'Dr. Google" for Doctors

Google Health's Feinberg talks up product for physicians that could search medical records
Robert Calandra

Google wants to make it easier for doctors to access medical record information and health-related searches and spend less time on documentation.

That is the company’s goal, David Feinberg, MD, told the audience at the HLTH health care conference in Las Vegas, according to a CNBC report. HLTH bills itself as the "the leading event for disruptive innovation and transformation in the health industry." 

Feinberg, who left the Geisinger CEO job to run Google Health at the beginning of this year, said the company wants to used its expertise to make it easier for doctors to search medical records and improve the quality of health-related search results.

According the CNBC,  Feinberg told conference attendees that, with all the time spent on documentation, doctors have become “data clerks.” The system that  Feinberg outlined  would have some of the look and feel of a regular Google search. Doctors would begin typing in the search bar and the system would automatically begin filling out responses and offering information.

Feinberg said Google is aware that doctors use YouTube prior to surgeries for guidance. He said Google wanted to would like to improve the quality of that content.

“We want to continue to build information to allow caregivers to take better care of patients,” he said. “But again, that’s scratching the surface.”     

As for the “Doctor Google” phenomenon—patients looking up information online and using it to self-diagnosis and self-treat—Feinberg said he is concerned about it and would like to somehow make clear that a headache is not a brain tumor.