Top Health Search Engines of 2008

Reading time: 4 – 6 minutes

Mednar and GoPubMed have been voted Top Health Search Engines of 2008 by two independent measures.

Mednar is a federated search engine designed to quickly access information from a multitude of credible sources. Federated search is a new way to comprehensively search multiple databases in real time, ensuring a superior level of search results by ignoring outdated articles, irrelavant research and spam. Mednar offers several tools to narrow searches, drill down into topics and discover new information sources.

GoPubMed is a knowledge-based search engine for the life sciences and is based on PubMed, a service of the U.S. National Library of Medicine that includes over 18 million citations from MEDLINE, the world’s most comprehensive source of life sciences and biomedical bibliographic information, and other life science journals for biomedical articles dating back to 1948. Once keywords are submitted to PubMed, the resulting abstracts are classified using Gene Ontology (a hierarchical vocabulary for molecular biology covering cellular components, biological processes and molecular functions) and Medical Subject Headings (MeSH), a hierarchical vocabulary covering biomedical and health-related topics. Quite simply, GoPubMed enables users to find more relevant information significantly faster.


According to Hope Leman at AltSearchEngines, Mednar ranked number one:

A product of the firm Deep Web Technologies (which helped design another winner of this list,, Mednar promises to become a standard tool of power searchers in the health sciences (e.g. medical librarians, physicians, healthcare researchers) and for savvy consumer searchers who want sleek supplements to such standard tools as MedlinePlus and PubMed. Mednar offers access to an array of databases that are simply not mined by other health search engines and features a dependable email alert service that enables users to keep up on the latest publications on the medical topics of their choice. Mednar is the Secretariat and gold medal winner of medical search at this point.


Second on the list is GoPubMed:

GoPubMed has actually been around a few years, but made this list because it is such a superb tool. It is a useful complement to PubMed proper and those used to PubMed will love the ability to work seamlessly in GoPubMed and PubMed simultaneously, particularly to determine who the leading authorities are on particular topics. GoPubMed also features a mediated service that enables users to send emails to the researchers thus found, which is a public service in that it can foster fruitful researcher to researcher interactions and generate good will among the general public and those in the research realm.

Read about The Top 10 Health Search Engines of 2008 at

Bedside health search engines

Dr. Mike Cadogan, an emergency physician that writes at Life in the Fast Lane, created his own list of top health search engines for 2008:

My list is based on ‘rapid resolution’ at the bedside (or at least pretty close to it!). Needing to find answers to clinical questions, guidelines, images to demonstrate signs and recent references … here is my list of the best Health Search Engines for 2008.

Perhaps not surprisingly, both Mednar and GoPubMed topped the list. Check out Mike’s list of Top Bedside Health Search Engines of 2008.

Health search + patient-to-patient social network


I’d like to add iMedix to the list of Top Health Search Engines for 2008. I wrote a review on iMedix back in October. iMedix is a community-powered healthcare search engine, which combines a vertical health search engine with a patient-to-patient social network. iMedix uses proprietary algorithms to evaluate healthcare websites and rate top sources. Just like Mednar and GoPubMed, I think it’s a fantastic resource for health consumers to find credible sources of health information.

How will you search for credible health information online in 2009?

About the Author

Walter Jessen, Ph.D. is a Data Scientist, Digital Biologist, and Knowledge Engineer. His primary focus is to build and support expert systems, including AI (artificial intelligence) and user-generated platforms, and to identify and develop methods to capture, organize, integrate, and make accessible company knowledge. His research interests include disease biology modeling and biomarker identification. He is also a Principal at Highlight Health Media, which publishes Highlight HEALTH, and lead writer at Highlight HEALTH.