Sunday, July 19, 2009

Deep Dive: HealthEngine Medical Search Directory

Let's have a look at the recently out of beta HealthEngine medical search directory, run by Dr Mike Cadogan and two colleagues. For those who haven't explored it (please do and give me your feedback) it is essentially an online search engine and directory for doctors, medical clinics and hospitals. If you look harder you will see it also has a whole range of information for the general public on medical qualifications, tests and general information.

It is a more systematic than Health Directory, a more comprehensive listing than and a more focused endeavour than the Yellow Pages. It is also search engine friendly as Dr Cadogan has invested considerable time and effort on understanding how this works. In fact, some people might find a HealthEngine listing a more cost effective method than setting up their own website.

Find a Doctor

Here is the main search interface which allows you to search by name, language, gender, location, body area or specialty.

Detailed Doctor Profile

Here is the information that is generally available on each doctor (in this case it is showing a premium listing). The tabs below the picture show the wide variety of potential information that can be included such as contact information, qualifications, languages, interests but also articles and research.

Find Health Information

This section focuses on tests, procedures and an explanation of medical specialties and qualifications.


Health Engine is off to a great start with about 50,000 page views a month and 500-1000 unique visitors a day.

Here are some of the features that I think make it quite different:
  • depth of information and structure of information is tailored specifically to medical practitioners
  • search by body area is a unique approach and more intuitive for the general public who don't know the medical speciality
  • ability to drill down not just by specialty but then by subspecialist area
I suspect it may take a long time to get significant traction amongst the health profession as:
  • the average medical practitioner is, if you believe the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, quite old and set in their ways
  • generally they are a "hands on" bunch relying on word of mouth and traditional print directories rather than trying online techniques
  • there are still a large number who don't have any form of web presence
For those health professionals who do understand the potential of the Internet, a listing in HealthEngine may just give them an edge over their more established colleagues in attracting the types of patients they are seeking - after all it can hardly hurt!

HealthEngine listing is free (premium listing is also available) - so why not search for your name or clinic and see whether you can be found on it, and if your entry is accurate. If not, you can contact them to correct the information (usually completed within 24 hours).

HealthEngine is listed as one of the top 100 Aussie Web Startups by TechNation.

People who read this post also read :

No comments:

Post a Comment