Google Search Can Help You Find and Book Doctor’s Appointment

Google announced healthcare-focused updates at its annual event

Google brings up fresh design to its search interface

Google Search enables users to find doctor’s appointment availability to plan their health check-ups without the use of a third-party solution.The update was unveiled at Google’s second annual healthcare-focused event The Check Up on Thursday.

In addition to the Google search update, California-based Mountain View has announced plans to integrate support for Atrial Fibrillation (AFib) detection into Fitbit Fitness Tracking Tools to help people receive alerts about irregular heart rhythm symptoms at its virtual event. Google has also announced a series of Health AI updates aimed at converting smartphones into stethoscopes or ultrasound machines for early diagnosis, even in remote areas.

Company Introduces partnerships with healthcare providers and numerous scheduling solution providers to enable users to find appointment availability for doctors and local care providers.Through the search results users can see the appointment dates and times available directly to the doctors in the area.

Appointment availability will appear here when looking for a particular practitioner or facility.Once the appointment date appears, click on the Book button next to the Available Schedule.Pressing the book button will take you to the booking site.

Google first worked with some healthcare providers and scheduling solution providers in the US, including MinuteClinic on CVS.This feature will be released in the US in the coming days for users looking for English. It aims to make it available in other markets over time.

Fitbit has announced that it’s working with an AFib algorithm that works with optical photoplethysmography (PPG) sensors on wearables to detect irregular heart rhythms and notify users, in addition to appointment bookings through Google.The algorithm is currently available for review by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA). It is hoped that over time Fitbit will be available as an update to consumer fitness tracking bands and smartwatches.

The companies including Apple already have support for detecting and alerting users about AFib. Google has also announced the expansion of YouTube’s health information panels to markets including Brazil, India and Japan. Previously it was limited to the US only.

Separately, Google announced the initial developments under the Health AI Division at the Check Up event.One of these is that the built-in microphones of the smartphone act as a stethoscope. It includes research on how inbuilt microphones are used to record participants’ heart sounds when placed above the chest. The latest research is looking at whether the smartphone can detect heartbeats and murmurs, the company said.

Google has worked with EyePACS and Chang Gung Memorial Hospital to search for photos from smartphone cameras to help diagnose diabetes and non-diabetic diseases.In addition, company said it was working with Artificial Intelligence (AI) on smartphones to provide maternal ultrasound screening.The company collaborated with Northwestern Medicine to develop and test its models to expand research.

Overall research into its use as a combination of AI and smartphones to enhance health care is currently in its infancy and may take some time and more effort to work in the public domain.

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Written by Shahina P

Loves to dive into the various sectors of the tech to bring the best to the readers.

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