HealthLine Symptom Search and CheckTonight: For When You're Getting Down

Two new health related services came our way this morning; they couldn’t be more different but both could prove useful.  

The first is Healthline’s new Symptom Search.  The successful online medical resource site Heathline has added a new search function that is definitely worth a look.  Symptom search lets you enter one or multiple symptoms you’re experiencing and displays licenced articles from medical professionals about conditions that could be causing those symptoms.  It’s an elegant tool that brings back results ranging from conditions that could cause just the symptoms you identify through more serious conditions that could be indicated by other symptoms in addition to the ones you’ve identified.  

For example, if you type in “cough” you’ll be shown first an article explaining that “Coughing is an important way to keep your throat and airways clear. However, excessive coughing may mean you have an underlying disease or disorder.”  Subsequent articles become increasingly serious; if for example you are actually experiencing a cough, sharp rib pain, a fever and you’re hot to the touch then you should check out the article on Bronchitis.  

Symptom search is integrated into Healthline’s primary search function and has a page of its own.  The company claims it’s got the first symptom search service on the web. Whether that’s true or not, this one looks particularly good.  This is a great example of quality vertical search that’s likely to be used extensively.

If you’re in need of a more social solution – CheckTonight is a new service which purports to offer online verification of negative STD test results from your doctor.  (Your test results via your doctor, that is, your doctor’s night life is none of any one’s business.)

CheckTonight users print up a medical release form, take it to their doctor’s office and presuming your test results are negative you can become a CheckTonight member.  (For a $25 annual fee – that’s like the cost of 5 drinks at a bar!)  Members must be retested every 6 months and positive test results are never stored in the system.   Then, when you’re getting frisky with someone you’ve just met – you can get a text message from CheckTonight verifying that you’re Doctor-certified STD free!  (For an additional $3 fee per text message.)  If you don’t make the cut at CheckTonight, see our coverage of Prescription4Love.

I don’t know about you, but I either trust some one’s word or I don’t – no text message delivered to their phone is going to convince me to change my sexual practices.  But let’s not get into that here – I’m as good as married anyway.

If Facebook offered a service like this, it might have legs.  Maybe. Some things just aren’t meant to be web services though and I’d contend that STD status confirmation is one of them.

Marshall Kirkpatrick is the Director of Content at SplashCast and will be assisting with TechCrunch while Michael Arrington travels.  Marshall does not have a cough or any STDs, in case you were wondering.