There are so many information portals on the web for health information, it can be tough to decipher which one is the best resource to answer a medical question. NetBase Solutions has launched healthBase, a powerful semantic search engine that aggregates medical content from millions of authoritative health sites including WebMD, Wikipedia, PubMed, and the Mayo Clinic’s health site.
HealthBase uses NetBase’s proprietary search intelligence technology to read sentences inside documents and linguistically understand the meaning of the content. Thus, healthBase’s search engine can automatically find treatments for any health condition or disease; the pros and cons of any treatment, medication and food, and more.
The search engine’s results are impressive. When you type in a search for the available treatments for diabetes, you are given results that are broken down by 63 drugs and medications used to treat the disease, 70 common treatments for diabetes, and 20 appropriate food and plants for the treatment of diabetes. You can also see the pros and cons of certain treatments. Search results appear disarmingly fast and will take you to the appropriate site where the content and information is hosted.
There’s no doubt that this is a useful site to tap into the vast variety of health information there is on the web, but I find the site to be slightly impersonal. Medical information, which can be daunting and sterile, is sometimes best served with a human touch on the web, especially when it comes to consumer knowledge. Medpedia is a good example of a site that contains a large amount of content that also has a social element.
But healthBase serves a valid purpose as an aggregator of medical content and will surely help those looking for a comprehensive research tool. Parent company NetBase won’t serve advertising on the site but monetizes its technology by powering internal search engines for companies that have large databases of content. Healthbase is a public demonstration of its technology.