Health on the Internet

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Two new developments that may be of interest when searching about health on the internet.

Medicare Local, Mater Health Services, University of Southern Queensland and a number of other partners have come together to develop a health website for refugee women.  The Community Health Hub provides health information in French, Swahili, Kirundi, Arabic and English.  Be aware that people with very low English literacy may still need help navigating the site’s English menu options.

See: http://www.communityhealthhub.com.au/index.html

Google are adjusting their search algorithm to help deliver factual information to those searching health information online.  Due to the nature of the internet, some of the information you may come across is… less than reliable.  Google statistics suggest that 1 in 20 searches performed are health related, and more people are searching symptoms and illnesses as a part of assessing their own health.

To ensure that factual information from evidence-based sources is prominently featured when a user searches, a “Knowledge Graph” will appear with information such as symptoms, treatments, how common the ailment is, and whether it is contagious.  Information is sourced from reliable websites and from doctors involved in the project.  However, Google are quick to state that search results are not a replacement for visiting a doctor.

Image: Google 2015 http://bit.ly/1Aba7Fl

The changes came into place on the U.S. site from the 10th February and will be rolled out through all the sites.  You should start to see the Knowledge Graph appear when you do a medical search in the future.

For more information see:
https://support.google.com/websearch/answer/2364942?p=medical_conditions&rd=1
http://googleblog.blogspot.co.uk/2015/02/health-info-knowledge-graph.html

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