HealthLine Healthcare Search Engine Launched
Healthline this week today announced the launch of their search engine dedicated to consumer healthcare.
Healthline sports what it calls Medically Guided Search, which it says “make it easier for users to find comprehensive healthcare information and interact with the search results in a manner that offers a direct path from search to discovery.”
Talk about a mega vertical search engine, the healthcare sector is a tough and expensive cookie to crack, but it will pay off for HealthLine. Besides the huge potential of advertising revenue from big-pharma, also expect advertisers from the health insurance industry, medical, alternative medicine, medical law and even hospitals themselves.
Healthline’s search engine is centered around its HealthMaps, which were developed in conjunction with more than 1,100 leading physicians and medical informatics professionals. HealthMaps enable users to visually explore all of the information related to a disease, drug or condition without the need to repeatedly type new queries into the search box.
From their press release : Healthline’s Medically Guided Search platform addresses general search engine shortcomings by using a combination of semantic search technology and a comprehensive consumer health taxonomy comprised of more than 800,000 medical terms and synonyms. These resources uniquely enable the site to translate everyday language and precisely match it to medical terminology so consumers can quickly filter results to the exact information needed. For example, when a consumer enters “arthritis” into the search box, the results include medically related categories – such as “rheumatoid arthritis,” “fibromyalgia” and “osteoarthritis” – that help guide the user to a more precise search. Selecting “fibromyalgia” results in additional categories – such as “pain management,” “fibromyalgia risk factors,” and “chronic fatigue syndrome” – that further refine the search. A more uncommon search query such as “GERD,” one of many synonyms for heartburn, returns information on “acid reflux,” “peptic disorders,” “indigestion,” and more.
“Searching for health information is more difficult than any other category – it’s like searching in a foreign language – as medical terms and consumer terms don’t match,” said West Shell, CEO of HealthLine. “General search engines are good enough when you need directions to your doctor’s office, but when it comes to navigating the complex, inter-related world of healthcare, ‘good enough’ is not acceptable. Consumers are tired of being overwhelmed by the amount of unfiltered information on the Web; they’re desperate for an open, objective and medically comprehensive source to help them better manage their health. We’re giving them exactly what they need.”