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Google to start showing more virtual health care options on Search, Maps

Google’s changes to Search and Maps for virtual health care will roll out to the US first.
Google’s changes to Search and Maps for virtual health care will roll out to the US first. (Google)

Google is updating Search and Maps with changes making virtual health care options more prominent on these products.

Google has been optimising its products to make Covid-19 news and information more prominent for users. Google is now working on making virtual health care options more visible in search results. The new changes will be available to all in the coming week.

Online health checkups have increased due to the Covid-19 lockdown. Hospitals are also prioritising emergencies and health issues that need immediate attention. Google is making it easier for users to find these virtual healthcare options with changes coming to Search and Maps.

Google will start showing a wide range of available virtual healthcare platforms directly on Search. So when people search for services like "immediate care", virtual care options will be shown on top along with pricing details. It will also feature an easily accessible link to the healthcare's platform from where users can get more details. This change will be available first in the US.

To further utilise this feature, Google is adding a "virtual care offering" option in its My Business app. Healthcare providers from all fields can now add a virtual care offering option on their Google My Business profile. This will be visible as a "get online care" link to users, and it will appear on Search and Maps. Users will be redirected to the healthcare's website for more details by tapping on that link.

Google is also adding a link which will lead directly to health providers' Covid-19 information page on Search and Maps. This is to help make it easier for users to know how Covid-19 is affecting normal hospital working hours. There's also a list of practices that healthcare providers can follow on updating their websites to provide Covid-19 information.

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