If you've ever searched Google for an illness - mostly common stuff, like Pink Eye or Flu - then you've seen the Health Conditions feature. It's a quick-reference card that provides at-a-glance information like symptoms, how common it is, and a lot more.

Today, Google announced an update to this information that provides a lot of useful improvements, like additional health conditions, an improved look, and - probably most importantly - the option to download all of this info as a PDF so you can show your doctor.

  • Hundreds more health conditions (soon over 900 total, more than double the number we started with) where you’ll get quick at-a-glance info on symptoms, treatments, prevalence, and more
  • Visual design improvements and some more specific triggering so it’s quicker and easier to get the info you need (for example, you can now search for “pink eye symptoms” and you’ll get straight to the symptoms tab)
  • A ‘Download PDF’ link so you can easily print this information for a doctor’s visit—this has been a top request from doctors

They're also including several common tropical diseases that affect people in poorer regions, making it easy for those users to get information and potentially self-diagnose/treat those particular infections.

Also pointed out in the Inside Search blog post is a bit of information about where these facts come from - Google wants to make it clear that it's working closely with doctors to build this list and validate all the information. That's good to know, because we've all seen and heard the jokes about searching Google for cold symptoms and discovering you probably have cancer.

Heh.