By Brad Broker
What do you do when you need health information? Before you go to the doctor’s office, you most likely go online to Dr. Internet. Google is well aware of those habits and the search giant wants to keep you in their office for all your health needs.
Google is currently testing its own telemedicine service that provides a video consult option when you search for symptoms or health information.
Developer Jason Houle disclosed on Reddit that he found the video chat link when he searched for “knee pain” on his Android phone.
“Based on your query search, we think you are trying to understand a medical condition,” said Google in a pop-up text box during Houle’s search. “Here you can find health care providers who you can visit with over video chat.”
The app provides a chat icon on the search window with a direct link to Google’s service.
Google confirmed to Engadget that it is testing a Helpouts-like service for telemedicine. Not much more information is available except that Google is covering the costs of the video chats during the trial phase. It’s likely that the service will become fee-based once it is officially rolled out.
Health care is becoming the next frontier to be conquered now that Google and Apple are actively developing products in the space. Apple has included its HealthKit app on all new iPhones and iOS 8.