Digging for the best healthcare information on the internet

You may have noticed that ‘Vote’ buttons have appeared at the bottom of my blog posts. Clicking on one of these buttons will submit the particular blog entry to Healthcare Today, a new website where users proffer and vote for the best healthcare news and blogs on the internet.

The majority of information for doctors and other healthcare professionals comes from traditional outlets like journals, but this route is a slow and very formal way of getting stuff out there. In comparison, the internet is far more immediate, but information online is liable to be poorly written, filled with inaccuracies, penned by crackpots, or hopelessly biased, and that’s just for starters.

Healthcare Today aims to unearth good medical news and blogs online and highlight the most interesting stories. But as Shane, a creator of the site, says, “instead of being a reflection of some editor’s (possibly biased) perception, it’s the professionals in healthcare who decide what’s interesting and how interesting it is by submitting links and adding their votes.”

Healthcare Today works in a similar way to the website Digg, in that users are invited to submit news articles, journal papers or blog posts that they discover on the net and then vote on links they find interesting. The front page of the site contains the most popular links, representing an essentially peer reviewed overview of the best medical information online.

The site is aimed at healthcare professionals – i.e. doctors, nurses and the like – so a lot of the links on Healthcare Today are to blog posts that discuss the day to day trials and tribulations of these groups. There are also plenty of links to medical or medicine-related news stories; for example, the most popular link at this exact moment is time is from ABC News: ‘Grey’s Anatomy’ lesson? TV ups awareness, a story about a new study that has quantitatively shown that audiences of TV shows such as Grey’s Anatomy absorb health messages in the programmes.

At the moment links only need about 4-5 votes in order to make it onto the front page, but hopefully as the number of users and of submitted links continues to grow Healthcare Today will come to truly represent the most up to minute source of healthcare information on the net.
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And here comes the shameless self promotion – if you think a post of mine is good and other people interested in medicine might want to read it, give the old vote button a click and submit the entry to Healthcare Today!

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