Google has confirmed to Engadget that it is trialling a feature which detects when someone is searching for symptoms of an illness, and proactively offers a video chat with a doctor.
The message states that “all costs are covered by Google during this limited trial,” suggesting that the service will be a paid one if and when it launches …
Google of course trials all kinds of ideas that don’t make it as far as launch, so there’s no guarantee that you’ll be able to conduct your next doctor’s appointment from the comfort of your living-room or office, but it would certainly be a handy option when you want the reassurance of speaking to a medical professional without the hassle involved in attending an appointment.
There are no details yet about how the service will work, but we’re guessing that for anything requiring treatment or a prescription, you’ll be pointed toward your own doctor or hospital.
Google has a keen interest in the health sector, exploring everything from glucose-reading contact lenses through nano blood bots that can detect cancer to, well, immortality. On this scale, televisits with doctors looks like a pretty mainstream idea.