As part of efforts to expand the health information it provides, today Google announced a new feature in search that will allow doctors to list which languages they can speak at their offices.
People who speak languages other than English often struggle to navigate the healthcare system in the United States and are at risk of bad medical outcomes because they have more trouble communicating with providers. They get better care when they have access to trained interpreters or are seen by providers who speak their native languages.
In a blog post, Google also drew attention to other recently added features that address challenges patients face with the health system, including the ability to see what insurance networks are accepted by providers listed in a search. On mobile, people can also now filter by providers who accept Medicare, a capability that spokesperson Iz Conroy told The Verge has been ramping up over the past few months.
Providers can list languages in which they offer assistance.
The updates join a set of other features that Google has available for healthcare providers, including the ability to add links to sites where patients can make appointments, to list the health conditions an office treats, and to note if a site is wheelchair accessible.