WikEM is proud to announce this week’s sponsor, MedNexus, a search engine designed for healthcare providers. They are developing a really exciting set of tools using semantic search to create a “Google for Medicine”. Their search and discovery tools allow a provider to quickly find the most relevant articles, reviews, guidelines, and medical content to answer clinical questions while caring for patients.
The power of their system rests in a sophisticated ranking system to organize content by quality and relevance. This means their results are not only more targeted to your clinical question but also of greater quality than a stand web search.
MedNexus offers a web search portal, iOS app, and they have an Android version on the way! We also had the privilege of talking with the founders Nathanael and Kevin about their service and highlight some questions.
How does MedNexus differ from conventional search engines such as Google or more specialized searches like PubMed or Google Scholar?
MedNexus ranks medical content based on metrics of clinical impact and relevance, as well as crowdsourced data from the user community.
Current tools are ill-suited for clinical information search due to high volume and lack of relevance of the search results. Google often fails to provide high quality or relevant content (research articles, guidelines) to answer a clinical question. PubMed is not well adapted for directed and efficient information-gathering, given the lack of filtering on search results. Google Scholar tends to rely only on citations (and thus not useful for recent publications) and is not oriented towards clinical research.
Can you explain your clinical support feature? On a busy shift how will that help me make a correct diagnosis?
Our search engine indexes the majority of published reviews from major EM and non-EM specific journals (such as NEJM, Cochrane, etc.) as well as clinical guidelines from a variety of sources, including WikEM. Combined with our highly targeted search functionality, this would allow a doctor on a shift to quickly find established but up to date protocols for any diagnosis or treatment. We are looking to be a more nimble, user-friendly tool than UpToDate, and increase access to the original referenced publications/evidence.
We are still refining our point-of-care support functionality and will be focusing on making it as useful as possible over the next few months.
Who are the you guys, and what made you want to tackle the problem of medical search?
We both met at a previous job in Healthcare IT, where we worked with providers and healthcare organizations to improve their technical infrastructure and clinical data management and help them attain meaningful use. We are both avid technology enthusiasts and are immersed in the world of software development and machine learning. We believe that information technology applied to medicine constitutes one of the biggest challenges and largest opportunities of the 21st century.
Nathanael has a longstanding interest in Medicine. He received a Bachelor and a Masters in Biomedical Engineering from Brown University and has worked on multiple data analysis and medical research projects over the years.
Kevin holds a PhD in Physics from Boston University. He worked as a tech lead for various healthcare IT projects and has experience with a large breadth of quantitative and technological tools to solve novel and difficult problems.