Getting a Doctor’s consultation is soon going to be easy. Google is said to be testing a new feature which offers video calling consultation to the patients with medical Doctors.
Most of us might have browsed Google searching for minor to major medical symptoms we are facing from. Whether it is a headache or a chronic disease, we all would like to research on the disease to try and find a possible cure. The new Google’s service which will be offered through Google’s Helpouts service sounds big.
A Reddit user has first found this and later on Engadget confirmed the ”Talk with a doctor now” feature.
The service works based on the users search query. For example if the user searches for the term ‘Knee pain,’ Google will display websites providing information related to Knee pain. But on top of all the standard results Google is going to display a more noticeable ”Talk with a doctor now” link. The link is also said to be accompanied with Google Hangouts icon. This obviously suggests that Google is going to use Hangouts as a medium to connect the patient with the doctor.
‘Telemedicine’ is the name speculated to be given for this service.
There is no official word from Google till now, but it is said that Google is subsidizing the cost. The Telemedicine service as of now is free. However once the testing phase is over, and the service is launched for everyone, Google is expected to charge some fees from the patients who would like to consult a Medical Doctor online. The patients may have to pay hourly or based on the number of minutes they spent on consultation.
Most Doctor’s always advise not to go for self treatment by browsing online. Even Google’s search engine algorithm chiefs were grilled in interviews by journalists with difficult questions in the past. They were asked questions like what if their loved ones will take the pathetic treatment being offered by non-medical persons on some websites which can do more harm than good. It seems Google has found the right answer for this.
However, there are also question marks on this service as this is only in the testing phase currently. More importantly because although this is going to be a video call, the Doctor is not going to physically examine the patient, which according to medical ethics is very risky.