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The Social MEDia Course: Online Search in Medicine

Medical Search Engines

Bertalan Mesko, MD

on 10 February 2015

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Transcript of The Social MEDia Course: Online Search in Medicine

Search Engines
Bertalan Mesko, MD, PhD
Medical Futurist
Brought to you by

"80% of Internet users look online for health information, making it the third most popular online pursuit among all those tracked by the Pew Internet Project, following email and using a search engine."
Patients should be able to find the information they need in a credible resource!
Medical professionals should be able to find the information need and help patients get similar results.
The very first tool used for searching on the Internet
Launched as a directory
a clean interface together with a no-tracking privacy policy
Timeline of Web Search Engines
of consumers use search engines to find websites.

of those searches are for product or service information.

of search engine users never scroll past the first page.
How do search engines work?
They search the Internet based on important words.

They keep an index of the words they find, and where they find them.

They allow users to look for words or combinations of words found in that index.
New expressions
Search engine
: designed to search for information online
: quality of a search engine depends on how relevant results it can find
Search engine optimization
: the process of improving the visibility of a website in search engines
Let's search on the web!
I want to know
Does diabetes cause retinopathy?
How I search
Diabetes AND retinopathy AND cause
I want to know
Does anything else besides diabetes
cause retinopathy?
How I search
Cause AND retinopathy -Diabetes
I want to know
Is there information about diabetes
on WHO.org?
How I search
site:http://www.who.org diabetes
I want to know
Are there slideshows about diabetes?
How I search
Diabetes filetype:ppt
Let's see how patients search online
What do they search for?
Patients can search on
search engines
Social networks such as Facebook
Community sites
Video channels
And many more...
Medical professionals should at least know about these platforms.
A few examples where they do search
More details about this in the "World of E-Patients" prezi
How medical
search online
A popular tool: Pubmed.com
a free database accessing the MEDLINE database of references and abstracts on life sciences and biomedical topics
Maintained by the United States National Library of Medicine at the National Institutes of Health
Launch: January, 1996
There are a few ways to search and follow the biomedical literature
Save search and set up automatic e-mail alerts
Create custom RSS feeds for journals, authors or other search queries
When a journal does not have RSS feed,
you can create one with this method
An alternative method (in genomics):
Assigning faces to papers while mimics correlate with the importance of the paper
Personalized solutions
Searching only in the databases a medical professional needs (e.g. drug; WHO; clinical trials, etc.)
Clustering search engine helps you find what you need with relevant categories
You don't have to search again and again for
your name
your field of interest
whether your paper is cited
I want to follow
information and news on "malaria treatment"
My Google alert:
"malaria treatment"
(result type: everything)
Tricks and tips:
I want to follow
information "malaria treatment" on Nature.com
My Google alert:
"malaria treatment" site:http://www.nature.com
I want to follow
information on "malaria treatment" in the USA
My Google alert:
"malaria treatment" location:USA
I want to follow
what websites link to my website/blog
My Google alert:
Looking for pictures?
Trying to find the original source of an image?
Looking for videos?
How to search in this database?
Red Cross stamp

Red Sea stamp

Stamps with red graphs

And red stamps
How could it understand?
Stamp is a stamp

Red is a color
Wolfram Alpha
What about the semantic web?
"The Semantic Web provides a common framework that allows data to be shared and reused across application, enterprise, and community boundaries."
The term was coined by
Sir Tim Berners-Lee
the inventor of the World Wide Web
Let's see a practical example
I start collecting stamps
I create a document about each stamp
Then I'll have a lot of documents
I'm looking for red stamps
I do a search for "red stamps"
and it's going to find:
It should understand that
It has to understand the difference between features such
as color or name
which means
we have to teach the database to understand these features
One of the first and successful examples
Asking questions and getting answers instead of search results
Calculating and visualizing body mass index
"BMI 180cm 78kg"
Risk estimations
Epidemilogy data
Lab test results
Drug information
Asking questions
Take home messages
Learn how your patients and colleagues search online
Search wisely, there are many tricks and tips
Save time and efforts!
Choose the right engine for your purpose (image or document; papers or websites?)
The more searches you do, the better you become at it!
Thank you for the attention!
Send suggestions
Take the test
See other courses
Visualization of results?
Search results shown on a map
real-time Evidence Based Medicine and Clinical Decision Support services
Google Scholar
Cochrane Library
Health Knowledge Base, Semantic Search and Discovery Engine for Trusted Health Information
Vertical search engine
(3rd party Pubmed tool)
But most search engines makes search results personalized to YOUR online habits
There is one exception:
It does not track you

It does not alter your search results
Full transcript