Tech giant Google has announced a new feature wherein users can book their appointment via a simple search, making it easier for people in the US to find and book local healthcare providers.
Users looking to book an annual check-up or a same-day visit can use Google Search to see the availability of select health care providers in their area. To begin with the feature, Google has partnered MinuteClinic at CVS, the company said in a statement.
“The Covid-19 pandemic strengthened our resolve that Google could and should help everyone, everywhere live a healthier life. It also accelerated our company-wide health efforts,” Dr. Karen DeSalvo, Chief Health Officer at Google, wrote in a blogpost.
“When people have questions about their health, they often start with the internet to find answers. No matter what people are searching for on Google Search, it’s our mission to give high-quality information, exactly when it’s needed,” DeSalvo added.
According to the Verge, if a user searches for a doctor or a health provider’s office, they’ll see the available appointments with the date of the earliest appointment. A “book” button will direct them to a third-party site to make an appointment.
The company said it is still in the early stages of rolling out this feature; it is working with partners, and other scheduling solution providers.
“We hope to expand features, functionality and our network of partners so we can make it easier for people to get the care they need,” DeSalvo said.
The new feature comes after Search team in December released features to help people navigate the complex healthcare system and make more informed decisions, like finding healthcare providers who take their insurance.
For its users in India, Japan, and Brazil Google-owned YouTube is adding health source information panels on videos to provide context that helps viewers identify videos from authoritative sources, and health content shelves that more effectively highlight videos from these sources when people search for specific health topics.
These context cues help people easily navigate and evaluate credible health information. The feature will be rolled out starting this week.