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Google testing doctor video chat service

Having trouble getting an appointment with your doctor? Google is here to help. It’s trialling a new program that lets you speak to a doctor over video chat, like Amazon’s Mayday service on its Kindle Fire tablet.

The feature surfaced on Reddit after a user posted a screen grab of it in use. Google confirmed the service in a statement to Gizmodo. It reads: “When you’re searching for basic health information – from conditions like insomnia or food poisoning – our goal is to provide you with the most helpful information available. We’re trying this new feature to see if it’s useful to people.”

It certainly beats Googling symptoms and worrying about what you’ve got (an ailment we call ‘typochonrdria’).

The service reportedly ties into Google Helpouts, an online marketplace where experts charge to give video tutorials and advice, like a long-distance learning program.

It’s still in testing at the moment, so we’ll have to wait and see if it makes it to us punters, and if so, if Google will charge for it. Though it seems it will, considering the screen grab says: “All visit costs are covered by Google during this limited trial.”

It’s a good idea, especially in the UK, where it can often be days or even weeks before you can see a doctor. It’s sure to put your mind at rest, or if it could be something more serious, convince you to get an appointment with a doctor in person.

Read more: Fitbit runs away from Apple Health

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