Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Personalising health searches

Personalising health searches: "In the last year a minor flurry in healthcare web venture capital activity is reminding some of the good old eHealth days. The hottest area right now, courtesy of Google, is search. Google's Co-Op page for health was launched in May 2006, but several start-ups focusing on health-related search are making waves -- all believing that they can thrive in the giant's shadow.

The purest search plays include Kosmix and Healia. Both claim revolutionary search technology. Healia's Chairman Tom Eng claims that Healia assesses the quality of the documents it's searching, ranks the results by both relevance to the search term, and by quality of the author --so the American Heart Association will come up ahead of a dubious online pharmacy. Eng, who has a public health background, wants 'Healia to be the trusted health librarian.' Healia already boasts the VA as a licensee.

Perhaps the most interesting of Healia's features is that it allows searchers to set filters on the information. These include allowing selecting information relevant to gender, ethnic group, and reading complexity. Kosmix also has a similar system."

It would make a lot of sense to have a search engine which could access information from your PHR automatically, so that it could provide you with results which were relevant to your needs - intelligently !

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