False alarm, I don't need a medic but sometimes I have medical questions, like what is "Steakhouse Syndrome", "Chronic Pain" or "Blurred Vision." Of course you can check out Web MD or HealthLine but there are a few new medical searches that offer more of a Web 2.0 approach. This article will examine a number of the new health and medical sites on the Web.
According to TechCrunch both Microsoft and Google are also getting into the medical site space with HealthVault and Google Health respectively but there are also a number of other startups jumping into the space.
Enurgi aims to help elderly and disabled individuals find professionals to care for them and caregivers find patients. Enurgi leverages public caregiver records to empower caregivers to claim themselves and then find patients in need within the network. Patients can then also search caregivers that match their specific needs.
iGuard.org offers a way for users to easily find out about the safety of medicines that they have been prescribed. The site offers personalized alerts about important safety information for the drugs a user may be taking. iGuard also helps to communicate risk factors and future safety information as it emerges.
Healia is a health search engine that offers a very clean and simple search interface which enables users to sift through results a number of different ways through filters and other configurations. Search engine guru Phil Bradley offers a very detailed positive review of the service. In testing Healia out, I would have to agree with him as Healia offered me so many options while searching - truly a powerful product.
iMedix offers a collaborative environment to find, share and connect with others members of the community. iMedix is more a social network for medical focused individuals.
Kosmix offers a number of vertical searches, one of which is a health search.
Mamma Health is said to perform a "deep web" search which did not perform all that well in my search attempts. However, you can try it for yourself and let me know if you get it to work better.
MEDgle takes an image driven approach to a medical search by asking users to select the parts of the body in which they have symptoms. MEDgle is truly a search engine for medical symptoms. This could be a hypochondriacs dream, or worst enemy, depending upon which way you look at it. Though you should not rely primarily on the Internet for diagnosing yourself, MEDgle makes it easy to narrow possible options. I think this is pretty handy since I am not a doctor and would not know what to start to look for if ill, so symptom-based search is probably ideal.
MedStory aims to provide superb medical and health search results by offering granular results from top medical sources. MedStory recently partnered with both the Wall Street Journal and BreastCancer.org to index its content and surface it in search results.
RelMed enables you to search actual medical articles for answers.
Revolution Health, a Northern Virginia based startup founded by AOL founder Steve Case earlier in 2007, as covered by TechCrunch, offers a health-related portal site and social network. It offers medical information and tools that empower users to make informed decisions related to their health. It is WebMD in a Web 2.0 world. Steve Case explains why we all need Revolution Health in this video posted on the site.
TauMed is a virtual health community where you can share information on a variety of topics. It is very similar to iMedix and Revolution Health but appears to surface more community video and question and answer content upfront.
ZocDoc aims to help combat the issue we all run into when moving to a new area. We all need to find a doctor at some point and it is not always the easiest process. ZocDoc demonstrated its dentist and doctor search functionality at TechCrunch40 and I thought it offered a valuable service, especially since I encountered the problem they are trying to solve when I moved from Chicago to DC last year. Though the service is not yet available in all areas, kudos to ZocDoc for taking a simple problem and attacking it with a simple solution.
Though we should never rely on the Web for all our medical needs, the breadth of the niche Web 2.0 health sites that have emerged now offer us more places to turn to find answers to our medical questions and maybe even find a medic in the process.