Health Search Engine – Competition with Google Health?

Posted on June 6, 2006 I Written By

John Lynn is the Founder of the HealthcareScene.com blog network which currently consists of 10 blogs containing over 8000 articles with John having written over 4000 of the articles himself. These EMR and Healthcare IT related articles have been viewed over 16 million times. John also manages Healthcare IT Central and Healthcare IT Today, the leading career Health IT job board and blog. John is co-founder of InfluentialNetworks.com and Physia.com. John is highly involved in social media, and in addition to his blogs can also be found on Twitter: @techguy and @ehrandhit and LinkedIn.

An EMR and HIPAA blog reader recently contacted me about a health search engine that he is creating called Healia.com. Being the nice guy that I am I decided to go and check out the search and see what kind of results it would give. Of course since I have an EMR website I of course focused on searches for EMR first and then I moved into my own personal health searches. Here’s the comments I sent to Healia:

I did a number of searches on the site. The search definitely seems better than any other health search out there. Although, I think it will be interesting what Google Health is able to produce with their Google Health Co-op.

A few comments:
-How come emrandhipaa.com isn’t there? I tried a number of EMR searches and the information wasn’t that useful(besides the fact that my website wasn’t there). In fact, one of the searches looked like it would have some good informtion from HIMSS. I opened the link and unfortunately it was just a list of presentations that were being done on that subject. That was dissappointing.
-Many of the medical term searches I did pulled up information on the term I used, but was related to HIV patients. This happened multiple times. That is good information if I was HIV positive. However, to see it on multiple generic searches seems like the specific HIV pages were getting too much weight.
-A search for “swimmers ear” gave me as a consumer(not a doctor) some great information on what was happening. Excellent result
-A search for heart burn didn’t bring up good search results at all. None of it seemed relevant to me as a consumer

Well, overall I think they still have a little ways to go. In a response to my email he wanted to emphasize the need for people’s feedback on the site and it’s ability to produce good or bad results. He also pointed out that I don’t know how to type heart burn and should have typed it heartburn and I would have gotten better results. I think that his search should have told me I didn’t know how to spell and offered me the correct spelling.

He also offered that emrandhipaa.com would be added to the search engines list of sites to crawl. I just searched EMR with no success. I decided to give him the benefit of the doubt and so I searched “EMR and HIPAA” and still didn’t see my site. If Google puts me number 1 for the search “EMR and HIPAA” I’m not sure why Healia won’t.

I also found another interesting result. There was a result of a PDF file and the subject name was something like “C:\Documents and Settings\Administrator…” That type of result should definitely be stripped out.

Either way, I was appreciative for the personal information I found on why I get blasted swimmer’s ear.

UPDATE: I got a message from Tom at Healia.com and he said that my site, along with many others, will be added to the next index when it rolls out in a couple weeks. I’ll be watching for that.