#Google now has a tool that lets their users check if they are clinically depressed. This new tool is different for people simply researching their symptoms for this psychological condition from medical information sources, the official blog said.

The search engine has provided an option for their users to check their symptom levels for #Clinical Depression. The platform will lead users to a separate page that introduces a screening questionnaire known as PHQ-9.

Mary Giliberti, chief executive officer of the National Alliance on #Mental illness, told Google that PHQ-9 is a clinically validated questionnaire in screening format.

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By answering the questionnaire, people can determine whether they need further evaluation for their condition.

“The questionnaire can be the first step to get the right diagnosis,” said the statement posted in the Google blog. “We hope that by getting this information on Google, more patients will become knowledgeable about depression so they can seek treatment for recovery, and improve the quality of their lives.”

Not for diagnosis

Google has made it a point to say that their new tool is not meant to diagnose the person for depression. This means that answering the survey questions, and being detected with some levels of depression does not necessarily mean that they are diagnosed with the condition.

Giliberti further explained that the results from the PHQ-9 can help them get in touch with the right medical professionals.

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Medical professionals commended the new tool but noted that there can be discrepancies in the results.

Dr. Michael Thase, a psychiatry professor at the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania, told Live Science that the new platform is a great idea as it provides a reliable and simple way to screen people for the condition. However, Thase pointed out that it can offer “false positives,” and that patients should still seek medical information.

Furthermore, Dr. David Hellerstein added in the report that awareness is still important. He said that depression remains “under-recognized and untreated.” Hellerstein is teaching clinical psychiatry at the Columbia University Medical Center in New York.

Clinical depression

The Google blog noted that clinical depression is a common condition that is experienced by one out of five Americans in their lifetime. However, despite information dissemination programs, there are only 50 percent of people diagnosed with it who receive medical treatment. The National Alliance on Mental Illness partnered with the tech company to promote awareness and direct access to tools to help people who are in need of medical attention, the blog added.