Google Health Cards: the first test drive



Google’s new health cards became active in Australia just a few hours ago, so I figured I’d be first to give them a test run.

Health cards are Google’s attempt to give the lay public sensible and evidence-based results on searches for medical conditions.

The ‘cards’ appear as a stand-alone box to the right of the usual Google search results, and contain a few sentences and a picture.

For example, when I type in ‘cold’, the usual, familiar results appear – first is my local weather (despite today being decidedly warm!) followed by the hits from more than a billion search results.

But in addition, a new box automatically appears, labelled ‘Common cold’. It contains an artist’s impression of nose-blowing (happily, a ‘before’ image with the tissue still clean) and three clickable sections: About; Symptoms; and Treatments.

Each section typically contains a couple of brief statements and some dot points…

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Doctors in race claim allegedly ‘lacking in key skills’

It is very important for the sake of Doctors seeking training, and the patients that they care for that proper training recognizes and supports adult learning. “Tough love” is not an excuse for taking people’s money and leaving them hanging.

Prehospital and Retrieval Medicine - THE PHARM dedicated to the memory of Dr John Hinds

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Health Care Homes: not yet where the heart is

Doctor's bag

Health Care Homes: not yet where the heart is

Doctors have called on the Federal Government to delay the implementation of the Health Care Homes model from the current starting date of 1 July 2017 by at least three to six months. Here’s why.

United General Practice Australia, which comprises the leading general practice organisations RACGP, AMA, RDAA, GPSA, GPRA, ACRRM and AGPN, has serious concerns regarding capitated funding for chronic disease management and treatment. It may harm patients, and it may undermine GP-led care when funding runs out.

Additional time to plan for the Health Care Home model is required to get the nation’s healthcare system right and properly consider, design, and implement the supporting tools, information and adequate funding mechanisms.

The extended timeline would allow stakeholders time to ensure the instruments and tools being used are appropriate and validated by evidence.

Health Care Homes: the background

A Health Care Home (HCH) is not a place but a partnership…

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The daunting revalidation dilemma

Once again @EdwinKruys takes a complex issue and lays bare the important points to consider

Doctor's bag


The Medical Board of Australia is well aware of the daunting revalidation dilemma: how to identify underperforming doctors without subjecting the rest to time-consuming and needless procedures?

The percentage of underperforming doctors is low. Nevertheless, in the UKall doctors undergo regular appraisals and are ‘revalidated’ every five years if they are deemed up to date and fit to practice.

The UK revalidation system has received its fair share of criticism. A common complaint is that the collegiate appraisal process has been ‘dumbed down’ as it changed from a formative to a summative process.

Other criticism includes the heavy time burden and paperwork, the negative impact on doctors’ wellbeing (while the profession already works in a highly stressful environment), the creation of a tick-box mentality, and a situation where some doctors are avoiding complicated situations and high-risk patients that could get them into trouble.

The good news is that the Australian Medical Board…

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Coffee – safe even if your heart is a bit dicky

I might have an extra Soy Latte on the strength of this research. Thanks Justin.


heart-coffee Heart smart latte

Coffee drinkers with heart issues can breathe a sigh of relief. A new study shows coffee is safe for people at risk of arrhythmias, even if they have heart failure and are wearing a pacemaker.

It seems intuitive that caffeine intake should be limited or prohibited in patients with heart disease. No-one wants to die with a latte in their hand. On the other hand, for a coffee drinker, the idea of facing a lifetime of coffee-free mornings might seem more unpalatable than risking sudden death.

The beautiful news from this well-designed study from Brazil (where they know their coffee) is that this risk is non-existent after all. The heart keeps ticking along just fine, even as the morning fog clears.

The background

Evidence prior to this study had not shown that coffee was risky, but nor was there proof it was safe.

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