Since 2012, Google Knowledge Graph cards have grown to include a large corpus of useful information. Last year, Search began rolling out health-related cards that list symptoms and the usual treatments. Google is today adding a clinically validated screening questionnaire to the Knowledge Panel on depression.
The PHQ-9 is clinically validated “to test what your likely level of depression may be.” To ensure that the information is accurate and useful, Google has partnered with the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI).
Mental health professionals often refer to major depressive disorder as clinically significant depression or clinical depression. Clinical depression is a treatable condition which can impact many aspects of a person’s life. The PHQ-9 can be the first step to getting a proper diagnosis.
The questionnaire is more than just a link to a site, but rather launches right in Search as a dedicated experience. Google notes that this self-assessment is private and meant to aid whether an in-person evaluation and talk with your doctor is required. However, the NAMI importantly reminds users that the PHQ-9 is not a “singular tool for diagnosis.”
Statistics show that those who have symptoms of depression experience an average of a 6-8 year delay in getting treatment after the onset of symptoms. We believe that awareness of depression can help empower and educate you, enabling quicker access to treatment.
Google is not the only Alphabet division to be working on depression. Verily is similarly focusing on meatal health and gathering datasets on depression to someday create a “personalized approach to treatment.”
The questionnaire will appear in Google searches for “depression“ and related queries starting today. It is limited to users in the U.S. and mobile for the moment.