Google is always trying new things, mostly involving parsing your search results and offering you contextually correct offers for help, such as knowledge cards (or advertising) based on the search. One of their new trials is an offer to connect you with a physician if your search results appear to be a medical question.
The offer to connect to a free video chat with a Dr, was first reported by reddit user Jasonahoule. He showed off a screenshot of a search for Knee Pain, and the offer was made. The popup actually states quite clearly that the offer is a limited trial, a trial limited to the US based on Jasonahoule’s location.
The offer appears to be very much in a trial, with even people based in the US reporting in the reddit thread that they weren’t seeing it. It’s unclear whether the link then opens the Helpout Android app, or if it uses WebRTC to connect from the browser. Unfortunately Jasonahoule was not able to clarify this as he chose not to use the option, stating ‘I didn’t want to waste a doctors time asking about exercises to reduce knee pain when there is plenty of information out there. I am very curious as to how it works though.’
It’s an interesting new trial, whether it eventually goes live or not is something only Google can decide. We’ll wait and see what happens.