Well, at least Google tries. We have to give them credit for that, and for this very first step — which I honestly hope is just that (as others have suggested giving Google the benefit of the doubt) — it’s a doosey. They’ve gone and created an advisory council to help guide them in their thinking in health.
But in a very traditional, Big-Company-Hey-Maybe-a-Little-Evil-Won’t-Hurt-Us way, they didn’t fill such a council with patients and patient advocates. Instead, they filled it with doctors and doctor insiders (and, of course, a representative of Wal-Mart!), because who better to help Google figure out health than docs?!
Gee, I dunno. How about the people who’ve been the unhappy recipients of such a system for the past 3 or 4 decades?
Sandy over at Junk Food Science has some immediate concerns about the road this leads Google down, namely one of censorship and not helping people find all health information:
Screening out “irrelevant” and “unhelpful” information? That sounds like a euphemism for censorship.
A for effort, D for implementation.