Apr 30, 2009

Learning tools and search engine ranking for Medicos


Recently read the Latest edition of Journal of Health informatics in developing countries. Specifically, Search engines : a study of nine search engines in four categories by Dallas Knight (Health Informatics Programme University of Otago, Dunedin, New Zealand). This study’s objective was to determine how search engines within different categories compare, and to look at features and trends of search engines that are commonly used for queries by both health consumers and professionals.

The query terms used for this study are

  • Ulcerative colitis
  • Benign positional vertigo
  • Pleomorphic rhabdomyosarcoma
  • “online tool” for help with depression
  • exercise after bowel cancer operation
Evaluation of the first ten sites for each scenario in each search engine included relevance, usefulness, usability of sites, and quality of health information evaluation.

Search engines within the general category (Google, SearchYahoo!) performed best overall. Meta search engines (Dogpile, Jux2) also performed well with vertical search engines (Healia, Kosmix, Healthline) next. Health portals (Revolution Health, WebMD) produced relevant useful results for common terms, but not for unusual query terms.




Other important medical education and learning tools the study talks about include

  • Custom built Search engines ( eg Google, Rollyo and EureksterSwiki )
  • Blog sites, wikis and podcasts
  • social bookmarking with Del.icio.us and Digg.com
  • RSS site feeds read by aggregators or emails
  • Yahoo Pipes! for channelizing information
The few services and tools it missed include,


I think i shall now close this list or i shall be spending hours trying to compile a complete list. Anyways, most of the useful tools for medical education and learning have been mentioned here. If you can think of any more study tools or services, kindly add them in the comments.


Read the complete study Here






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Learning tools and search engine ranking for Medicos


Recently read the Latest edition of Journal of Health informatics in developing countries. Specifically, Search engines : a study of nine search engines in four categories by Dallas Knight (Health Informatics Programme University of Otago, Dunedin, New Zealand). This study’s objective was to determine how search engines within different categories compare, and to look at features and trends of search engines that are commonly used for queries by both health consumers and professionals.

The query terms used for this study are
  • Ulcerative colitis
  • Benign positional vertigo
  • Pleomorphic rhabdomyosarcoma
  • “online tool” for help with depression
  • exercise after bowel cancer operation
Evaluation of the first ten sites for each scenario in each search engine included relevance, usefulness, usability of sites, and quality of health information evaluation.



Search engines within the general category (Google, SearchYahoo!) performed best overall. Meta search engines (Dogpile, Jux2) also performed well with vertical search engines (Healia, Kosmix, Healthline) next. Health portals (Revolution Health, WebMD) produced relevant useful results for common terms, but not for unusual query terms.





Other important medical education and learning tools the study talks about include
  • Custom built Search engines (eg Google, Rollyo and EureksterSwiki )
  • Blog sites, wikis and podcasts
  • social bookmarking with Del.icio.us and Digg.com
  • RSS site feeds read by aggregators or emails
  • Yahoo Pipes! for channelizing information
The few services and tools it missed include,

I think i shall now close this list or i shall be spending hours trying to compile a complete list. Anyways, most of the useful tools for medical education and learning have been mentioned here. If you can think of any more study tools or services, kindly add them in the comments.

Read the complete study Here

Related articles-

Apr 26, 2009

Health care reforms in the US.


Health care reform is a hot topic these days. What is health care reform? The President, Congress and people like you are talking about it. The simple answer is well, there is no simple answer.

Most Americans i know are not even sure if Healthcare is a fundamental human right?! So talking about "Health care for all" seems too far fetched for them.The argument i hear commonly says that only taxpayers should be given health care assistance and the 46 million or so people without Health insurance can go to Hell ! It seems like a weeding out plan for poverty. " You don't have money to buy insurance? Too bad, go sit there and die".


All of us shall soon have to come to the conclusion that health rights are equal to Right to life and inability to pay for it cannot be a hurdle. The real problem is not the poor, it is the absurdly rising COST of health care!

A few ways to reduce healthcare costs include
  • More Use of Technology
  • Empower people with More information
  • Payment to care providers to be based on Quality rather than the number of investigations performed. ( This is very basic actually)
  • Promote healthier Lifestyle.
Related Articles-
-Why American healthcare is so expensive? (neeleshbhandari.blogspot.com)
-Healthcare and emerging technologies (neeleshbhandari.blogspot.com)

-Better E.M.Rs to attain "Health Rights for All". (neeleshbhandari.blogspot.com)

Health care reforms in the US.

Health care reform is a hot topic these days. What is health care reform? The President, Congress and people like you are talking about it. The simple answer is well, there is no simple answer.

Most Americans i know are not even sure if Healthcare is a fundamental human right?! So talking about "Health care for all" seems too far fetched for them.The argument i hear commonly says that only taxpayers should be given health care assistance and the 46 million or so people without Health insurance can go to Hell ! It seems like a weeding out plan for poverty. " You don't have money to buy insurance? Too bad, go sit there and die".

All of us shall soon have to come to the conclusion that health rights are equal to Right to life and inability to pay for it cannot be a hurdle. The real problem is not the poor, it is the absurdly rising COST of health care!

