Google Wants Your Medical Somatoformatic Info

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It may have never occurred to you what the doctor’s doing the whole time you’re half-naked in a paper gown sitting on a paper sheet and reading the laminated diagram of the inner ear hanging on the wall, but there’s a good chance he’s looking up what you think he should know off the top of his head.

Things like: symptoms, latest treatment, drug interactions, discounts on car rentals, and how to deal with a teenage daughter.

Well, the first three mostly, among other complicated medical issues your tongue-depressor-counting self doesn’t want to think about.

Google product manager and MD Roni Zeiger says keeping track of all the overlapping information can be a daunting task. This is why there are computer systems for medical informatics to help them out.

Zeiger says Google is looking to bring this information online. (So, when you’re sitting there doing nothing, you can whip out your Blackberry and try to predict what the doc’s going to say.)

Zeiger writes:

I believe patients should also have access to these kinds of systems so that they can help make sure they are getting the best care. If you search online to learn more about diabetes, it should be easy to find out what the generally recommended treatments and tests are….

We have been talking to many medical experts to understand what the best guidelines are, and how we can determine which ones apply in different circumstances. If such guidelines were more available to patients, they might be able to, by inputting information such as age, gender or medications, learn about recommended screening tests and other preventive measures, or about harmful drug interactions.

Cheers to that, and score one for fueling your hypochondriasis. Somatoform just ain’t what it used to be – it used to require commitment, dusty books and hours of reading. But Google’s looking to streamline it, make it so you can multitask your OCD.



Google Wants Your Medical Somatoformatic Info
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