Google Search Rolling Out Nutrition Information On More Than 1,000 Foods

google-food-burger-200px Building on their Knowledge Graph technology, Google search is rolling out nutrition information on more than 1,000 fruits, vegetables, meats and meals. Users will be able to search on everything from simple one-word terms like apple or carrot to more complex dishes such as burritos or chow mein to find relevant nutrition information. According to Google's announcement, Google voice search users will hear answers to specific questions, like "How much protein is in a banana?" or "How many calories are in an avocado?" as well as receive relevant nutrition information in search results, and [...]

Google Adds Medications To Its Knowledge Graph

google-health-medical Searchers in need of medical information will begin seeing detailed information on medications as part of Google's Knowledge Graph product. In today's announcement, Google says it'll source the data from sources like the National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health, the US Food & Drug Administration, the Dept. of Veterans Affairs and others. Here's a screenshot from Google's announcement, using the drug Naproxen as an example. Google has created a number of health-related search features over the years, including a health OneBox that's been around since August 2009. [...]

Where’s It Hurt? After You Search For A Symptom, New Google Health Search Results Suggest Causes

google-health-computer-featured Roughly 100 million people in the US search for health information on a monthly basis, according to 2011 comScore data. Google has seen these queries up close and recently concluded that it doesn't do a great job of servicing them. The company is thus introducing improved results that shorten the time from symptom-related search to discovery of potential medical causes and conditions. Google Chief Health Strategist Roni Zeiger, MD, says the company sees users search on health symptoms and then almost immediately turn around and search for conditions they discovered in those initial search r [...]

Google’s New Privacy Policy May Violate HIPAA, Congresswoman Says

google-health-medical Several members of Congress continued to express reservations about Google's new privacy policy after a closed-door meeting on Thursday, with one House member saying that Google's handling of sensitive medical searches may violate HIPAA, the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act. Members of the House Energy and Commerce committee grilled Pablo Chavez, Google's director of public policy, and Google attorney Michael Yang for about two hours. After the meeting, several of the Representatives expressed their unhappiness with Google's answers on a variety of privacy issues -- quest [...]

Google Health To Be Shuttered On January 1, 2012

google-g-logo Google Health, the company's attempt to improve health care by letting consumers move medical data online and control who can access it, is shutting down. The service will be retired on January 1, 2012. In a blog post announcing the news, Google says the product didn't catch on as it had hoped: Google Health is not having the broad impact that we hoped it would. There has been adoption among certain groups of users like tech-savvy patients and their caregivers, and more recently fitness and wellness enthusiasts. But we haven't found a way to translate that limited usage into widespread [...]

Google Adds Emergency Help To Search Results In 13 Countries

Expanding on something it's been doing in the U.S. since last year, Google is now showing emergency information at the top of the search results in 13 countries. This means that searchers who type in queries that are the equivalent of English phrases like "poison control" and "emergency" will see special information above the search results. Here are two examples from Google's blog post: Google says the new results are available in these countries: Australia, Belgium, France, Germany, Hungary, Italy, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and the United Kingdom [...]

Google Translate Adds Latin, Google Renews Flu Search, & Adds Languages To Video Alerts

Google announced a few new small features added recently. (1) Google Translate added Latin as a new language. Google said, "although considered a "dead language" by many, Latin is still studied by hundreds of thousands of students worldwide and is the predecessor to many modern tongues." I am sure those who study in this language welcome it to Google Translate. (2) Google has updated their flu shot location search in collaboration with the U.S. Department for Health and Human Services (HHS). The flu season is right around the corner and it might pay for you to get your shot early, i [...]

Google Health Redesign Focuses On Wellness Tracking & Data

Google announced they have redesigned Google Health. The redesign primarily focuses on providing the user with access to wellness information. Users can track progress with their blood pressure, cholesterol, coffee intake, weight, and so on. Even more, users can set goals and watch their progression to meeting those goals. So if you want to track your progress in cutting down on mayonnaise, you can easily do that and see how it impacts your weight and blood pressure. In addition, you can add manual notes to your health journal. Google also added "several new partners" to Google H [...]

Doctors Warn Against Relying Too Much On Google

Chances are good that you've searched for health-related information via Google, Yahoo, Bing, or some of the other health-specific portals. Both Google and Bing continue to expand the amount -- and quality -- of content they show in response to our health searches. But, based on a recent study, the medical industry says we should be cautious when relying on the Internet for health-related information. The study, published in the July 2010 issue of the Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery, examined the top ten search results on Google and Yahoo for ten common sports medicine diagnoses -- phrase [...]

Google Adds New Health-Search Feature For Medications

Last year Google began integrating structured health-related content at the top of search results ("Health OneBox"). Here's what that looks like today for a search on "diabetes": Today Google is expanding that search feature to include medications. When users search on a prescription or generic drug (e.g., "Lipitor" or "acetaminophen") a summary and description will appear at the top of search results. The summary links to National Institutes of Health (NIH) content and more specific information such as "side effects." (The National Institutes of Health in turn license this data from [...]

