A simple search on the Google app with the term, "my left shoulder is paining," takes you to the following results, "7 pains you shouldn't ignore," an article by WebMD, "Shoulder Pain Causes, Treatments & Diagnoses," by Healthline etc.,
Scroll down and a suggestion by Google indicates the following: "Why do my shoulders hurt?" and "How does it feel to have a heart attack."
Google is revamping its search algorithm to enable those seeking web assistance with regard to their medical symptoms get more accurate, professional advice and has tied up with medical professionals from Harvard Medical School and Mayo Clinic for expert opinion.
There has been increasing criticism against those searching online for symptoms and trying to diagnose the problem on their own with experts warning that it has led to increasing cases of those underestimating their problem while many others have gone about the exact opposite direction, with some stressing out they even have cancer.
Google says it wants to change the pattern and is taking upon itself the responsibility suggest results for those searching symptoms.
"Health content on the web can be difficult to navigate, and tends to lead people from mild symptoms to scary and unlikely conditions, which can cause unnecessary anxiety and stress," says Google making the case for a more dedicated and customised service.
A new service that Google plans to roll out during the coming days will try and help netizens to figure out if they indeed need to visit a doctor or can opt for self-medication.
"We’ll also give you an overview description along with information on self-treatment options and what might warrant a doctor’s visit," it said in a blog post and added by stating that the idea is to help users navigate and explore health conditions related to their symptoms, and quickly get to the point where they can do more in-depth research on the web or talk to a health professional.
To solve the problem Google says a simple search term like “headache on one side,” will show the user a list of related conditions such as headache, migraine, tension headache, cluster headache, sinusitis, and common cold etc.,
Google says it has created a Knowledge Graph which has incorporated a list of symptoms through a detailed analysis of health conditions mentioned in web results, and then checking them against high-quality medical information collected from doctors especially at Harvard Medical School and Mayo Clinic.
However, Google has also warned those relying solely on the internet or its own customised search results not to do so. "Symptom search (like all medical information on Google) is intended for informational purposes only, and you should always consult a doctor for medical advice," it adds.