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Google Is Teaming With the Mayo Clinic to Keep Your Hypochondria in Check

Daniel Howley
Technology Editor
Yahoo Tech

If you’re anything like the rest of the human population, the first thing you do when you have a mystery ailment is to consult with your personal physician: the Internet. Got a weird rash? Check the Web. Elbow pain? Search online.

The problem is, a lot of the stuff you find online is either completely unrelated to your malady or just plain wrong. Which is why your crazy roommate Brad swears he’s got mad cow disease every time he gets a stomachache after eating street meat.

To combat this, Google and the Mayo Clinic are joining forces to add a host of medical terms and conditions to Google’s search engine. So when you Google certain maladies, you’ll be provided with information that has been vetted and approved by the doctors at the Mayo Clinic and not, say, some dude in a basement.  

So now, if your eyes are red from staying out all night drinking, and you’re worried that it might be pinkeye because you touched a subway pole and then rubbed your eye 10 minutes later, you can do a quick search and have your fears assuaged.

Information provided as part of your searches, Google said, is real-life clinic knowledge and has been fact-checked by Google and the Mayo Clinic.

At the outset, some results will feature high-quality medical illustrations, so you can see what something like tonsillitis looks like, as well as the area of the mouth and throat it affects.

If you have any serious problems, your best bet is still to meet with your flesh-and-blood doctor for real advice. These results should not be taken as a substitute for personalized medical advice. Still, Google’s medical-advice search results should help guide the denizens of the Internet away from having a nervous breakdown when they realize they’ve been coughing a lot in the past week.

Email Daniel at dhowley@yahoo-inc.com; follow him on Twitter at @DanielHowley or on Google+ here.