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Sunday, January 01, 2006

The Internet & Medical Field Intersections

The field of medicine is undergoing a massive structural change – I am not talking about medical transcriptions or medical tourism or the fact the medical technology is getting so technologically advanced- most of the post diagonosis job is either becoming a technician/nurse job under manageable circumstances. The internet technologies are making substantial impact in their intersections with the medical industry as well. While accepting the FT men of the year awards, the Google founder’s stated that applying the vast computing power that lies behind Google’s internet search engine to solving other complex problems in fields such as microbiology could be one area for expansion for it. Bill gates keeps pointing out to such an advance.Apparently, Google's data mining techniques are well suited to analysing gene sequences in the human genome project. It may even be possible for patients to "google their own genes" one day writes Dean Giustini, UBC biomedical branch librarian. He finds that Google’s mission to provide access to the world's information - is identical to librarians'mission too. He points to the article googling diagnosis, wherein a rheumatologist describes a scene at rounds where a professor asked the presenting fellow to explain how he arrived at his diagnosis. While assessing google’s reach he asks the question - in a post-Google world, where evidence based education is headed is anyone's guess. Look at these :
how doctors use Google, how patients use Google.
Google Scholar, is rapidly gaining ground – in an year since launch, empirical evidence suggests that it has led more visitors to many biomedical journal websites than has PubMed. Post discovery,many medical students and doctors prefer Google Scholar as it indexes more peer reviewed research and is especially quick in locating highly cited items and the proverbial needle in a haystack. Doctors are encouraged to consult Google Scholar for browsing and serendipitous discovery, not for literature reviews; and they should use the advanced search page to find words and names that occur often in the medical literature. From the google scholar result set, using some of the subject tags in advanced mode may offer some assistance, and more precision. For anyone not affiliated with a large medical centre or university, the ability to search for and access research material that is available free on the web is a boon. He predicts that as scientific societies and associations consider moving their journals to open access models, Google Scholar and Elsevier's Scirus will likely provide a reliable gateway to this information. Google’s referencing and highlighting associativity would enhance the depth and reach of the search. He urges building a Google Medicine portal - the benefits to human health would be immeasurable. Amazing is the change that the Internet technologies are bringing forth on the medical field.

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