In February of 2015, Google launched their Health Cards as part of their knowledge graph, the new search results cards gave users curated clinical answers to commonly searched medical conditions created by a team of health professionals. In September 2015 Google expanded those results to cover over 900 common medical conditions. Today Google Australia has announced that these results cards will soon be available in Australia.
While the new results aren’t live for me on the web or Mobile, they should be rolling out. The information in the cards has been carefully compiled, curated, and reviewed by Doctors both within and external to Google. Each card contains an outline of the condition and its symptoms, diagnosis, and prevalence according to age as a card at the top of search results.
With about 1 in 20 Google searches being for health-related information Google hopes that people will be able to find the correct information quicker and easier than having to scan through search results of unknown veracity.
It’s critically important to understand that these cards are meant to provide you with information on specific health conditions and are in no way intended to be a resource for self-diagnosis. While needless trips to obtain medical care are an issue for the Australian Healthcare system, using Dr Google to diagnose and worse treat yourself is bordering on dangerous.
Having more information is rarely a bad thing, but just remember Googling how to build a Saturn V rocket doesn’t mean you can fly to the moon. Use the information to inform yourself, not hurt yourself.