Search giant Google announced a couple of health product updates on new areas of AI (Artificial Intelligence)-related research and development during the recently-held The Check Up online event.
The company shared how they are providing healthcare industry professionals with easy-to-use tools to help them better care for patients.
“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,” according to Dr. Karen DeSalvo, Chief Health Officer of Google.
Healthcare Options in Search
When we have questions related to health, the first thing most people do is “Google” for answers. It is part of Google’s mission to provide high-quality information when it is needed.
The Google Search team recently released features that will help people navigate the complex healthcare system for them to make more informed decisions like finding healthcare providers who take their insurance.
The company is currently rolling out (in the US) a feature that shows appointment availability for health providers so that patients can easily book slots. Google is currently working with partners, including scheduling solution providers, to expand features, functionality, and its network of partners to make it easier for people to get the care they need.
Authoritative Health Content on YouTube
One of the most helpful and powerful ways to help people make informed healthcare decisions is through video. People can watch and listen to experts translate complex medical terms and information into simple language and concepts they easily understand, and they can connect with communities experiencing similar conditions and health challenges.
In the past year, YouTube has focused on building partnerships with leading health organizations and public health leaders to increase the volume and visibility of authoritative health content through new features.
Recently, YouTube added health source information panels on videos to provide context that helps viewers in Brazil, India, and Japan 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.
Fitbit for Heart Health
Fitbit makes it easy and motivating for people to manage their holistic health — from activity and nutrition to sleep and mindfulness. Fitbit co-founder James Park shared how Fitbit believes wearables can have an even greater impact on supporting people with chronic conditions, including heart conditions like Atrial Fibrillation (AFib).
The Fitbit Heart Study was launched in 2020 with nearly half a million people who use Fitbit. The goal was to test the PPG (Photoplethysmography) AFib algorithm, which passively looks at heart rate data, to alert people to signs of an irregular heart rhythm.
Google presented the study results at the most recent American Heart Association meeting, showing that the algorithm accurately identified undiagnosed AFib 98% of the time. The same study and algorithm have been submitted to the US FDA for review.