In May we wrote about the medical capabilities of Wolfram|Alpha, a new search engine capable of finding and cross referencing relevant data from multiple sources. Unlike other common search engines, this one actually provides actual answers to queries rather than links to where one may find them.
Since our last posting on the matter, the developers of Wolfram|Alpha have been improving the engine’s capabilities and scope of knowledge. The Wolfram|Alpha Blog just published an overview of a few examples of the types of searches both patients and clinicians will find useful.
Wolfram|Alpha is a helpful reference for understanding what the tests measure and how to interpret the results. Wolfram|Alpha allows you to query information on a specific medical test or a panel of tests, compare tests and results for patients with specific characteristics, compute your estimated risk for heart disease, and find the diagnosis corresponding to an ICD-9 code. Wolfram|Alpha can take into account specific patient characteristics like gender, age, smoker, non-smoker, pregnant, diabetic, obese, and underweight. Wolfram|Alpha can give you a snapshot of available data that might help you understand how your results compare to others’.