Google has confirmed plans to include fact-checked medical information in search results for the first time.
The next few days will see the search giant slowly introduce relevant medical guidance to anyone Googling' common conditions, a blog post from the company reveals. It will also display information about symptoms and treatments that has been checked for accuracy before inclusion.
According to Google, one in 20 searches is health-related, and so there has long been a demand for consistent, reliable medical advice online. This information will be displayed via the familiar Knowledge Graph that is currently shown in some searches, and could also be illustrated by "licensed medical illustrators."
Prem Ramaswam, a product manager at Google, said: "We worked with a team of medical doctors to carefully compile, curate, and review this information. All of the gathered facts represent real-life clinical knowledge from these doctors and high-quality medical courses across the web, and the information has been checked by medical doctors at Google and the Mayo Clinic for accuracy."
The supplied data is merely intended to provide basic information about whether common conditions are deadly or contagious etc., and Google has been quick to stress the verified guidance should not be used as a replacement for seeking medical treatment and advice from a general practitioner.
"We hope this can empower you in your health decisions by helping you learn more about common conditions," the post continues.
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Caroline has been writing about technology for more than a decade, switching between consumer smart home news and reviews and in-depth B2B industry coverage. In addition to her work for IT Pro and Cloud Pro, she has contributed to a number of titles including Expert Reviews, TechRadar, The Week and many more. She is currently the smart home editor across Future Publishing's homes titles.
You can get in touch with Caroline via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.