Google Searches for Health

Utilizing Google search data to gain insight into health status


More than 1.2 trillion online queries are launched through Google’s search engine every year.  Today, it is not uncommon for individuals to turn to Google for answers before engaging family or friends – or even their health care provider.

We believe that the information individuals seek through online search engines can reveal insights about their health.  To validate this assumption, we’re testing patients’ willingness to share their online search histories and allow us to link that data to their electronic health record (EHR).

By exploring associations between search histories and medical conditions, we hope to gain an understanding of what kinds of searches might predict a health care event or outcome as well as what questions patients have after leaving the hospital.

To date, 122 participants have enrolled to participate in this study.