A few ways to reduce healthcare costs include
  • More Use of Technology
  • Empower people with More information
  • Payment to care providers to be based on Quality rather than the number of investigations performed. ( This is very basic actually)
  • Promote healthier Lifestyle.






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Apr 4, 2009

Personal mobile slide viewers for Pathologists.

Image representing iPhone as depicted in Crunc...Image via CrunchBase

Image via CrunchBase
We have been waiting for this,the optimum integration of communication technology and the practice of pathology to help every pathologist individually.

The InterPath concept is to provide access to a virtual microscope that can be controlled in much the same way as with traditional light microscopy. Pre-scanned frozen sections can be downloaded from designated sites on the Web and viewed in an accompanying viewer that is provided free of charge. Convenient features like selection of image areas, zooming and adjustment of light density are supplied. Using the application rapid specialist referrals can be made, without access to a computer, a microscope or the original specimen.


Interpath for iPhone from IMI on Vimeo.
The Interpath for iPhone application allows for a remote pathologist to review and navigate high quality images of diagnostic quality using either the cellular network or WIFI networks on the iPhone. Using the application rapid specialist referrals can be made, without access to a computer, a microscope or the original specimen. The image can be reviewed by the pathologist and used to provide a diagnosis used in cancer and other disease treatments
The system consists of a generic high quality microscope slide scanner, of which there are several currently on the market. A server where the images are located and the iPhone. The iPhone is used to access the large image that is stored in the server but only to retrieve relevant parts. Using the multi-touch interface that the iPhone provides, an intuitive interface is provided that allows the user to navigate and view images of interest in a similar way to that provided by Google Earth. There are plans to put this system into immediate trials prior to consideration of its integration into our patient treatment workflow.
We might not be able to use this for diagnosing any borderline cases, but the potential is enormous. It makes taking second opinions simpler than ever before. With evolving technology, we might be free of a fixed workstation for basic microscopic evaluations!


Personal mobile slide viewers for Pathologists.

Image representing iPhone as depicted in Crunc...Image via CrunchBase

Image via CrunchBase
We have been waiting for this,the optimum integration of communication technology and the practice of pathology to help every pathologist individually.

The InterPath concept is to provide access to a virtual microscope that can be controlled in much the same way as with traditional light microscopy. Pre-scanned frozen sections can be downloaded from designated sites on the Web and viewed in an accompanying viewer that is provided free of charge. Convenient features like selection of image areas, zooming and adjustment of light density are supplied. Using the application rapid specialist referrals can be made, without access to a computer, a microscope or the original specimen.
The Interpath for iPhone application allows for a remote pathologist to review and navigate high quality images of diagnostic quality using either the cellular network or WIFI networks on the iPhone. Using the application rapid specialist referrals can be made, without access to a computer, a microscope or the original specimen. The image can be reviewed by the pathologist and used to provide a diagnosis used in cancer and other disease treatments
The system consists of a generic high quality microscope slide scanner, of which there are several currently on the market. A server where the images are located and the iPhone. The iPhone is used to access the large image that is stored in the server but only to retrieve relevant parts. Using the multi-touch interface that the iPhone provides, an intuitive interface is provided that allows the user to navigate and view images of interest in a similar way to that provided by Google Earth. There are plans to put this system into immediate trials prior to consideration of its integration into our patient treatment workflow.
We might not be able to use this for diagnosing any borderline cases, but the potential is enormous. It makes taking second opinions simpler than ever before. With evolving technology, we might be free of a fixed workstation for basic microscopic evaluations!


Apr 3, 2009

Simple Pubmed Searches



PubMed is a service of the U.S. National Library of Medicine that includes over 18 million citations from MEDLINE and other life science journals for biomedical articles back to 1948. PubMed includes links to full text articles and other related resources. The search volumes at Pubmed are enormous!!




Many people i know do not derive the full benefits of that LARGE library - Pubmed. Most stop at simple article searches and then get lost in the thousands of results which pop up. The few who go for advanced search tend to stop at one or maximum two attributes. It has always been a bit hard to master the Pubmed maze. So now Pubmed has come up with a new improved design for its search Function.


Video by Melissa Rethlefsen, Librarian, LRC - Mayo Medical School




PubMed’s new Advanced Search screen is designed to replace the current tabs in PubMed (Limits, History, Index, etc.) and the Single Citation Matcher.Its more intutive and all the attributes are listed on one page to help you choose easily. I found it better than before. Take a look.



Reblog this post [with Zemanta]

Simple Pubmed Searches


PubMed is a service of the U.S. National Library of Medicine that includes over 18 million citations from MEDLINE and other life science journals for biomedical articles back to 1948. PubMed includes links to full text articles and other related resources. The search volumes at Pubmed are enormous!!




Many people i know do not derive the full benefits of that LARGE library - Pubmed. Most stop at simple article searches and then get lost in the thousands of results which pop up. The few who go for advanced search tend to stop at one or maximum two attributes. It has always been a bit hard to master the Pubmed maze. So now Pubmed has come up with a new improved design for its search Function.


Video by Melissa Rethlefsen, Librarian, LRC - Mayo Medical School




PubMed’s new Advanced Search screen is designed to replace the current tabs in PubMed (Limits, History, Index, etc.) and the Single Citation Matcher.Its more intutive and all the attributes are listed on one page to help you choose easily. I found it better than before. Take a look.





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