Google Search To Let You Find And Book Doctor’s Appointment
Google Search will soon be able to help consumers identify medical appointment availability so they can schedule their health exams without having to rely on a third-party service.
On Thursday, the upgrade was unveiled at Google‘s second annual healthcare-focused event, The Check-Up. Aside from the Google Search update, the Mountain View, California-based company revealed plans to integrate assistance for detecting atrial fibrillation (AFib) into Fitbit fitness-tracking devices to enable individuals to receive alerts for indicators of an irregular heartbeat during its virtual event.
Google also unveiled a series of Health AI improvements aiming at transforming smartphones into stethoscopes or ultrasound machines for early diagnosis in even the most remote locations.
Google Search is rolling out the ability to search appointment availability for doctors and local care providers by partnering with healthcare providers and a number of scheduling solution suppliers. The search results will show users the available appointment dates and hours for doctors in the region.
When you use Google Search to look for a specific practitioner or facility, the appointment availability will display. Once you’ve found a suitable appointment date, click the Book button next to the open slot.
You will be sent to a third-party booking site. In the United States, Google is collaborating with a few healthcare providers and scheduling solution providers, including Minute Clinic at CVS.
In the following days, the service will be given out to users searching in English in the United States. However, it is hoped that it will eventually be available in additional markets.
Fitbit also stated that, in addition to Google appointment booking, it is developing an AFib algorithm that will integrate with the existing optical Photoplethysmography (PPG) sensor on its wearables to identify and inform users about irregular heart rhythm.
The algorithm is now being reviewed by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Fitbit is planned to release it as a software upgrade for consumer fitness-tracking bands and smartwatches in the future.
According to Google’s internal research, their in-house technology correctly identified undiagnosed AFib 98 percent of the time. Apple, for example, has built-in capability for identifying and warning consumers about AFib.
Fitbit’s move, on the other hand, might bring AFib detection to a wide range of price ranges. Google also revealed that health information panels on YouTube will be expanded to markets such as Brazil, India, and Japan.
Previously, it was only available in the United States. Separately, at The Check-Up event, Google announced its early-stage developments under the Health AI group. One of these developments is the use of a smartphone’s built-in microphones as a stethoscope.
When put over the chest, Google’s integrated microphones are used to record a participant’s heart sounds, according to studies. The current study looks into whether a smartphone can detect heartbeats and murmurs, according to business. However, because it requires specific hardware inputs, the detection will be limited to specific smartphone models.
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