Just Added a Comment to: Healthline Raises $14 Million to Grow Medical Search Engine

There’s an interesting article over on the Search Engine Watch Blog about a new search engine for the medical industry called Healthline. Here’s bit from the post:

“A few weeks ago, I got a chance to speak to Dean Stephens, President & COO of Healthline, about their semantic search engine. Today, Healthline announced that it has raised another $14 million in a third round of financing led by Investor Growth Capital (IGC) and including strategic financing from a joint venture between GE Capital’s Media, Communications & Entertainment business and NBC Universal and Reed Elsevier Ventures.

In collaboration with doctors, Healthline have built a semantic search engine that uses professional medical terminology and taxonomies to organize all the data into a consumer friendly package. Their vision is to connect consumers to anything in the health information space that is publicly available.

The idea for a semantic search index came from physicians’ observations that despite a noble trend towards consumers trying to educate themselves in healthcare via the internet, many found that ‘contextual correctness’ was missing. This led consumers to jump to wrong, and often unnecessarily sinister, conclusions. In turn, this led consumers to demand inappropriate medical treatment. Put another way, despite an information revolution, hypochondria and PageRank still don’t play nice together.
“It would be very difficult to get Yahoo, Bing and Google to work together to create a new type of search engine. If any of them are going to specifically get into the medical field, my guess is they would do it on their own. Actually there is a place for niche search engines, since they can often do a better job than the broader companies, but the trick is to get people to use them. I could also foresee a scenario where one of the big guys buys out Healthline after they mature their technology.”

And my response:

It would be very difficult to get Yahoo, Bing and Google to work together to create a new type of search engine. If any of them are going to specifically get into the medical field, my guess is they would do it on their own. Actually there is a place for niche search engines, since they can often do a better job than the broader companies, but the trick is to get people to use them. I could also foresee a scenario where one of the big guys buys out Healthline after they mature their technology.

Read the full article: Healthline Raises $14 Million to Grow Medical Search Engine

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