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Google has introduced a new service that allows users to schedule appointments with local healthcare providers using a simple search, making it easier for consumers in the United States to discover and book appointments.

Users who want to schedule an annual check-up or a same-day appointment can utilise Google Search to learn which health care providers are available in their region. Google has teamed with MinuteClinic at CVS to launch the functionality, according to a statement from the business.

“The COVID-19 pandemic strengthened our resolve that Google could and should help everyone, everywhere live a healthier life. It also accelerated our company-wide health efforts,” Dr Karen DeSalvo, chief health officer at Google, wrote in a blogpost.

“When people have questions about their health, they often start with the internet to find answers. No matter what people are searching for on Google Search, it’s our mission to give high-quality information, exactly when it’s needed,” DeSalvo added.

According to the Verge, when a user searches for a doctor or a health provider’s office, the available appointments are displayed along with the earliest appointment date. They will be sent to a third-party site to schedule an appointment if they click the “book” button.

The firm stated that it is still in the early phases of implementing this service, and that it is collaborating with partners and other scheduling solution providers.

“We hope to expand features, functionality and our network of partners so we can make it easier for people to get the care they need,” DeSalvo said.

The new feature comes after Search team in December released features to help people navigate the complex healthcare system and make more informed decisions, like finding healthcare providers who take their insurance.

For its users in India, Japan, and Brazil Google-owned YouTube is adding health source information panels on videos to provide context that helps viewers identify videos from authoritative sources, and health content shelves that more effectively highlight videos from these sources when people search for specific health topics.

These context cues help people easily navigate and evaluate credible health information. The feature will be rolled out starting this week.

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