Web Sites Ease Online Medical Searches
Internet companies are launching refined search engines to provide more relevant results to people seeking health information online, the Wall Street Journal reports.
According to the Journal, patients often face difficulty "combing through online medical resources" or "knowing the correct spelling of complex conditions." In addition, it can be difficult to judge the credibility of information provided by Web sites, which "can have significant consequences for patients making medical decisions," the Journal reports.
However, a new generation of tailored search engines seeks to address some of the issues by using different searching methods to limit the number of pages they search and taking consumers directly to the relevant information. In addition, some of the sites organize results into different categories to improve searching efficiency.
According to the Journal, many Web sites are using vertical search methods which focus on a smaller range of content and can "pull specific information out of sites to highlight or organize results into categories relevant to their theme." With 79% of Internet users now using the Web to find health information, "health information is the next logical place for vertical searches to take hold," the Journal reports (Vascellaro, Wall Street Journal, 3/21).