Mayo, Google Partner For New Symptom Search Feature
Telemedicine is on the rise as more and more people are turning to the internet for health information before consulting a doctor. Often, Google is the first stop with 1 percent—or roughly 35 million—of the search queries it receives each day being symptom-related.
To simplify how users navigate health content on the web, Google has partnered with Mayo Clinic and experts at the Harvard Medical School to create lists of conditions (along with overview descriptions and self-treatment options) related to a user’s search.
The results Google pulls are also geared toward colloquial terms. For example, if a person were to search “my tummy hurts,” the search page would be topped with information on abdominal pain, stomach flu, lactose intolerance and other ailments.
“At Mayo Clinic, we constantly seek to discover and share medical knowledge for the benefit of everyone,” said Sandhya Pruthi, chief medical editor of Mayo Clinic Global Business Solutions. “Providing reliable and accessible health information at the digital consumer’s initial point of need—such as through Google search—is a natural extension of Mayo Clinic.”
The Rochester-based health organization hopes its partnership with Google will result in more traffic to its own website, subsequently increasing Mayo’s brand awareness.
“Google symptom search should be viewed as a more efficient exploration tool for individuals needing accurate health information,” Pruthi said, “and as they seek more in-depth knowledge, they can quickly connect to trusted health information sources like MayoClinic.org.”
A spokeswoman for Mayo declined to disclose the terms of the deal with Google.
The new symptom search feature is only available on mobile devices.