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Thursday, December 07, 2006

Google Turns Its Attention Towards Healthcare

Adam Bosworth well known as the key figure in the evolution of VB development platform, Internet Explorer etc now writes about Google’s approach towards solving heathcare problems. As he sees it, one key part of the solution to heathcare problems is a better educated patient. If patients understand their diseases better - the symptoms, the treatments, the drugs, and the side effects, they are likely to get better and quicker care - before, during, and after treatment. We have already launched some improvements to web search that help patients more easily find the health information they are looking for. The solution reasons out Adam is to put the patients in charge of their health and medical information. The idea is to build a system which puts the people who are sick in control. For every single medical and health-related event, let’s make sure that patients can effortlessly retrieve and share their information in its totality and then use it to ensure that they get the best quality of care possible. It is their health. The people who treat, diagnose, test or dispense medications to patients should be required to deliver, instantly, over the net, at the speed of light, that information to those patients to use as they see fit. Using the Google Co-op platform, Google and the health community have labeled sites and pages across the web making it easier for users to refine their health queries and locate the medical information they need. Do a search on Google about a medical issue or treatment like diabetes or Lipitor and you'll see some choices for refining your query, such as "symptoms," "treatments," and so on. If you click on "treatment," your search results are refined and reordered so that sites that have been labeled as being about treatment by trusted health community contributors are boosted in the rankings. Note that how trusted a contributor is - and thus how much they affect your search results - is dependent both on Google's algorithms and on who the user decides they trust. For example, if my doctor is a Google Co-op contributor and I indicate to Google that I trust her, then when I search, the sites she has labeled as relevant will show up higher in my search results. Nick points to his recent speech on this theme. John Batelle sees this as Google trying to bite more than what it can chew. As I see it, it is an uphill task. The internet & medical field intersection is becoming a focal area. Google has substantial wherewithal to do this. I like two things here :

One - that Google is seriously thinking to address problems affecting common man using its platform.

Two – Given that Google has publicized this – we can expect hundreds of similar initiatives that would get attempted by startups/competitors all around – this can only help the cause better.

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Sadagopan's Weblog on Emerging Technologies, Trends,Thoughts, Ideas & Cyberworld
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