Google is the number one starting point on the internet for health information and, while doctors are more trusted, it is more often used. So, keeping tabs on what the search engine is doing regarding health is critical for healthcare marketers.
This story at MobiHealthNews looks at Google’s recent moves in the health field:
- 2013: there is no current Chief Health Strategist at Google. This could indicate that they feel it is not important, but that is so unlikely as to be laughable. More likely they are supporting health information in different ways.
- 2009: the addition of special results for poison- and suicide-related searches.
- 2012: the expansion of medical symptom searches to include a note to consult a doctor and the presentation of related conditions
- 2012: the inclusion of medicines in the Google Knowledge Graph and the automatic display of content, often extracted from Wikipedia, on the search results page
- 2013: the addition of foods to the Google Knowledge Graph and the automated display of relevant nutritional information
- 2008-2011: review of Google’s defunct Google Health personal health record
- 2008-present: Google Flu Trends with its automated flagging of search terms and popularity to predict population health
- 2009-present: Google MyTracks used for exercise activities on Android devices
- 2013: Google added a lower-power step tracker to Android, probably in response to Apple’s M7 co-processor
- 2010-2012: Google Body reference tool, which has become the Zygote Body app
- 2013: Google Helpouts, this is a special version of Google Hangouts that taps experts for one-on-one video sessions, including some health experts. Google has gone out of its way to ensure the platform is HIPAA-compliant.
- 2013: Google Calico, the spin-off company devoted to health, and Google Glass which is still looking for its first big impact in healthcare but which has a lot of activity
Other stories from MobiHealthNews:
- Epocrates adds Cochrane Library content to app
- ‘E-Patient Dave’ tells medical informatics group to let patients help