At today’s health-focused event, Google announced a series of health updates to its products, including Search. Notably, the company announced that it is making it easier for people to find affordable health centers near them. The tech giant revealed that you may soon see providers identifying as community health centers offering free or low-cost care in search results.
If a medical clinic offers affordable care, you’ll soon see a label that says “Free or Low Cost Care” below its name in search results.
“You can see information for community health centers in the US that offer free or low-cost care,” Hema Budaraju, Google’s senior product director for health and search, said during a briefing with reporters. “We focus on these centers because we know that the access they provide to primary care has been shown to have an impact in improving chronic conditions, increasing the use of preventive services and reducing emergency room visits. This community health center data is based on publicly available information from the Health Resources and Services Administration, which includes all registered federally qualified health centers.
Google also announced that it’s making it easier to find Medicaid re-enrollment information on Search. In the US, millions of people have signed up for Medicaid during the pandemic. At that point, the requirement to re-enroll every year was paused, but that pause ends on March 31, meaning that if people don’t re-enroll, they’ll lose their health insurance.
To help people avoid this, Google is making Medicaid re-enrollment information easier to find on Search. Users will see what actions to take by accessing state-specific re-enrollment information.
Google said it is using new methods to ensure Search connects people with up-to-date information. The company revealed that its conversational AI technology, Duplex, has called thousands of healthcare providers across the US to verify their information on Google Search. Google also used Duplex to verify whether providers accept certain Medicaid plans in their state.
The tech giant is also partnering with ThroughLine, a network of mental health and crisis hotlines around the world, to increase the number of crisis hotlines that appear at the top of search results in other languages and countries for searches related to suicide, domestic violence and other crisis topics. .
Later this month, Google plans to make more of Fitbit’s Health Metrics Dashboard feature available without a subscription to people using Fitbit with compatible devices in countries where the feature is available. The feature helps you detect changes in your breathing rate, skin temperature, blood oxygen, and more. Google says this update will allow users to see trends over time while also understanding what metrics have changed from their baseline.
Google also announced that the content on Harvard Medical School’s continuing education YouTube channel is eligible for clinicians to claim their continuing medical and continuing education credits. In addition, the company is working with the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education to provide video production best practices and content strategy to help accrediting organizations create even more CME-enabled content on YouTube.