Google Search allows users to find doctor’s appointments to plan their health checks without having to use third-party solutions. The update appeared on Thursday at Google’s second annual healthcare-centric event, The Checkup. In addition to the Google search update, Mountain View, a California-based company has announced plans to integrate support for atrial fibrillation (AFib) detection between Fitbit fitness-tracking devices at its virtual event to help people get an irregular heartbeat symptom. . Google has also announced a series of health AI updates aimed at converting smartphones to work as a stethoscope or an ultrasound machine for early diagnosis, even in remote areas.
By partnering with healthcare providers and a number of scheduled solution providers, Google is launching the ability to allow search users to find appointments for doctors and local care providers. Users will be able to see the date and time of the appointment directly available for area doctors through search results.
Appointment availability will appear after you search a specific practitioner or facility in Google search. If a relevant appointment date appears, you may be hit Books Button next to available schedule. This will take you to a third party booking site.
Google is primarily working with some healthcare providers and schedule solutions providers in the United States, including MinuteClinic on CVS. The feature will also be rolled out to users searching for English in the United States in the coming days. However, it aims to make it available in other markets over time.
In addition to booking appointments through Google, Fitbit has announced that it is working on an AFib algorithm that will work with existing optical photoplethysmography (PPG) sensors available in its wearables to detect and alert users to irregular heartbeats. The algorithm is currently being reviewed by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA). However, it is expected to be available over time as an update to customer fitness-tracking bands and smartwatches by Fitbit.
Citing an internal study, Google said its internal algorithm was not accurately identified AFib 98 percent of the time.
Companies including Apple already have support for identifying and alerting users about AFib. However, Fitbit’s move could bring AFib detection to a range of price points.
Google has announced the expansion of health information panels on YouTube in markets including Brazil, India and Japan. It was previously limited to the United States.
Separately, Google announced its early-stage development under the Health AI division at The Checkup Event. One of these advances was the use of a smartphone’s built-in microphone to act as a stethoscope.
Google cites research on how to use a built-in microphone to record a participant’s heartbeat when placed on the chest.
The latest study examines whether a smartphone can detect heartbeats and complaints, the company said. However detection will be limited to specific smartphone models as it requires specific hardware input.
“We are currently in the early stages of clinical study testing, but we hope our work could empower people to use smartphones as an additional tool for accessible health assessments,” said Greg Corrado, Google’s head of health. Blog post.
Google is also working with partners, including iPax and Chang Gung Memorial Hospital, to examine photos from smartphone cameras to detect diabetes and no-diabetes.
In addition to using smartphone cameras to detect symptoms of heart palpitations, nausea, and diabetes, Google says it is working to use artificial intelligence (AI) with smartphones to provide maternity ultrasound screenings. The company has partnered with Northwestern Medicine to expand research and develop and test its models.
Overall research on the combination of AI and smartphones to enhance healthcare is currently in its infancy and may take some time and more effort to work with the public.