Google’s latest healthcare endeavor capitalizes on the growth in adoption of self-triage capabilities over the last year while playing to its strengths: scalable AI and data management. Consumers have long sought more information about their symptoms, most frequently turning to WebMD or their favorite search engine. In 2020, 52% of consumers reported using WebMD, while 27% read “whatever shows up in the search results,” when asked where they like to search online for information about health conditions or symptoms. Additionally, when asked what device they prefer to use when looking up health symptoms, 41% of individuals say they prefer to use a smartphone. Consumers want a digital tool that is easy, affordable, and accessible, but they also need a solution that is vetted and accurate as shown by the interest in a tool like WebMD.
Enter Google’s New AI-Powered Dermatology Tool For Consumers
At Google’s recent I/O event, Google announced its new AI-powered dermatology tool for consumers. The app allows consumers to use their phone’s camera to capture images of their skin, hair, or nail concern from different angles. The app will then guide the user through a series of questions to better understand the users’ skin type, how long they have had the issue, and if any other symptoms are present.
Past smartphones in healthcare research highlights the power that smartphones may have in providing digital capabilities that can safely reach consumers who may otherwise face long drives, difficulty getting time off work, or lack of access to affordable care. An estimated 3 billion people globally have access to a smartphone. Furthermore, 41% of individuals use a smartphone today to assess their symptoms. This means that Google’s AI dermatologist tool can help with the shift from reactive to proactive engagement by empowering smartphone users to make more informed decisions about their skin, hair, or nail conditions, potentially leading to improved outcomes and lower medical expenditures.
Google’s AI dermatologist tool will help address key barriers in access to care for consumers and help them take an empowered role in their care. This tool may help:
Google is clear: This is not intended to provide a diagnosis or be a substitute for medical advice, but this tool is an important step in supporting the rise of consumerism in healthcare, enabling users to make more informed decisions about their skin, hair, and nail conditions.
Google plans to launch its AI dermatologist tool later this year.
The original article by Forrester's Julie Ask, vice president and principal analyst, Arielle Trzcinski, principal analyst, and Alessia Stewart, research associate, is here. The article was researched and written with Kara Wilson, Forrester's research associate.
The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of CDOTrends. Image credit: iStockphoto/metamorworks