Thursday, April 19, 2007

MedStory - Medical Search Engine

MedStory. It's not that new - but new enough to have the funny mark called BETA. Andy tells me that means "still buggy". So I checked it out.

Medstory is quite cool. It offers fairly good search results - that seem at first glance to come from reputable sites. It also offers an alternative search into research articles. That function should make the students happy, or anyone doing basic research for medical projects.

The problem with Google is the crap between the good stuff. And if you don't have a considerable degree of medical experience, it's often quite hard to tell the two apart. See our post on Googling your Symptoms.

It also cross correlates your search results to drugs, conditions, research centres, genes and a couple of other things.

It also (if you call now) cross correlates to NIH grants, News Media and Clinical Trials.

But the problem with all search engines that approach this topic remains. The site is only as strong as it stupidest user. Medicine is broad and easy to misunderstand. These engines have got to be so careful... one stray result and one stupid user could result in misinformation. My job, my responsibility, is about providing people with the correct information.

To the extent that tools like this help, great. To the extent I get more patients though my door connecting their toe itch to cancer. Well.

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