Google is trying to put its’ searches to good use by determining how much of a role does Internet searches play in self-diagnosis process. With the emergence of viruses and infections such as Swine Flu, I personally think that the company has taken this initiative just at the right time to get maximum feedback from the people around the globe. The data will certainly help them analyze and statistically view the diseases which are most common at present.
For this, Google has decided to throw a question at the bottom of pages with search results which will be regarding the common ailments people search about. Being an Asthma Patient, I personally tried out googling Asthma and got several results along with this question at the bottom:
Did you search because you or someone you know is Asthmetic?
“The question will only appear for a very small number of users but it will help Google start to understand how many people are searching on such terms looking for treatment remedies or options as opposed to doing research”, said Dr. Roni Ziegler, a product manager for Google Health. ”In a way, this is an extension of the work Google has done tracking the flu with Google Flu Trends. The company noticed that search activity related to the flu tends to rise about two weeks before a similar rise is reported to the Centers for Disease Control by doctors, but years of data on flu patterns validates those trends”, Ziegler said.” Similar data does not exist for more common health issues.”
It’ll be interesting to know what more Google is going to do with the data or how much useful data will be produced by the experiment. But certainly one thing is for sure that in future, it will be put to good use for the benefit of the people like you and me by providing with the best treatment and cure to a particular disease. It might be possible that the data could be used to offer searchers more options, such as “Did you mean to search for treatment options for X?” at the top of the search page.
What I’ve come to know is that Google will collect data initially for two months, starting from Wednesday(13th May) afternoon Pacific Time. So guys try it out and let us know if it helped you somehow.