kwiKBio Aims to Fast Track Research with Crowdsourcing Campaign

kwiKBio believes it’s taking too long to solve diseases and create cures. The company¬†aims to combine advanced semantic web bioinformatics with contract research organization (CRO) business development in an e-commerce biomedical research portal.¬†Think Wikipedia with an interactive research component coupled with Expedia for purchasing a ticket to a laboratory test.

kwikBio

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.

Health Web 1.0, 2.0 and 3.0

This article was written by Matthew Krajewski.

If Web 1.0 was about being told what the best information for you was (like the flat top 10 results on Yahoo! or Google), then Web 2.0 is about giving more control to the individual and inviting them to participate in the world of information.

Letting users start conversations or organizing information to the benefit of the end user are two outputs of the Web 2.0 evolution. So what is Web 3.0?

health-search.jpgAn article in ReadWriteWeb recently attempted to define Web 3.0, the semantic web based on personalization and recommendation. Web 3.0 may become quite adept at trying to algorithmically match you romantically, like a modern version of the 1950s board game Mystery Date, and some companies have already made significant headway in recommendation and personalization, such as Pandora and their music recommendation jukebox-like interface.

Will health ever benefit from the semantic web? Perhaps. Nothing is impossible, but it’s hard to imagine a computer will ever know how to deal with queries like:

“I hurt and don’t know why.”
“Why won’t my wound heal?”
“Should I be worried about menstrual bleeding during pregnancy?”

These questions deal with the core physical nature of human beings and the nuances and language to express physical experience is so wide that Web 3.0 may never build the right bridge.

However, Web 2.0 — with intelligent interaction flow — can make answering the afore mentioned questions much easier. By categorizing the scary wilds of the web for an end user, it makes searching that much smoother.

Kosmix, the creators of RightHealth, have created a categorization technology that simplifies the web. This categorization of information is important for online health search, where the nature of queries can be intensely personal.

Asking a person concerned about his/her health to plough through homogenous search results is just plain cruel. Categorize the information, build your interaction flow around that categorization, and you’ve already helped make the mystery of a health question easier to understand. Web 2.0 puts the user or the user’s needs at the center of the product, at least when it’s done right.

Being smart about categorization and interaction flow is more than just dressing up search results. Standard search results will require a user to determine for themselves what is a trustworthy source and what is plain spam. RightHealth treats the categorization of health information much like how an editorial health site would treat their articles: insuring results are relevant, trustworthy and of value to the end user.

The user interaction associated with these valuable results is just as important, exploiting the value of Web 2.0 sensibility in order to be smarter about how health searchers interact with information to better understand their health. In Health Web 2.0, the user is just as important as the information they are trying to access. Building those bridges correctly is the way to effectively evaluate the quality of a Health 2.0 website.

About the author: Matthew Krajewski is a writer for The Kosmix RightHealth Blog, which uses information obtained through the RightHealth search engine to provide insightful posts about health-related news and issues.

Additional health search resources are listed in the Highlight HEALTH Web Directory.

Web 3.0 and Predictive, Preventive and Personalized Medicine

Since January, Berci Mesko over at Scienceroll has been writing about how Web 2.0 is changing medicine. He’s written a number of interesting articles, including Medical wikis: the future of medicine? and Medical Web 2.0 Sites.

In Web 3.0 and medicine, Berci writes about WikiProteins, a new site that plans to use Web 3.0 technologies to incorporate real time community annotation into a semantic framework. The article Meet the uber-wiki is a great review of the up-and-coming resource.