The digital ecosystem must celebrate this newly attained height! Google is trying out their digital medical advice platform. Google is probably trying to put an end to fake ‘diagnoses’ resulting from persons who in search for their symptoms, end up with false conclusions and worsen the situation thereafter.
An image posted to Reddit shows a Google search for knee pain, and an option for the user to video chat with a doctor about their symptoms.
The company has now confirmed to several outlets that it’s a new feature Google is trying out. A spokesperson told Gizmodo, “When you’re searching for basic health information … our goal is provide you with the most helpful information available. We’re trying this new feature to see if it’s useful to people.”
The video chat feature will be part of Google’s Helpouts platform. Helpouts connects users with experts over live video – experts can charge a fee per Helpout, and some are free.
As seen in the image above, Google says it will be covering the costs during the trial, but it’s possible the feature will cost you in the future.
Of course, Google is not the only player in the space; there are telemedicine companies like Spruce and Better, and they mostly charge for their service.
Spruce is a US app that connects its users with a board-certified dermatologist to provide acne treatment plans in 24 hours. Spruce costs US$40 per “visit.”
And Better promises to be your personal health assistant – offering up a symptom checker, health record storage, and Mayo Clinic nurse line for as low as US$20 a month.
Perhaps, Google wants to develop something more like Spruce or probably better than Better. That would soon be seen. The company, as Google spokesperson said would cast their optimistic gaze at the statistic of usage during the trial.