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Am I Sick? Google Has a Doctor Waiting on Video

October 14, 2014 | Telepresence Options

googlehealth

Story and images by Conor Dougherty / The New York Times

The Internet can be a dangerous place to get medical advice. Stomachaches turn into cancer, stress becomes an endocrine tumor. Crack remedies and strange diets abound. Now Google is playing with a new technology that it hopes will help people find more reliable medical information. It's called a doctor.

Google's "Helpouts" product -- a service where people can search for experts and talk to them over video -- is running a trial program in which people who are searching for symptoms like pink eye and the common cold can video-chat with a doctor. The company is working with medical groups including Scripps and One Medical, which are "making their doctors available and have verified their credentials," according to a spokeswoman.

"When you're searching for basic health information - from conditions like insomnia or food poisoning - our goal is provide you with the most helpful information available," the spokeswoman said in an emailed statement.

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