Google to help doctors find patient info quicker with dedicated medical record Search tool

Upcoming Google Health tools could save doctors and nurses time by preventing them from having to manually fill out every required field on every chart. ― IStock/AFP pic
Upcoming Google Health tools could save doctors and nurses time by preventing them from having to manually fill out every required field on every chart. ― IStock/AFP pic

NEW YORK, Nov 5 ― This weekend, CNBC reported that Google’s Health division is working on bringing the company’s famous Search tool to doctors, potentially allowing them to search through patient medical records for particular maladies, symptoms and treatments.

After being quiet about the division’s projects for a few years, Google Health’s David Feinberg revealed at a conference last week in Las Vegas, reported on by CNBC, that the branch has plans to expand the company’s Search web tool to medical records to ease and hasten doctors’ search for specific patient information.

He envisions this tool taking shape as a simple search bar “that needs no training” at the top of clinicians’ electronic health records. Such a tool would help doctors and nurses more quickly complete charts and assign billing codes by automatically filling fields. For example, typing “87” could prompt the system to input “87-year-old patient with a history of stomach cancer”.

In addition to bettering doctor interactions, relationships and diagnoses of their patients, Feinberg announced that he hopes to improve “health-related search results for consumers across Google and YouTube.” He admitted that surgeons often reference YouTube ahead of operations for guidance; improving the quality of this type of content would help doctors perform safely.

Improving health-related content on YouTube would also keep the average consumer better informed about their health and that of society. Videos like anti-vaccination content promoting inaccurate science would be less prevalent.

In the future, in addition to these tools, Google Health is discussing launching a separate page for users to search for information on illnesses as a result of so many people simply Googling their symptoms. Such a tool would prevent users from assuming “every headache is a brain tumour”.

Though an exact timeframe has not yet been outlined, Google Health public revelations about these projects suggest that the launch of such products and tools could happen soon. ― AFP-Relaxnews

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