symptom-search

From sport results to maps, Google Search now shows a lot more than just 10 blue links. Especially useful on mobile, Knowledge Graph aims to show relevant information without requiring users to click through a webpage. In an update rolling out over the next few days, Google will now surface possible medical conditions when you search for symptoms.

When users enter a symptom into Google Search on mobile, they will see a carousel of health conditions related to that search. The cards list a basic summary, causes, risk factors, as well as how common an ailment is. For individual symptoms, Google will list information on self-treatment options and what might warrant a doctor’s visit. Underneath the carousel, users can leave feedback and see what sources were used to suggest the condition.

The list of symptoms were created by looking for health conditions mentioned in search results and then checking them against high-quality information added to Knowledge Graph last year. To further verify the data, a team of doctors carefully reviewed the individual symptom information and experts at the Harvard Medical School and the Mayo Clinic evaluated related conditions to improve the accuracy of the conditions carousel.

This new feature will be very useful as Google notes roughly 1% of all searches are related to symptoms. Google cautions that symptom search is intended for informational purposes only and that a doctor should always be consulted for medical advice. As the feature rolls out, Google will automatically ask if suggested symptoms were useful and allow users to leave feedback.

Symptom search will be rolled out to mobile over the new few days in the US and starting in English. Over time, it will expand to other languages, countries, and include more symptoms.

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