Recognizing that much of the internet is driven by US companies and consumers, researchers at the University of New South Wales are working on building an online health search engine and social networking tool specifically for folks in Australia. Considering that different drugs and devices receive approvals, and that they might be given various names in different countries, it might be wise for people to learn from resources that are most applicable to their own locations.
It’s hoped that within 12 months Australians will have access to a high-precision online search technology tailored specifically to their health needs.
Currently, any online search through the popular search engines brings up predominantly American research.
“This will be like a Google search engine – but with a twist,” says the lead researcher on the project, Professor Enrico Coiera from UNSW’s Centre for Health Informatics (CHI).
“It’s designed specifically for health in the Australian context, plus we will be incorporating ideas from social computing like Facebook and Wikipedia.
“People will be able to share knowledge with each other and there will be networks of people in specific groups – such as those interested in chronic fatigue, or breast cancer,” says Professor Coiera.
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