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Google connects concerned symptom searchers with real life doctors

Google is piloting a new service that allows web browsers to video chat with medical professionals.

We’ve all been there before; worriedly typing various symptoms into our search engine, hoping that ‘high temperature’ plus ‘itchy gonads’ isn’t caused by anything too horrific. Well, Google has come to our rescue to get us the quality health care we need, it seems.

One eagle-eyed Reddit user discovered a feature that Google has silently added to some of its devices, which allows you to search a series of ailments on your phone and then video chat with a real life doctor.

Google pilots new doctor video chat service
Google pilots new doctor video chat service

Photo credit: Adrian Clark

Engadget has apparently confirmed with Google that this is a legitimate new feature on its handsets, although at the moment it only appears to feature on a handful of devices, with most people simply being advised to ‘consult a doctor’ after searching in their browser for a specific ailment.

There’s no word on what the service is likely to cost, although Google is currently footing the bill during this trial period, but it’s a service which looks seriously promising and could reduce the need to visit a packed-out doctor’s office (and potentially picking up more germs in the process), not to mention the potential increase in daily productivity.

Google has yet to comment on when, or if, a mass roll-out of the service will go live, or indeed how the logistics of it will actually work. However, it’s the first time in ages that we’ve seen something from any of the major developers which has us genuinely intrigued, akin to Amazon’s fantastic 24-hour Mayday help feature on its Kindle Fire tablets.