Google brings health 'Symptom Search' feature to India

By IANS
27th Feb 2018
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As more and more people seek Google's advice first when it comes to health symptoms before visiting a doctor, Google India on Tuesday rolled out its feature called "Symptom Search" in India that lets users find quality health information on their smartphones.

Image: Shutterstock

In collaboration with a team of doctors from Apollo Hospitals, the tech giant will add tailor-made information about commonly-searched symptoms in its Search.

When a user searches for symptoms like "cough and pain", the app will show a list of related conditions ("common cold, acute bronchitis, flu, pneumonia, chest infection").

For individual symptoms like "headache," the app -- currently available in English and Hindi -- will show digital cards, providing users an overview description along with information on self-treatment options and what might warrant a doctor's visit.

"This is a significant trend and we are happy to have partnered on this initiative with Google. At Apollo Hospitals, we have always made optimal use of digital technology for the benefit of patients," Sangita Reddy, Joint Managing Director, Apollo Hospitals Enterprise Limited, said in a statement.

"With the launch of the 'Symptom Search Project', we aim to provide quality healthcare information which can be accessed by a billion Indians," Reddy added.

Notably, the search results are intended for informational purposes only and users should always consult a doctor for medical advice and treatment, Google cautioned.

Roughly one percent of searches on the search are symptom-related and with this, Google aims to help users navigate and explore health conditions related to various symptoms and quickly get to the point where they can talk to a health professional or do more in-depth research on the web.

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