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Paging Dr. Google: How an app may soon diagnose your symptoms

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Photo: Stocksy/PAFF

Some days it feels like we have become MDs on certain health concerns, courtesy of Google. (Searches “bloating” for 17th time in a month, ahem.) We already know the dangers of self-diagnosing symptoms of a potential illness, but the search engine (slash fitness concierge slash pollen meteorologist) aims to help us with that struggle soon.

The tech giant reportedly just acquired Senosis Health, a start-up that has created a way to use smartphone features—like the microphone and the camera—to monitor your health stats and even detect diseases. It sounds like something straight out of the future, but considering we only routinely check in with our actual general physicians once a year, having a digital doc of sorts on hand during the remaining days could be a major plus.

The microphone listens to your breathing, quickly determining whether you have a lung condition, like asthma.

So, how will Google use these new features to better your health? Since Senosis Health’s technology is pretty impressive, the possibilities abound. The Seattle-based start-up developed an app that measures your blood flow simply by shining the phone’s flash at your finger (pretty much like a science-backed magic trick). Another app uses the microphone to listen to your breathing, quickly determining whether you have a lung condition, like asthma.

Obviously it’s best to see a professional when in doubt, but if you’re in a jam, being able to page Dr. Google to help you identify what the problem is could be a real game changer.

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