Google updates make accessing health care services easier

Google looks to make accessing online health care easier with this Maps change

Google has added new features to Search and Maps that make it easier for people to connect with virtual health care services.

Since the onset of the coronavirus pandemic, telehealth use has risen dramatically. With a number of doctor’s offices closed across the US health care professionals are forced to make concessions when providing services to patients. 

Thanks to Google's new updates, providers can now enter if they have a virtual care offering on their business profile. With this option activated, people searching for health care services in their area will see something similar to a “get online care” link on Google Search and Google Maps. Clicking this link will take them to that provider’s website where they can find out more information and schedule a virtual visit. 

Google is also simplifying how users access virtual health care visits by showing widely available virtual care platforms directly on Search. For example, when searching for “immediate care,” Google will now show available virtual care options and related information in its search results. Keep in mind, this feature is in its early stages and only available to US users.

To help health care professionals communicate these changes, Google has assembled a best practices guide on how health care pros can update their websites and provide patients with pertinent COVID-19 information on their Google My Business page.

The coronavirus and the response to preventing its spread has changed the way individuals access health care services within their communities. With many providers limiting in-person visits and shutting down their offices due to the virus, it’s encouraging to watch as Google makes it easier for individuals to find and access virtual care options from the comfort of their own homes.

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