Bing, Google Offering Dueling “Health Maps”

Microsoft and Google both have ambitious electronic health records initiatives. But today both introduced "health maps" that enable data visualization on a mapping interface. Bing was first with its announcement: Today along with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and the Institute of Medicine, the Bing Health team is participating in the Community Health Data Initiative and unveiling the new Bing Health Map Application.  This new application will allow you to overlay health data onto Bing Maps so you can better understand and visualize the health of a community. [...]

Google Trying To Help Suicidal Searchers

In response to a mom's suggestion, Google has tweaked its search results to offer help for searchers in dire circumstances. Do a search for [ways to commit suicide], and you'll see an emergency phone number listed above the regular search results. Since last Wednesday, the New York Times reports, Google has been showing the toll-free number of the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline for this query. It also shows up for "how to commit suicide," but not for "should i commit suicide." These queries are cases where Google's algorithm may be too good; in the image above, the first thre [...]

Google Flu Shot Locator Shows Where To Get Vaccines Near You!

Looking for where to get a seasonal flu shot or that hard-to-find vaccine against H1N1 swine flu? Google has a new flu shot locator that can help. When the locator loads, you many need to manually enter your location. Do so using the "Change Location" option: After doing your search, a red needle icon shows where to get regular seasonal flu shots, a blue needle for the H1N1 vaccine or colored both ways if both are offered at a particular location (so many needles -- don't let your kids see this map before you go!): Click on any of the icons, and you'll be shown more informatio [...]

Google Answers Your Health Questions With Health OneBox

Google launched Google Health back in February 2008. Today, Google is integrating Google Health content into the search results via the classic OneBox section of the page. You should be able to see the Google Health OneBox for medical related searches, such as for [asthma] or [diabetes]. Here is a screen capture of the OneBox result for Asthma: As you can see, Google provides a quick definition of the condition and then gives you a link to either Google Health, Mayo Clinic, Medline Plus or WebMD. Note, not all of these links will be available for all health-related queries. I [...]

Feeling Sick? Google Begins Asking Some Searchers Who Look For Illness-Related Terms

Why exactly are you searching for "headache" or "ear infection" at Google? Do you have one of these illnesses or are you researching them? Google wants to know, and will find out by asking a small number of people directly within the search results, beginning today. It's part of a process that Google hopes will allow them to improve health-related search results plus perhaps build more trending tools like Google Flu. "We'd like to do a better job of accurately estimating current levels of flu and extend that to other areas, and to do that, we need to understand better what people [...]

Searching For Healthcare Solutions: Electronic Health Records Initiative Faces Significant Obstacles

When the long rumored Google Health was announced in early 2008, it appeared to be a very ambitious initiative that had a mountain to climb. That mountain was participation: getting individuals, doctors and hospitals to digitize their records. Then there are the myriad privacy and data security issues. But Google isn't the only one in the electronic health records and "health search" game. So is Microsoft. There are scores of others in the segment, as well as billions spent annually in advertising. Despite the money and involvement of companies like Microsoft and Google, digitizing the nati [...]

Google Health Makes It Easier To Share Medical Records

Google Health has taken a step forward in utility with the launch today of two new tools to help users share their medical information with trusted friends, family members, or medical providers. First, "Share This Profile" is an email-based tool that lets you give someone else online access to a Google Health profile. Privacy and security are obvious concerns here, and Google says these safeguards are in place: the access link you send will only work in connection with the email address of the person you send it to; your profile can't be accessed if the link is forwarded to someone els [...]

Marissa Mayer Denies Rumor She’s Leaving Google, Comments On Search Being “90% Done”

In some ways the "future of search" is a tired topic that has already seen hundreds (maybe thousands) of speculative articles. But it's also a topic of critical importance for search leader Google, whose entire franchise is built upon doing it better than anyone else. Just as Microsoft didn't anticipate the rise of search and search advertising and Google didn't anticipate Facebook, it's possible that something as yet unknown could displace traditional search's (and Google's) centrality in the internet experience. Citing her blog post on the future of search, the UK publication TechRadar us [...]

Dilbert’s Scott Adams: Will Google Replace Your Doctor?

Can a search engine accurately diagnose health problems? Can it someday replace your doctor? Questions like this aren't new, but the discussion has gotten a bit louder in recent weeks. Just a couple weeks ago, I reported on a Microsoft investigation of cyberchondria, when inaccurate medical information online makes actual health problems worse. On Friday, Dilbert cartoon creator Scott Adams shared a different point of view, telling blog readers how Google helped him find treatment for a speech defect known as Spasmodic Dysphonia. More specifically, Adams was using Google Alerts to get i [...]

Kaiser Chooses Microsoft Over Google For Personal Health Records Initiative

Kaiser Permanente, with the largest HMO in the US, has selected Microsoft's Health Vault personal health records initiative over Google in a big new test with Kaiser employees, according to the NY Times. If successful, the offering could be extended to all of Kaiser's almost 9 million members. According to the article: The partnership, announced Monday, will begin with a pilot project open to Kaiser’s 156,000 employees, which will run until November. If successful, the product linking Kaiser’s patient information with Microsoft’s Health Vault personal health-record service will be o [...]

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