Google your way to better heart health

Googling symptoms to make a diagnosis is not medical best practice. But now, thanks to a collaborative effort between the American College of Cardiology (ACC) and Google, searches for heart conditions will produce important questions patients should ask their doctors based on ACC clinical guidelines.

The new “Ask a Doctor” feature appears within Google Health Knowledge graphs on the right side of the browser window. The tab contains essential questions patients should ask their doctors about conditions including heart attacks, coronary artery disease, hypertension, high cholesterol and atrial fibrillation.

"This is a unique opportunity to marry the broad reach and power of Google's Internet search engine with the clinical and scientific expertise of the ACC," said John Rumsfeld, ACC CIO, in a statement. "This project makes it easier for the public to get accurate answers to health and medical care questions, and will aid in promoting engagement between patients and their clinicians."

The questions and answers were developed based on input solicited from leading cardiologists across the country. The ACC wants to spark conversations between patients and doctors about recommended treatments so that patients are more fully engaged in protecting their heart health. The information contained is not intended as medical advice.