Personal perspectives on information science, the evolving Internet, delivery of public services online, Web 2.0, the Web of Data, the Semantic Web, communities, folksonomies and more. With an emphasis upon convergence between some or all of the above, and a UK slant.
In my previous life at theCIE, I talked a few times about the good work that CIE member theNational Library for Health(part of ourNational Health Servicehere in the UK) were doing to make health-related information more intelligible to both health practitioners and the general public.
The NHS, for example, tried deployingGoogle'sSearch Applianceon theNHS home page, offering a search across the NHS domain with the responsiveness, look, and capabilities that users have come to expect from Google. They also procured asystemto search the 'hidden web' of scholarly journals, evidence notes, etc that health professionals require to support their decision making processes.
Patient-facing services such asNHS Directare (and I speak from personal experience) of huge value in demistifying complex and potentially frightening medical conditions, and in helping the patient (or their parent) to feel empowered and informed.
Health information, surrounded by metadata of varying richness and precision, and tied so closely to trusted authorities and controlled terminologies, is extremely close to the world in which we work.
“In a previous life, Healthline was bubble startup called YourDoctor.com that was started in 1999, and paid 1,100 doctors to create these maps and the underlying medical taxonomy. 'That was part of the $24 million we burned through,' says Shell, who was not CEO at the time. Now the company has recapitalized itself with another $13 million to take its intellectual property and tackle consumer health search.”
So it's not cheap to do, then. I wonder to what extent this commercial approach is creating “the underlying medical taxonomy”, and to what extent it is making use of existing terminologies in the space, such asMeSHandSNOMED?
The CIE, of course, commissioned somework[MS Powerpoint download] fromAdiuriin this space way back in 2003, which looked at working with both of these big terminologies.
Is this another example of the public sector spending a fortune one way, and the private sector then duplicating much of that work with someone else's money?