Custom Google Search Engines to Help Patients Find Reliable Medical Information

Google brings blogs at the top of search results for many medical queries. This is good for bloggers but is it good for patients who search medical information online? Probably not, since many of them do not bother to check how reliable the source of the information is.

Micro Persuasion and The Krafty Librarian write about The Pew Internet and American Life research which shows that 75% of those who search for health information do not check the source or the date of the information they find.

If you are a doctor/physician group/hospital, you would like your patients to get reliable information online but you may not want to limit them to a few selected links listed on your website. The solution could be Google Custom Search Engine (CSE) which lets you include websites reviewed by you and found to be trustworthy. CSE either searches the selected sites exclusively or gives preference to them in the top results.

Philipp Lenssen writes that "CSE was just revealed this week, but there are already second-party directories built around the idea. Both CustomSearchGuide.com and Lurpo.com let you browse through different topics, and then search right on their site using the custom search engines." CSE is part of Google Co-op.

I found just 2 CSE for health information:
- Patient's Medical Info
- Health Professional's Medical Search

Summary:

Google CSE can help patients find dependable medical information online.

You can build your own Google Search Engine of reliable sources. Then just put a simple search box on your website and give a business card with the URL to your patients.

Update 03/28/2007:
Adam Bosworth, Vice President of Engineering at Google Inc. covers similar topics in: How do you know you're getting the best care possible?

Update 06/05/2007:
I use Google Custom Search Engines for the search function of ClinicalCases.org, CasesBlog and the related sites.

References:
Pew: Health Searchers Don't Check Their Sources. Micro Persuasion.
Growing Popularity of the Web to Solve Medical Questions. The Krafty Librarian.
Google Custom Search Directories. Philipp Lenssen.
Eureka! Your own search engine has landed! Official Google Blog.
Creating Your Own Search Engine using Google Custom Search. Google Tutor, 06/2007.
Creating Google Custom Search Engines. O'Reilly Media, 09/2007.

Related:
An easy way to add new features to Google. Matt Cutts: Gadgets, Google, and SEO, 02/2008.

Updated: 02/26/2008

3 comments:

  1. This may interest you as well.

    http://davidrothman.net/consumer-health-and-patient-education-information-search-engine/

    ReplyDelete
  2. Excellent info to know about!

    ReplyDelete
  3. Built 2 focusing on health promotion and chronic disease prevention using almost 1700 select sources.

    http://www.itscooperative.com/community/blogs/its_weblog/archive/2006/10/25/Custom-Search.aspx

    ReplyDelete

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