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Search engine: Google search shows health information in its own box

Last updated on March 9, 2021

Even before the Corona crisis, more and more users were looking for health topics at Google. New boxes show information from the Ministry of Health when searching.

The new Knowledge Panel on health issues
(Image: Google)

Google has launched a new knowledge panel on health issues within Google search. A knowledge panel is an automatically generated box that displays a wealth of information on specific topics using various tabs. Up to now, such boxes have displayed information on people or movies, but not on health topics.

Already before the current corona crisis, but especially since its outbreak, users are increasingly looking for health topics on the Internet, as Google writes in a blog post. In the last two years alone, search queries on health topics have risen by 19 percent, and the search term symptom by as much as 84 percent.

The information shown in the boxes comes from the Federal Ministry of Health. If users are looking for diseases such as migraine, flu or a herniated disc, they will find a general overview of the disease, information on symptoms and treatment options. There is also a tab with headlines about the disease, which might be interesting for example with seasonal flu.

Information comes from the Ministry of Health

The information displayed comes from publicly available sources, as is usual with Google’s knowledge panels. In the case of health information, it can also be found on a newly established website of the Federal Ministry of Health.

At the start of the new Health Knowledge Panels, these will be displayed for a total of 160 diseases; this number is likely to grow in the future. Google points out that searching for information on diseases cannot and should not replace a visit to a doctor.

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