Entries in Google (3)


SXSW: Google’s Talking Shoe Motivates You to Move

Joanna Stern/ABC News(AUSTIN, Texas) -- Google introduced their talking sneakers invention at SXSW this year.

Aman Govil, the lead of the advertising arts team, and his colleagues at Google took a few pairs of Adidas sneakers and crammed in a small computer, an accelerometer, a pressure sensor, a gyroscope, speaker and Bluetooth. The shoe can tell what you are or aren’t doing and can then relay that information to your phone via Bluetooth or to you via the speaker in the top tongue of the shoe. Think those 90′s Pump sneakers, but with a speaker in place of the squishy ball.

The idea is that the shoe would function a lot like many of the fitness gadgets out there today that attempt you to motivate you more. When you have been sitting for more than an hour it might yell at you to walk around.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio


Patients Who Google Hemorrhoids May Want to Avoid Doctor

NICHOLAS KAMM/AFP/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- Google's annual roundup of the year's top search trends revealed that people took to the Internet to learn more about Whitney Houston, Hurricane Sandy and Big Bird, but an unlikely pain in the butt joined the group, too: hemorrhoids.

The top trending health issue in the United States this year was "hemorrhoids," according to Google's annual "zeitgeist" roundup of the world's hottest search trends, and doctors say it may be because patients would rather ask Google than their physicians.

"I'm not exactly surprised that it is something people would rather Google as opposed to discuss it with their doctors," said Dr. Patrick Okolo, chief of endoscopy at Johns Hopkins Hospital.  "Even though it is very common and affects anywhere from 14 to 20 million Americans, most people do not discuss it with their doctors for those reasons."

Hemorrhoids are swollen veins in the anus or lower rectum, caused by any condition that could impede the flow of blood back to the heart and lungs.  Pregnancy, straining or having a difficult time in the bathroom are among the causes of hemorrhoids.

Google zeitgeist spokeswoman Roya Soleimani said it's not clear why hemorrhoids shot to the top of the list this year, but its spot on the trends list (instead of the most searched list) means that its popularity is unique to 2012.

"I'm not quite sure why there was a spike in hemorrhoid searches this year, but something that was distinct and showed in the data brought it to number one," Soleimani said.

Since about one in 25 hemorrhoids are caused by obesity, it's possible that America's expanding waistlines are also to blame for the extra internet searches, Okolo said.

It's often blood on the toilet paper that tips most people off to their hemorrhoids, though many people have no symptoms, he said.  Despite what he called an urban legend, hemorrhoids are not painful unless they're infected or associated with a tear in the anal canal.

However, 12 percent of rectal bleeding is serious.

"It's a serious symptom and one that is often ignored," Okolo said.  "Probably a good proportion of the 47,000 to 50,000 deaths in this country to colon cancer probably start in ignored rectal bleeding."

Other top health search trends unique to 2012 included diaper rash, gastroesophageal reflux disease and diarrhea.  Soleimani said "pregnancy symptoms," a common search every year, topped Google's symptom search for 2012.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Study: Google Search Results for Infant Sleep Safety Mostly Wrong

NICHOLAS KAMM/AFP/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- Feeling lucky?  A new study shows you might need it if you're "googling" medical advice instead of asking your doctor.

In a study of 1,300 Google search results related to infant sleep safety, researchers found that only 43.5 percent of websites provided accurate information.  The rest were either inaccurate or irrelevant.

"It is important for health care providers to realize the extent to which parents may turn to the Internet for information about infant sleep safety and then act on that advice, regardless of the reliability of the source," said Dr. Rachel Moon, the pediatrician who led the research effort published in the Journal of Pediatrics.

Moon, a Sudden Infant Death Syndrome researcher at the Children's National Medical Center in Washington, D.C., used 13 search phrases related to infant sleep safety, including "infant sleep position," and "pacifier infant" to conduct her study.  Moon and her team analyzed the first 100 Google results for each phrase, and deemed them accurate if they matched up-to-date recommendations from the American Academy of Pediatrics.

Moon's colleague, Brandi Joyner, told ABC News she regularly tells patients to double-check their online sources' validity before acting on the advice.  Joyner is a clinical research coordinator at Children's National Medical Center and health educator at the Children's National WIC clinic in Washington, D.C., where she tells women how to keep their children safe even at naptime and bedtime.

"If you want to turn to the Internet, make sure the website is ending in .gov or .org or .state," Joyner said.

The most accurate sites were from government organizations, which were accurate 80.1 percent of the time, according to the study.  Researchers found that the least accurate websites were blogs, which were only accurate 30.9 percent of the time.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

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