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Commentary on Pharma & Biotech Oncology / Hematology New Product Development

Recently, I've noticed a few hits to this blog from Liquida, so curiousity got the better of me and this lead to research about what it was all about.

Turned out Liquida is a nifty search engine for looking up topics on blogs eg about science, cancer, just about anything you might be interested in:

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Google search can be frustrating in that it often returns old posts from several years ago before more recent information unless you use the Options button to specify the date range or a more recent period.

Liquida presents the most recent information in a more user friendly, attractive and graphical fashion than merely pages and pages of links that you see on Google and have no idea what is relevant until you click through.

What I also liked about the site is that it offers the opportunity to insert a widget on your blog based on search terms that you might be interested in, such as Cancer or HIV or Diabetes, for example:


Another useful blog search tool that I find very helpful for finding disease information, especially blogs by patients about their disease or condition is Surchur.  It aggregates social information around news, blogs, videos, pictures etc like this:

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I used 'Glioblastoma' at random for both searches so that you can see the similarities and differences.  Surchur also has nifty social features so you can vote things up or down, if you feel so inclined.

While everyone else is getting buzzed about Buzz, I'm fascinated with new ways to find insights and intelligence from patients about their treatments and how they manage side effects.  Finding that on Google these days is like wading through treacle by comparison, even with the distracting sponsored ads turned off in my profile:

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A patient guide from 2005?  Oh really.  Clicking on the item and scrolling to the bottom tells us that it was actually written in 1999.  Ouch, so much has happened since then and this is why I'm using Google less and less these days – I want more recent, more relevant and more useful information.  While some of the more modern tools aren't perfect, they at least attempt to organise the data in tabs and topics by clickable links to help you sort out the chaff from the wheat.

If you want to search Google for photos, blogs, or videos you have to do a search for each one, making the whole process time consuming and frustrating.  Here's what you get from a blog search on Glioblastoma (all of these tests were done within minutes of each other):

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As you can see, it's all a bit heavy compared to Liquida and Surchur.  Try them out for yourselves on topics that interest you and compare them to Google.  If I were a patient or caregiver, I would certainly give the new search tools a try.

What new tools so you recommend for medical information search and why?

5 Responses to “New search tools for science and disease information”

  1. Mark

    Thank you for the review. These are the type of tools we as a community need to help consumers use. They should be part of any strategy aimed at patients and improved outcomes. Clearly the more consumers know the better the outcomes. In addition we should help HC professionals learn to use and teach patients about these types of tools. If the HC pro is the one guiding the learning even in a passive way they benefit.

  2. Monika Lorincz

    Very well put, you emphasized just what surchur is about. You can surch for specific keywords and we show you the big picture so you don’t have to browse through all the web. Our real time search engine not only shows twitter updates, but also incorporates one of the broadest selections of sources – blogs, news, pics, products and more. The real time web has changed the speed of sharing, and although there are still some issues that need to be solved, real time search becomes extremely important and relevant when you are interested in what is going on out there right now. We appreciate the review.
    Monika
    http://surchur.com

  3. MaverickNY

    What’s cool is that if you take these nifty new search engines with the power of finding health and disease information via video eg on YouTube and you start to have much more informed and empowered people.
    That can only be for the better!

  4. MaverickNY

    Hi Monika, Yes, I love seeing the web through different lenses. Google has one way of showing information, but it isn’t always in the most user friendly output.
    What I love about Surchur is the relevancy of the ordered search information plus different outputs (news, blogs, videos) are just one click away.
    Keep up the good work!

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