Vertical Search in Health Care

by francine Hardaway on September 20, 2007

There are at least six companies here at Health 2.0 that are trying to improve the way consumers search for medical information. They want to create more relevant search than Google or Yahoo, and thus take market share from them. The companies on the panel compared their offerings for one search on the term diabetes, and showed how their technologies differed from the ones used by the bigger players.

In the room, the participants are taking a survey on whether any of the following companies can dislodge the majors. The survey came out that there was a less than 50/50 chance Yahoo and Google would be dislodged any time soon, but here are some useful sites if you are looking for better, more specific information.

Healthline-focussed on blending the art and science of medicine with technology. So asks for symptoms.
Praxeon –evidence-based answers
Healia- a personalized search engine
Kosmix-insures the quality of the search results and shows you what might be spam or scam. Identifies trusted results in several different verticals
Medstory-extracts useful information that is then used to drill down further into the web to find other and better resources.

Social networks are evolving, so they will also play a role in how consumers find health information from each other. I’m working with a company, still in stealth mode, that will help women make better health care decisions using the tools of social networks. Right now, its blog is launched, but just wait!

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Merlin Ward September 20, 2007 at 2:29 pm

This is a great idea! But can be dangerous. False self-diagnosis could be detrimental to your health. I’m always down to push the limits of web2.0 though!

francine hardaway September 20, 2007 at 2:45 pm

Hmmm. Are you the son of a doctor? That’s what many doctors think. But knowledge is power. And people search anyway for medical info. They might has well find good info.

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