It seems that Google has taken the responsibility to make our lives easier and wants us to have a peaceful mind. In a recent post on the Financial Times, The search giant claims that one in every 20 searches is related to health. However, it did not disclose the percentage that is depression-related.
Google aims at providing better and reliable health information and to achieve this goal, it has been working on National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) since early this year.
According to a report by NAMI, "One in five Americans experience depression in their lifetime, but less than half seeks treatment".
Whenever a user in the US, googles the term "depression", a pop-up, which Google calls a Knowledge Panel, appears on top of the results (if the person is using a handset). The panel contains information on the nature of depression, its symptoms and possible treatments. Users will receive a prompt message: "Check if you're clinically depressed" and be asked to fill a questionnaire. The private self-assessment questionnaire, called PHQ-9, provides a score based on the severity of the user's depression.
According to NAMI, which partnered with Google to prepare the questionnaire, "The results of the PHQ-9 can help you have a more informed conversation with your doctor". The test, however, does not rule out the need for medical evaluation.
By making the questionnaire easily available on Google, the organization hopes to make people conscious about their illnesses and urge them to seek appropriate treatment.
Google announced that the new feature will be available for everyone in US very soon. " The feature will be fully rolled out on mobile in the US over the next day or so," said Google spokeswoman Susan Cadrecha.