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Google wants to know if you’re depressed. What could go wrong? | Arwa Mahdawi

Sep 2nd, 2017 by

The search engine now offers a tool which will allow US users to test if they’re clinically depressed. It’s hard not to have mixed feelings about the initiative

Healthcare in the US may be ridiculously expensive but, hey, at least there’s Doctor Google. Diagnosing yourself via Google is quick, free and often extremely alarming. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve discovered that what I suspected might be a hangover is actually a very rare terminal illness. According to my various Google diagnoses I should be dead several times over by now, leading me to suspect that I may be a medical miracle.

I’m not the only one self-diagnosing via search. Around 72% of Americans look up health information online, according to a 2013 Pew study. And last year, Google reported that about 1% of the site’s searches relate to medical symptoms.

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