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HealthBase: New Medical Condition & Treatment Search Engine

September 2, 2009

Yawn!  Another search engine you say?  Quite possibly not!

You may have heard about NetBase, the company which started from MIT and powers Elsevier’s Illumin8 discovery engine.  Recently, they launched HealthBase, a semantic search engine that uses the NetBase technology to aggregate content on the web specifically for medical conditions and treatments.

I’ve played around with it a little, and not only do the results come back quickly, they are grouped at a high level, easy to read and understand, and fairly decent as far as comprehensiveness.  It’s free with no advertising – they put this together as a proof of their search technology (to sell to companies for use indexing larger content). 

At this point, I’d compare to a free illumin8 for medical conditions, or a poor man’s version of DynaMed.  I wouldn’t use this for comprehensive information, but if I had someone ask for overview information on a condition or a treatment, this might not be a bad place to turn, as it aggregates FDA, Medline, and Cochrane data, among others. 

For example, I did a search on “Treatments for Obesity” and “Pros and Cons of Gastric Band” – as you’ll see in the screenshots below, it aggregates the data fairly well (not perfect, but again, that’s not the point – the point is easy to digest, overview information that’s summarized).

netbase-obesity

 

netbase-band

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One Comment leave one →
  1. Alexander Feng permalink
    September 3, 2009 1:56 pm

    Update: Seems like those who have tested the site out have found a few bugs. Not unexpected to have bugs, but interesting from an outside perspective:

    http://www.techcrunch.com/2009/09/02/netbase-thinks-you-can-get-rid-of-jews-with-alcohol-and-salt/

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