The Next Time You Search for Symptoms on Google, You Won't Leave Thinking You Have Cancer

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If you have ever tried using Google to determine if you are really sick by looking through symptoms, it’s entirely possible that you ended your search thinking something could be seriously wrong with you. How could my minor headache and cough possibly be linked to pseudohypoparathyroidism or hypoparathyroidism? Don’t worry, you are not the only one who uses Google to check their health. According to Google, millions of searches are performed to check symptoms, and because of this, the company is revamping the symptom search experience. 

Once the change rolls out officially, a user could type in “headache on one side,” then be met with more realistic causes, such as migraine, tension headache, cluster headache, sinusitis, and common cold. The goal is to not leave users feeling anxious over an improper self diagnosis. As another example, one could search for “child with knee pain,” and be met with helpful information, including links to details on growing pains.

To improve the information displayed to users, Google teamed up with experts at Harvard Medical School and Mayo Clinic to ensure that the lists of conditions displayed are as accurate and info-filled as possible.

According to Google, this change will happen on mobile in the next couple of days, taking place first in the US. Over time, Google hopes to create a larger library of symptom information, as well as make it available to more people.

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