with the medical information from doctors that it uses for its Knowledge Graph.

This feature will be available initially on Google app for Android and iOS, which would be later extended to desktop search as well. Google will also be expanding this symptom search to other countries and languages in the near future. There are numerous medical companies already offering symptom searching services, so Google may have a tough time switching people from those apps, but most noteworthy, it’s the world’s most used search engine.