SOURCE: Healthline

January 17, 2006 16:50 ET

Media Advisory: Conventional Search Engines Ineffective in the Complex World of Healthcare

Healthline Cited in Recent Independent Research Firm Report on Healthcare Search

SAN FRANCISCO, CA -- (MARKET WIRE) -- January 17, 2006 -- As more people turn to online search for health information, and as their doctors have less time to spend with them, the challenge becomes how to find precise, relevant information that can help people make more informed and confident healthcare decisions. Search experts are quickly discovering that meta-searching healthcare information can quickly lead down a path of obscure medical terminology that few people beyond those in the profession can decipher.

Nonetheless, today's technology-savvy consumers are gathering information from all sorts of sources, most notably the Internet, which may or may not give them accurate data, since it's an imperfect world. On one end of the spectrum are general search engines that provide millions of unfiltered results with no sense of guidance or order, and on the other are limited medical content sites, which provide their own data and thus restrict searchers by keeping them from viewing content on the "Health Web."

But a third alternative exists -- vertical search -- whose goal is to more easily cull complex information for users. According to a January 2006 Forrester Research report titled "Healthline Uses Intelligent Content Search for a Healthier Search," while health-related language and layman terminology often cause confusion in online search, innovative companies are applying software that can "...make sense of content and recognize context, and understand the end user's requests for information."

Healthline is the first search engine built specifically to provide the quality, medically relevant search results with navigation tools to help consumers find, understand and manage the information provided. Because it was developed with the assistance of medical professionals, Healthline also provides results in context, so users not only retrieve specific results that match their query, but provides a holistic view of interrelated information such as symptoms, conventional and alternative treatments, causes, risk factors, and more.

The Forrester report concludes, "As Healthline has found, integrating one or more taxonomies, incorporating notions of authority and explicit content ranking into relevance, and taking advantage of natural language processing capabilities can ultimately lead to a healthier search for end users."

For more information or to speak with a Healthline executive, please contact Andrea Cousens of Eastwick Communications at 650-480-4058 or

Contact Information

  • For more information:
    Andrea Cousens
    Eastwick Communications
    Email Contact