Zocdoc, the online doctor-locating and medical appointments platform, has launched a new feature on desktop and mobile devices that it dubs the “Patient-Powered Search.” The firm describes this new engine as a “more intuitive search experience, built specifically to bridge the gap between healthcare industry and human speak.”
The logic behind Patient-Powered Search, which harnesses AI and machine learning capabilities, is that people don’t think in terms of a medical textbook when they’re looking for a doctor to treat their ailments. But many doctor search services require that sort of precise terminology to find the appropriate physician.
Instead, Patient-Powered Search is able to decipher what it is that a patient is seeking. It forgives common spelling errors and gauges what a user’s actual intent is.
For instance, “gyno” would be understood to be OB-GYN and the misspelled “hemroids” would be mapped to hemorrhoids; searching for “anxiety” or “depression” will bring up the variety of possible medical professional who may be able to help a patient with those mental health conditions. And by constantly learning the types of real-world medical searches that people conduct, it can continually adjust to shifting trends.