Published: Thu, August 24, 2017
Medicine | By Earnest Bishop

Google Will Ask: 'Are You Depressed?'

Google Will Ask: 'Are You Depressed?'

Google users in the USA will now be prompted with a questionnaire if they search for the term "clinical depression".

The test, called a PHQ-9, is described by the search engine as a clinically validated screening questionnaire and is created to test what level of depression a person may be suffering.

Google spokesperson Susan Cadrecha said the feature "will be fully rolled out on mobile in the USA over the next day or so", while adding that this feature is not meant to replace medical opinion, but to steer people towards seeking treatment.

The PHQ-9 is clinically validated "to test what your likely level of depression may be".

"Clinical depression is a very common condition, in fact, approximately one in five Americans experience an episode in their lifetime". Once you do, scroll down until you see the info card and press on "Check if you're clinically depressed".

Since 2012, Google Knowledge Graph cards have grown to include a large corpus of useful information. Giliberti suggests that the tool can be used as a first step towards proper diagnosis or something that will help one "have a more informed conversation" with a doctor.

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Rather, the end goal of the project is to raise awareness of depression, particularly among young people, when only about 50pc of people in the United States who suffer from depression actually deciding to receive treatment.

The Knowledge Panel contains information on what depression is, what its symptoms are and the possible treatments.

Google is hoping to use its dominance in the online search world and algorithms to help those who feel they might be depressed with getting the help they need.

"While this tool can help, it's important to note that PHQ-9 is not meant to act as a singular tool for diagnosis", Nami said.

Google has collaborated with the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) on this project, the Verge reported.

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