Google Wants To Be Your New WebMD

Photo: Courtesy Google.
We're not going to lie: At the first signs of throat scratchiness or neck aches, we start Googling our symptoms like maniacs, expecting the worst. And with the recent bout of Legionnaires' disease outbreaks in New York, we're more paranoid than ever. In an effort to curb our cyberchondriac fears and offer helpful, accurate information, Google is rolling out updates to its health conditions feature.

Now, when you search for 900 health conditions (including Legionnaires'), you'll get a glance-able breakdown of the symptoms and treatment, along with a prominent, blue-colored headline that lets you know whether the disease is common, very common, or rare. If you Google "pink eye symptoms" rather than just "pink eye," Google will take you straight to the symptoms tab for that condition, rather than making you click an extra time once you get there. It's like WebMD, but with fewer clicks — which should translate to less hypochondria-fueled stress.

If you're heading to the doctor and want to show your physician your self-diagnosis, there's a link to download a PDF of the information you just read.

And in an effort to help those in underserved areas (places that may not have computers, but where people are beginning to gain internet access through mobile phones), Google is also including a handful of tropical diseases like Dengue Fever and Chikungunya.

The new health search layout is available on the web and in the Google search mobile app.
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