Google is making it easier for UK-based users to find medical and health information from reputable sources directly in Search.
Starting this week, the company will display “Knowledge Panels” with information sourced from the National Health Service (NHS) at the top of search results about conditions like back pain, chickenpox, the common cold, and so on. The Big G makes no mention of coronavirus in the announcement, but the timing probably isn’t a coincidence.
The panels are designed to help users understand more about the conditions, including common causes and treatment.
“The NHS has formatted their content so that it’s easy to find on the web and available publicly to anyone via the NHS website,” Google says in the announcement.
“To start, these Knowledge Panels will be available for more than 250 health conditions,” the message reads. “Of course, they’re not intended to provide medical advice, and we encourage anyone searching for health information to seek guidance from a doctor if they have a medical concern.”
It’s not clear if Google will include details about the coronavirus in the panels, but we’ve reached out for a clarification and will update this piece accordingly if we hear back. Considering the UK’s health minister just tested positive for the virus, though, it wouldn’t be too surprising if that’s the case.
(Update 10:32 AM UTC: In an email to TNW, Google confirmed coronavirus is one of the 250 conditions displayed in knowledge panels.)
From the looks of it, Google is still in the process of rolling out the feature site-wide — don’t be surprised if the knowledge panels don’t show up for you yet.