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Insider Chatter says "Google Health at Risk"


Donna Bogatin of Inside Chatter interviewed Healthline's CEO West Shell last week for her blog post Google Health at Risk: Healthline Medical Search Snags Power Partners, and Money. The Big G has been taking some hits for its forays into health - whether it be complaints about its doctor dominated Advisory Group, Google Health's Architect Adam Bosworth,
but especially its position on Michael Moore's film Sicko.

"The search box is bad for your health!" Bogatin quotes Shell. Healthline has spent six years building the world's largest consumer health care database. Our navigation is medically sound - curated by clinicians - like me. When not sounding off about topics of interest, I work quietly with a team of other nurses, doctors, a pharmacist, microbiologist and geneticist to develop a rich, consumer friendly ontology, navigation tools and sophisticated products like Symptom Search. We will share more about our Clinical Team here in a future post. Google uses filters to eliminate unrelated content in search, but prevents users from connecting to the kind of information they might be looking for - related topics and resources. The Healthline search engine has a built-in scalable rules engine which allows for sophisticated search results manipulation beyond keyword basic filtering. Healthline technology ties terms together - like symptoms to diseases, and provides more nuance than rules based filtering.

Experiment for yourself with a few terms and see what results you get in the Big G search box vs. the Healthline search box: Try sex problem. What do you want your kids or your dad to search on? Never mind, your kids are going to look anyway. OK, try nervous. Last I checked, Wikipedia wasn't a reliable source for medical information. There are reasons why Google loves Wiki and so do I, but just not for health information. Try something more serious like Head trauma.

Healthline's clinical focus provides deep understanding of the complexities of health and wellness - from insurance billing codes to herbal treatments, to prevention and health promotion strategies and risk factors for disease. To get back to Bogatin's message - Healthline is now backed with strategic financing and partners to deliver what people want - health care information they can trust to help them make better decisions.

Thank you Larsz for use of photo.

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The Healthline Editorial team writes about the latest health news, policy, and research.

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