What if Google finds out you have cancer before you do?

I’ve pooh-poohed Google diagnosing in the past, but I also concede that it’s more than possible for your search pattern in Google to reveal that you may have a disease before you and your doctor figure it out. A friend got a little worried when ads for Neulasta started popping up along his searches. The drug, made by Amgen…

…is prescribed to reduce the risk of infection (initially marked by fever) in patients with some tumors receiving strong chemotherapy that decreases the number of infection-fighting white blood cells.

There is something creepy about getting a knock from a virtual grim reaper even when if it turns out to be a false alarm. As ad placement technology gets better and better I expect you’ll see examples of targeted advertising portending the diagnosis of serious illness.

December 7, 2007