Google announced several health equity-focused updates to its products Monday, including an addition to Search that provides information on public insurance programs like Medicare and Medicaid.
In one blog post, the tech giant says users will see eligibility and enrollment requirements when they search for Medicare or Medicaid health plans. People currently covered under Medicaid will also be able to filter nearby providers who accept these plans, along with a previously added filter for Medicare plans.
“In the coming weeks, as people search for these programs, they’ll see additional information about the eligibility requirements and application process for your state and the federal government,” said Hema Budaraju, senior director of social impact of products, health and search, at Google, said during the company’s Health Equity Summit. “We believe this can make it easier for people to apply for these programs.”
Additionally, YouTube unveils THE-IQ, partnering with the Kaiser Family Foundation to help organizations create high-quality informative video content on health topics like mental health, maternal care, and access to services. care service.
YouTube and KFF will seed and support video production for the Loveland Foundation, which will create videos on mental health outreach for black women and girls; National Birth Equality Partnership, which will focus on black maternal health care and outcomes; and the Health Equity Leadership and Exchange Network at the Satcher Institute of Health Leadership, will work on the root causes and drivers of health inequality.
“I think especially in this era where we’re seeing misinformation so pervasive [and] targeted disinformation efforts that take place to undermine trust in science and information. Tina Hoff, senior vice president at KFF and executive director of the organization’s Social Impact Communications Program, says it’s really important that we amplify credible voices and deliver it in ways that people can relate and connect.
Google also announced it would expand its health equity research program, first published last spring as the Fitbit Health Equality Initiative. The expanded program, now known as the Google Health Equity Research Initiative, will provide select researchers at academic institutions and nonprofits in the United States access to into direct funding, Google Cloud credits, Fitbit devices, and the services of the Fitabase analytics platform.
TREND TO BIGGER WOMAN
Google has added several updates to Search to make health care information faster. In March, the tech giant said it had launch new function provides the user with a list of available appointments when searching for a particular provider. It also added a tool late last year that helps users find suppliers in the network.
After Dobbs’ decision to upset Roe v. Wade, Google has also made abortion-related changes to its tools. After a push from Democrats in Congress, Google said it would clearly label medical facilities providing abortion services in Search and Maps to distinguish them from crisis pregnancy centers that try to discourage people from seeking abortions and may not provide accurate medical information.
The tech giant also said it would automatically delete location history when users go to sensitive places like abortion clinics.
Health misinformation has become a major concern on social media platforms like YouTube. An analysis published earlier this spring in BMJ Global Health found about 11% of YouTube’s most viewed videos about COVID-19 vaccines, 18 million views, contradicting information from the World Health Organization or the CDC.
YouTube make new rules around vaccine misinformation last year, and has Extended features identify the source and context behind the health video and provide content from health sources at the top of the results.