Ouch! Google isn’t used to this. Normally they are treated with cheers and flowers and offerings of virgins, but their latest venture into medicine has critics up in arms. The only people who aren’t upset about the new Google Health Advisory Council are the twenty-some fancy pants who are on the committee. For a complete list of pissed off people, head on over to KevinMD, the internist with his thumb on the radial pulse of the medical blogosphereic world.
Every day, people use Google to learn more about an illness, drug, or treatment, or simply to research a condition or diagnosis. We want to help users make more empowered and informed healthcare decisions, and have been steadily developing our ability to make our search results more medically relevant and more helpful to users.
Although we have some talented people here with extensive backgrounds in health policy and technology, this is an especially complex area. We often seek expertise from outside the company, and health is no exception. We have formed an advisory council, made up of healthcare experts from provider organizations, consumer and disease-based groups, physician organizations, research institutions, policy foundations, and other fields. The mission of the Google Health Advisory Council is broadly to help us better understand the problems consumers and providers face every day and offer feedback on product ideas and development. It’s a great privilege for us to work with this esteemed group.