Health Highlights – January 6th, 2009

Health Highlights is a biweekly summary of particularly interesting articles from credible sources of health and medical information that we follow & read.

Health Highlights

Health Search and the Semantic Web

Before it gets too far behind us, I wanted to write briefly about the Health 2.0 Conference, which was held in San Francisco on October 22 and 23rd. The Health 2.0 Conference focuses on the application of Web 2.0 technologies to the fields of medicine and healthcare. Specifically, I wanted to comment on health search, the semantic web and the demonstration of the health 2.0 service iMedix.

Search engines today rely extensively on keywords. However, with health-related searches, context or meaning takes on great importance. Consider this: a study earlier this summer found that simply replacing the search term “vaccine safety” with “vaccine danger” replaced virtually all accurate search results (out of the first 20) with inaccurate results [1]. Granted, there are several limitations to the study (small sample size, controversial topic), but it nonetheless illustrates how a single keyword can dramatically alter search results.

Gene Genie #32 – Googling the Genie

Welcome to the 32nd edition of Gene Genie, a blog carnival devoted to genes and genetic conditions. This edition includes some excellent articles on genes and gene-related diseases, genetics, genomics and personalized genetics.

Google Health launched publicly this week and to recognize the event, the last section of the carnival is devoted to articles specifically about the service. Google, financial backer of 23andMe, also funds the Personal Genome Project, which plans to unlock the secrets of common diseases by decoding the DNA of 100,000 people in the world’s biggest gene sequencing project [1]. With the vast number of genetic data points collected for each genome sequenced, a digital system for the movement and storage of personal health information is critical for the widespread use of individualized healthcare. Google’s entrance into the online personal health records market may thus help to accelerate the era of personalized medicine.

With these thoughts in mind, let’s get to this month’s edition of the Genie.

Health Highlights – May 6th, 2008

Health Highlights is a biweekly summary of particularly interesting articles from credible sources of health and medical information that we follow & read.

Health Highlights

Presenting Highlight HEALTH 2.0

I’ve written previously about my desire to explore the use of web 2.0 in health and medicine. Two months ago, I created a page on the Highlight HEALTH Web Directory to index articles that discuss web 2.0 in health, fitness and medicine.

… Then I realized my mistake.

No blog. No RSS. Why was I writing articles on web 2.0 and not using the tools?

I alluded to this issue when I introduced The Highlight HEALTH Network, an aggregation of feeds from Highlight HEALTH and the Highlight HEALTH Web Directory.

Accordingly, I’m pleased to present Highlight HEALTH 2.0, a blog focused on following web 2.0 in health and medicine. My intention is to develop an article resource discussing social networks and health, and to catalog a series of reviews written by myself and guest writers, describing various health-focused social networks and what they have to offer. Since I believe health-focused social networks can affect patients the same as real-life social networks, offering the information as an additional resource to a web directory of quality health-related websites seemed appropriate.