Google has partnered with Columbia Asia Hospitals and Apollo Hospitals to increase access to basic healthcare information for Indians. It is a similar move Google made in the U.S. last year when it partnered with Mayo Clinic to add healthcare information to its famous Knowledge Graph.
In India, Google and its partners will initially search basic information about 400 health conditions. The information will be made available to Indians in both English and Hindi languages.
Google is primarily targeting healthcare consumers with its healthcare information service. But the company also says healthcare providers could plug into the service to do quick fact-checking. Moreover, providers could also use the information to convince skeptical patients why they need a doctor’s visit.
To ensure maximum reach, Google’s healthcare information has been made available both on the web and mobile. On the web, the information can be accessed through Google’s main search engine on any platform. On mobile, you can obtain the information through Google’s search app on Android and iOS devices.
How to obtain the information?
The basic health information will be turned up when a person performs a search for a condition or symptom on Google. The idea is to pride quick tips about different health conditions and make the information easily shareable.
Some of the details users of Google’s healthcare information service will be able to get include how common a condition is, what ages it affects most and whether or not the condition is contagious or critical.
Because Google understands that not many Indians have access to stable or high-speed Internet connection, the company will serve a stripped down version of its health information service to people with poor Internet connection.
Google is adding healthcare information to its Knowledge Graph after noticing how common search for health information has become. It is said that one in every 20 search requests that Google receives are health-related.
Google is expanding into India’s health information space at a time when some local startups have started doing what can be termed as the democratization of India’s healthcare.
Startups such as Lybrate and Practco (backed by Google and others) are already serving doses of healthcare information to their users.