Are you searching for authoritative answers to medical questions online? In 2004, Chris Sherman at Search Engine Watch warned readers about the difficulties of obtaining accurate and credible health information online. Does this problem still exist? Or, have medical search engines become more user-friendly and accurate?
The problem concerning inaccurate information may always exist, even when many available resources offer updated, credible and accurate information. Even when reliable information is available, the issue remains that many people do not know about these resources because of lack of Web skills, lack of critical thinking skills, lack of English-speaking skills and the abundance of Web sites that often contain outdated information. Additionally, many search engines now ask for symptoms and return a variety of diagnoses that may or may not help an individual cope with a serious disease or injury.
To help remedy some of these problems, the following top 25 health and medical search engines list contains tools designed for both consumers and health professionals. Use these search engines to explore answers to queries from across the Web as well as from self-contained repositories. All resources are constantly updated, and they are listed in alphabetical order to show readers that we do not favor one search engine over another.
Finally, no search engine can “fix” a medical problem. When in doubt, consult a professional about your symptoms.
- Dr. Weil: Use this site to search for integrative approaches to medical treatments for any number of health issues. This is a consumer resource that many health professionals use to sty connected with a growing field of integrative medicine philosophy.
- Gopubmed: a medical search engine that won a design award for the “best of the best” of 2009 for its semantic filters.
- Healia: This consumer site contains a health search engine that filters information from an online health community, health news and tips and consumer-friendly information guides.
- Health on the Net Foundation (HON, or HON MedHunt): Search all medical Web sites with this engine. HON’s mission is to “guide the growing community of healthcare consumers and providers on the World Wide Web to sound, reliable medical information and expertise.”
- HealthBase: This is a beta site that is testing a new semantic search technology intended for health-related searches. Searches include treatments, causes, complications and information about drugs, foods and chemicals gathered from around the Internet.
- Healthfinder: This is a government Web site designed for consumers to find information and tools on health topics culled from over 1,600 government and non-profit organizations.
- Healthline: Healthline was the first consumer medical search engine to focus on delivering results from trusted, high-quality healthcare Web sites.
- Mayo Clinic: Search for diseases and conditions as well as information offered by more than 3,300 physicians, scientists and researchers from Mayo Clinic.
- MEDgle: Search over 10,000 symptoms, over 2,100 diagnoses, thousands of drugs and over 6,000 medical procedures in a site designed for consumers to learn more about personal health.
- MedHelp: This is a consumer site that offers searches for doctors, health topics and news and information about all types of physical conditions, remedies and treatment issues.
- Medic8: This UK site is a leading medical information Web site for health care professionals and consumers. The focus is global, and the information covers health issues, policies and more.
- MedicineNet: This is a self-contained research post for consumers to find easy-to-read and authoritative information about medicine, healthcare, Internet technology and the health care business.
- MediLexicon: MediLexicon contains searches, information, news and resrouces for the medical, pharmaceutical and healthcare professional.
- MedlinePlus: This is a government-operated site that is a service of the U.S. National Library of Medicine and the National Institutes of health. Preformulated Medline searches are included in MedlinePlus and offer easy access to medical journal articles.
- Medscape: This site offers integrated medical information and educational tools for specialists, primary care physicians and other health professionals. This site is affiliated with WebMD health Professional Network.
- My Optum Health: Health sometimes is only skin deep, but larger issues can loom internally, emotionally and mentally. This site focuses on the broader issues for consumers through searches for diseases, “health hub” topics and more.
- NOAH: NOAH stands for new York Online Access to Health. This site, offered in English and in Spanish, provides a topic listing, an indexed alphabetical list of conditions or health issues and more for consumers.
- National Library of Medicine: The U.S. National Institutes of Health provides information on health and medicine for public consumption, for healthcare professionals, for researchers, librarians and publishers through this portal.
- Net Wellness: Search this site’s collection of Net Wellness articles and reports and the Adam Health Encyclopedia.
- OmniMedicalSearch: Named a top 5 Health Search Engine by About.com, and the Washington Post claimed, “The searches are fast and productive.” Search for conditions, diseases, reference matter and doctors.
- Organized Wisdom: over 100,000 health topics are included in this site’s search engine. The site also includes innovative “Wisdom Cards” that physicians and expert guides update regularly and that focus on health information across the board.
- Pogofrog: This search engine looks for credible medical information for physicians as it “jumps” over consumer search results to find information designed for health care professionals from resources such as FDA, peer-review journal sites, association sites and more.
- PubMed: This site is a service of the U.S. National Library of medicine and covers over 19 million citations from Medline and other life-science journals fo biomedical articles back to 1948.
- The New England Journal of Medicine: The Massachusetts Medical Society publishes this journal and provides a search for topics covered in past issues at this site.
- WebMD: Searches focus on articles, tools and information contained within this site, with insights into drugs, supplements, nutrition, psychological and family care and mental health.