Google’s News Lab unveils new healthcare focused tool
Google’s News Lab, an application that the search engine giant offers to help journalists and researchers understand data, has release a new tool named “Searching For Health”.
Google claims that the tool is able to track the spread of diseases and illnesses compared to the rate at which they are searched for within its search engines.
Studies have shown that 80% of internet users have searched for a health-related issue online, something that Google has tapped into with its new tool.
The website reveals visual graphics in map form, providing detailed of statistics for a number of diseases including cancer, heart disease, diabetes, strokes and depression. To ensure accuracy, Google has a partnership with Mayo Clinic, a healthcare company with over 3,300 employees.
The site itself is a collaboration between Google, research design firm Schema Design, and design studio Alberto Cairo.
The trio don’t have any major expectations in the app having a positive impact on public health and disease control, and it remains to be seen whether it will or not, with its purpose more geared at providing research statistics.
This isn’t the first time that Google has looked into compiling publicly available health-related information, having updated its catalogue of health symptoms with detailed descriptions, symptoms, and potential treatment options for specific diseases.