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Google, Mayo Clinic Smarten Up Health-Related Searches

February 11, 2015
by Gabriel Perna
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Google announced this week that it is teaming with the Rochester, Minn.-based Mayo Clinic to provide inquiring search engine users with relevant medical facts on common health conditions.

When someone Googles, for instance, ways they can get pink eye, they can get accurate information quickly and easily. Any common health information will be provided in a “knowledge graph,” with relevant facts up front.  This includes symptoms and treatments, as well if it’s critical, contagious, and what ages it affects. Some conditions will contain images from medical illustrators.

The information has been verified by Mayo Clinic doctors. According to the Google blog announcing the move, one in 20 searches is health related.  About 400 conditions is the starting point for Google and Mayo, according to a USA Today article.

“Good information is good medicine. We took a special interest in Google’s technology for providing quick, reliable, useful information,” Phil Hagen, M.D. Medical Director for Healthy Living, Mayo Clinic Global Business Solutions, said in a statement.

Both Google and Mayo note that the information should be used for informational purposes. It should not be used as medical advice and if someone has a concern, they should consult a medical professional.

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