Google launches its new service to target depression

By Catherine Sturman
Digital health services are growing apace, and Google is not one to shy away from industries or markets which attract growing revenue and the developmen...

Digital health services are growing apace, and Google is not one to shy away from industries or markets which attract growing revenue and the development of new technologies.

One area that has been growing in importance is the mental health sector and the increased demand on services worldwide. Google has tapped into this demand by creating a new screening test to provide answers to those who feel they may be suffering from depression.  

If US users now type the word “depression” onto Google, users are able to click on a ‘Knowledge Panel’ box, providing answers to questions in which a user may have surrounding the condition, how it can be diagnosed and treated accordingly. A questionnaire will then help provide sufficient support to those in need.

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The private service, where Google will not record or share this information, is named PHQ-9 and is clinically approved. Built in partnership with the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI), the technology will also be rolled out as a mobile service and support users in accessing medical support, enabling conversations with medical professionals.

Clinical depression is a condition seen in all ages, and affects one in five American citizens throughout their lives and over 300 million people worldwide. It is frequently a searched for term on Google’s platform, leading technology companies to continually look at ways at providing essential support for the condition.

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