Google Search has the ability to allow users to find doctors’ appointment availability to schedule their checkups, without having to use a third-party solution. The update was showcased Thursday at Google’s second annual healthcare-focused event, The Check Up. In addition to the Google Search update, the Mountain View, Calif.-based company announced at its virtual event plans to integrate support for atrial fibrillation (AFib) detection into devices. Fitbit fitness tracker to help people get alerts for signs of an irregular heartbeat. . Google also announced a series of Health AI updates that aim to turn smartphones into stethoscopes or ultrasound scanners for early diagnosis, even in remote areas.
By partnering with healthcare providers and a number of scheduling solution providers, Google Search is rolling out the ability to allow users to find appointment availability for local doctors and healthcare providers. Users will see available appointment dates and times for area doctors directly in the search results.
Appointment availability will appear once you search for a particular practitioner or facility in Google Search. Once a relevant appointment date appears, you can press the Delivered next to the available program. This will take you to the third party booking site.ALSO READMAFS nude photo twist: Domenica Calarco seeking 'legal advice'; eSafety Commissioner responds
Google Search gets the ability to let you find appointment availability from doctors and healthcare providersPhoto credit: Google
Google is initially working with select healthcare providers and scheduling solution providers in the US, including MinuteClinic at CVS. The feature is also expected to roll out to users searching in English in the United States in the coming days. However, it is intended to be available in other markets as well over time.
Along with appointment bookings through Google, Fitbit announced that it is working on an AFib algorithm that will work with the existing optical photoplethysmography (PPG) sensor available on its wearable devices to detect and alert users to irregularities in the heartbeat. The algorithm is currently under review by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA). However, it should be available as an update to fitness trackers and consumer smartwatches by Fitbit over time.ALSO READFitbit Charge 5 video review: Affordable ECG health monitor or expensive fitness tracker?
Citing internal research, Google said its internal algorithm accurately identifies undiagnosed atrial fibrillation in 98% of cases.
Companies like Apple already support user detection and alerting on AFib. However, Fitbit’s move could bring AFib detection to a price range.
Google also announced the expansion of health information panels on YouTube to markets such as Brazil, India and Japan. It was previously limited to the United States.
Separately, Google announced its first developments under the Health AI division at The Check Up event. One such advancement is to use a smartphone’s built-in microphones to function as a stethoscope.
Google cited research on how it uses built-in microphones to record a participant’s heart sounds when placed on the chest.
The latest research investigates whether a smartphone can detect heartbeats and whispers, the company said. However, the detection will be limited to certain smartphone models because it requires specific hardware inputs.ALSO READTech companies increase donations to Ukraine
“We are currently in the early stages of clinical study testing, but we hope our work can enable people to use the smartphone as an additional tool for accessible health assessment,” said Greg Corrado, Head of Health. health AI at Google, in a blog post.
Google is also working with partners like EyePACS and Chang Gung Memorial Hospital to investigate smartphone camera photos to help detect diabetes and non-diabetic diseases.
In addition to using smartphone cameras to detect heartbeats, murmurs and signs of diabetes, Google said it was working on using artificial intelligence (AI) with smartphones to provide maternal screening. by ultrasound. The company has partnered with Northwestern Medicine to develop and test its models to expand research.
Global research into the use of AI and smartphones as a combination to boost healthcare is currently at an early stage and may take some additional time and effort to work into the public.