This morning I got the news that I'd been waiting for from Carol Kirshner my Web Mistress (I'm still not sure that's a PC term for her) and researcher. Healia will be officially launched to the public tomorrow, September 18th.
As a writer on health, wellness and personal development, I think that this is going to become a major source of information for me. Much as I love Google, this is a search engine dedicated to these topics.
From a release that I've just received, Healia says that:
The newest version of Healia has several major improvements over our initial version:
- We have enhanced the accuracy and performance of our filtering algorithms
- We are offering additional filters to allow people to filter by the topic of the document when they submit a disease or drug-related search (Try searching on a disease and drug name to see how they are handled differently)
- We provide a “Suggested Result” from a reference site for disease and drug-related searches
- We detect and provide expanded equivalents to common medical abbreviations and acronyms
I've been putting it through its paces, and I must say that I'm very impressed. I'm probably a lot more demanding than most users, and it's very quick and accurate.
If you are a consumer or potential consumer, Healia will likely be the best place to research an illness. Or ways of keeping healthy.
I agree with the points in Carol's evaluation: It would be nice if search results opended in a separate window. Even though I use a laptop for everything (Macintosh, of course), and don't have much screen real estate, with Macintosh OS X, that's not a problem: navigating from one screen to another is a snap. Having to keep going back is a pain in the posterior.
And my cri du coeur: please, please, please could we have a Healia Search widget to add to our blogs??
I do everything that I can to provide my readers with totally accurate, up to date information, and I encourage them to check on everything. I'd love readers to be able to search directly from within medical blogs. It would be a real win/win, IMHO.
Wouldn't it be great to be able to demonstrate it at the Healthcare Blogging Summit in Washington in December???