While it's great that Google is trying to implement a service that works towards creating more informed patients, it's another telehealth option that skirts the issue of how patients can get the best information THAT IS RELEVANT TO THEM.
Unfortunately as much as we want to make medical information 'cookie cutter' or 'one size fits all' the reality is this approach is often unfulfilling. You can have two people with the same condition but with completely different presentations and diagnostic criteria as well as two different medication options for treatment. Differentiating these two takes more than just a single visit with an unknown clinician conducted in a vacuum.
While general information around a condition or illness can be obtained online through a web search the reality of medical care is that any single persons care is determined by too many factors for one clinician to know or fully factor into a single point in time visit with no prior CLINICAL knowledge. We continue to skirt around the reality that the best way to address someone's medical needs is to enable a patients own doctor, someone who has a complete picture and understands the roles of past history and interplay of current conditions, to be at the front line of accessibility and online access instead of 'more of the same' approach of searching online or being connected with a doctor who has no records or no knowledge of the patient.
This is what we are doing at MediSprout - creating access for patients to their own doctors in a way that is clinically friendly, respects the doctors time and way they practice while having the opportunity to generate revenue, save valuable office resources and create flexibility and efficiency.http://www.engadget.com/2014/10/11/google-tests-doctor-video-chats/