Consumer and practitioner-friendly Healthcare Search Engine upgraded

Healia, which I wrote about a few months back, is a consumer-focused health search engine which makes it easier to find healthcare-specific information. A new version of the software is being introduced, with the following added features:

  • Enhanced the accuracy and performance of the filtering algorithms
  • Additional filters to allow people to filter by the topic of the document when they submit a disease or drug-related search
  • New “Suggested Result” feature from a reference site for disease and drug-related searches
  • Detection of expanded equivalents to common medical abbreviations and acronyms (try searching on ACL or CVD for example)

It’s nice to see search engines like this which take into account the complexity of healthcare information structure and sources.

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2 thoughts on “Consumer and practitioner-friendly Healthcare Search Engine upgraded

  1. 🙂
    Shahid,

    I’ve been hearing of Healia for a while and haven’t had time to check it out. Now, though, there may be good reason to do so.

    I am currently helping conduct some research on the efficacy of search engines in finding authoritative information about melanoma. I have access to a collection of facts that have been validated by a panel of world-class melanoma experts as being the most important for a lay person to know about melanoma. Along with this, I have a set of URLs selected by search and retrieval experts who used the facts to determine which are the most authoritative among those pages targeted at the general public (as opposed to academic papers, prescribing information sheets, etc. targeted at professionals).

    I will find time in the next few days to put Healia to the test and see how Healia does at finding these pages – and also to see if the pages it finds are as good as or better than the ones the experts recommend, in terms of fact content. The latter step is necessary a) to validate the assumption that the experts found the best pages and b) to see if newer pages are available that may supercede the experts’ “best-of” list.

    I’ll report the findings on my blog and put a link and summary report here as well.

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