Google prides itself on being able to deliver relevant search results in an instant. In some cases, results could be displayed before the query is even finished being typed out. Whether you're seeking song lyrics, a drink recipe, or flight information, Google's become quite good at getting you the right information, fast.
It's hard to argue though that most of that instant information isn't "important". What is, is health information. In some cases, that information might genuinely be needed right that moment, while in other cases, it might not be so time-sensitive. Whatever the urgency, though, health is one area where Google is pushing hard to improve its overall search experience.
In a new blog post, Google notes that when Legionnaires' disease broke out in New York City last month, searches for it rose 1000%. That's not too much of a surprise, given that it's a rare disease, and one that most people haven't heard of. And given it's life-threatening, few people will want to rest on their laurels. Nonetheless, it's with events like these where getting accurate information fast is important.
Over the next few weeks, Google is going to be promoting quick information to the front of a Web search for over 900 health conditions - anything from pink eye to Legionnaires. This information will provide symptoms, treatments, prevalence, and more.
Another great feature being added is one that lets users download a PDF of the provided information. This has apparently been a top request from doctors, and will help patients walk into the doctor's office armed with good information.
Google makes it a point to stress that it's not taking chances on the information it provides. It's all curated with the help of real doctors - a great thing given health isn't something to be messed with.