Industry
iStock

Google Health wants to improve healthcare with search and YouTube

Head of Google Health David Feinberg sheds some light on what the division has in store

Like GearBrain on Facebook

Google and its year-old Health division sees a future where both you and your doctor use a search engine to look up medical records and research ailments using trusted sources.

The plan would be for your doctor to have a search bar into which they can type a vague detail about one of their patients - their age, for example - and be shown Google-style search results until they find what they're looking for.

Read More:

For patients, Google wants to use its search expertise to create a system where symptoms and medical conditions can be searched, but where only trusted and accurate information is presented. The company even suggests YouTube could be used as an educational tool for medical staff.

All of this was outlined by David Feinberg, head of Google Health, along with unnamed sources speaking to CNBC on Google's healthcare aspirations.

Google's health plans also took a step forward last week when it announced the $2.1 billion takeover of Fitbit, the manufacturer of wearable fitness trackers.

Speaking at a healthcare industry event, embedded below, Feinberg said: "Imagine a search bar on top of your EHR [electronic health records] that needs no training," and outlined how Google could potentially help doctors by taking care of some of their job admin.

Addressing the use of YouTube and how Google's healthcare system might one day work, Feinberg said: "You doctor, before they operate on you, they actually go to YouTube. We see that...We want to continue to build information to allow caregivers to take better care of patients, but again it's scratching the surface."

As well as providing a system to help hospital staff search patient records, Google wants to combat issues around the general public researching their symptoms online and discovering inaccurate and often alarming information. It is claimed this system could stand apart from Google's general search pages, like the company's airline flight search tool. There, it would only offer accurate information related to what the user searched for - but it is unlikely that Google would be able to display adverts, key to its core business model, on these pages.

Fitbit Versa 2 Health & Fitness Smartwatch with Heart Rate, Music, Alexa Built-in, Sleep & Swim Tracking, Bordeaux/Copper Rose, One Size (S & L Bands Included)


Like GearBrain on Facebook
Show Comments ()

The GearBrain

See which products "work with" either Google Assistant or Amazon Alexa by clicking on the device below.