Google Provides Lifesaving Hotline Info For Suicide-Related Searches
Google became even more helpful last week when the search engine began providing very targeted info to certain user queries. People searching for suicide-related terms or phrases were provided with the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline phone number in the top slot.
A few months ago, Google started doing this for poison-related queries, based on a user comment. A mother wrote to Google suggesting certain queries give more direct results. Her daughter had swallowed something potentially dangerous and she felt search results could have been clearer. Now poison-related key phrases give you the phone number for the American Association of Poison Control Centers.
Google employs a chief health strategist, Dr. Roni Zeiger, who believes being “an active participant” in one’s own health care can be a powerful thing. When Zieger assumed the position at Google, his welcome blog post contained the plaintive statement, “I wish it were just easier for patients to get the information they’re looking for.”
Google can’t help but be uber-helpful, perhaps to a fault still. Noam Cohen over at the New York Times points out that typing “ways to kill” into the Google Suggest engine provides you with the ending phrase “yourself without pain”. Yikes.
Sound off : Do you use the Internet for medical research if you’re sick or worried? Do the results help, make you panic, etc. etc.?