Google filters 'must improve to stop patients worrying'

Google needs to improve its filtering of results of searches for health information, Italian researchers argue in the BMJ this week.

Marco Masoni and colleagues from the University of Florence say that Google searches too often link to web pages that contain worrying information.

‘Google’s filters must be improved,’ they say. ‘If improving the filter is too complex, it would be better simply not to display sponsored links in results of searches on medical terms or products.’

They add: ‘Google has often said that it wishes to enter the healthcare arena in many ways. We think that a necessary first step for Google is to improve its filters and algorithms so as to prevent possible harm to its users.’

tom.moberly@haymarket.com

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