• logo

Google Search introduces health cards

By Ritika Bisht
In Governance Watch
April 6, 2016

google-logoGoogle India in partnership with Apollo Hospitals has introduced a new feature on search that shows disease information in a card-like format right on top of results.The feature, which has been live in the US for the past year, was launched in Brazil two weeks back. India is the third country to get it.

Google says the India content has data for over 400 diseases and the company plans to expand the database. Users can also save the information into a PDF file and email it to family and friends. The content will displayed in Hindi or English, depending on the users’ settings.

Prem Ramaswami, Google Search Product Manager, said, “For a lot of users, it is difficult to trust some of the information that is available on the web on medical issues. The other problem with medical results is whether the information is based on actual science data or is it coming from a blog, which might not always be accurate. Our aim is to provide a framework for users so that they can find the right information on medical conditions.”

According to Google, the idea is to bridge the language difference between layman terms and scientific terms for diseases and make it easier for individuals to get basic facts. “We worked with Apollo to ensure accurate data. We have a rigorous process for how the content is vetted, it was then reviewed by the experts at Apollo, followed by another editorial review from our end. We’ve tuned the content for India. For instance, when we were launching, the doctors at Apollo told us that we have to include the neglected tropical diseases. We’ve also got a card for Zika virus, which has recently become a threat,” said Google’s Project Manager.

Google, however, is very clear that the cards should not be seen as a substitute for a doctor. “We can’t capture the nuance of a medical condition with these cards. The idea is to help patients have a better conversation with their doctors. No way are we saying patients should ignore a doctor in case of a medical condition,” added Ramaswami.