Video Chat with a Doc & Robots vs. Ebola? | Healthcare in the News

GoogleDoctorThe doctor will see you now

The future is now. Google is testing a Talk to a Doctor feature within medical search results. It allows people to directly speak with a verified doctor through chat.

For now, the service is free while Google experiments and analyzes the effectiveness of the function, but it’s likely to cost something if and when it becomes widely available. While Google is not the only one experimenting with this type of feature, if implemented, it would easily be the largest. Not only would this open up a new form of revenue for Google, but it would allow doctors to avoid patients from self-diagnosing themselves based upon information they find online.

Robots vs. Ebola?

The U.S. government is reportedly looking at the use of robots to help combat the threat of Ebola in Africa. A simulcast workshop next month by Texas A & M University’s Center for Robot-Assisted Search and Rescue (CRASARwill look at the feasibility of using robots in the battle against Ebola. There are already some fascinating ways robots could help battle the virus. Some of those include the safe transport and disposal of infected bodies, automated material handling to reduce staff at risk, detection of infection and sterilization.