Google Improves Its Symptoms Search Results With Help From Medical Professionals

As millions turn to Google to self-diagnose, the tech giant steps up results.

The new algorithm gives users a list of related conditions when they search their medical symptoms. Google will also give an overview description for individual symptoms and self-treatment options, the tech giant explained in a blog post. Medical terminology is also translated into simpler terms for non-health professionals to understand.

"We know that people are searching for their medical symptoms on Google, so we wanted to provide people with clear and useful information about possible conditions to explain their symptoms," a spokesperson for Google told ABC News.

The feature is currently only available in English in the U.S. on the Google app for Android and iOS and on the mobile web, according to Google. The company plans to add the feature internationally in time.

In a statement, the Mayo Clinic said the information provided by Google "is not intended to be medical advice or a diagnostic tool, and it is presented for informational purposes only."

"Google worked with teams of physicians to review individual symptom information, and expert clinicians at Mayo Clinic evaluated related conditions for a representative sample of searches to help improve Google’s lists," according to Mayo Clinic.

Paul A. Testa, MD, chief medical information officer at NYU Langone Medical Center, told ABC News today Google's new search tool "is an absolute step in the right direction."

"This only improves what people are already doing," Testa said. "It is curated so we know they are not off on some random blog that has an agenda."

Testa emphasized though that Google cannot replace a doctor. "Where it could go wrong is when people defer medical care because they feel comforted," Testa explained. "Machines don’t diagnose people, doctors diagnose people, but this improves information."

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