Thursday, March 08, 2012

Medify [Beta]: The Latest Medical Information Made More Interactive For The Layman

Medify [Beta]: The Latest Medical Information Made More Interactive For The Layman:
I don’t know the kind of physician-patient-family interaction you have in your country, but in mine it’s a bit underwhelming. Physicians generally cloak medical speak in such vague terms that it becomes difficult to understand the diagnoses. I don’t blame them, but as one who is sitting on the other side of the table, it’s like hitting a blank wall. It helps if family members and patients are more informed about an ailment so that they can ask apt questions and reduce their fears.
Googling for medical information is of course the option web-savvy users can go for. There are dedicated online medical reference sites like the well-respected Medpedia and WebMD.
For a layman, these sites do a bang-up job. Medical information is complex, so how it is organized and presented matters a lot.

Medical research is complex; the search for it shouldn’t have to be

That’s the tagline of Medify. A beta site we are going to check out here. And I don’t disagree with the line. The homepage also gives you the answer as to why use Medify in the first place, and of course how you can use it to better your medical IQ.

Medify at its core is a medical search engine. You can simply enter a medical keyword – for instance, a name of a condition, treatment, or hospital – and view the information that the service spouts out. This doesn’t sound very path breaking, but the way Medify organizes the medical information and doesn’t “dumb it down” does makes the web app stand apart from the crowd of similar information dense services.

Connect to real patient experiences

Medify is a knowledge mine of patient information. It collects this from the thousands of research studies that go on around the world. The information is collected, distilled, and linked to conditions and treatments. Therefore, the latest medical information comes from the latest health studies and from real patient experiences.

Here’s how we can use Medify

You can register (for free) or even use the site without a registration. You can create patient profiles and save articles to a binder if you register.
1. Start with a search to drill down to the data you want on a medical condition. As you can see from the screen, an auto-suggest dropdown also helps with the search.

2. The Overview page is a wealth of information, but neatly categorized into sections which you can browse to for more detailed explanations.

3. Here are the key points you can see at a glance (mousing over the color labels gives an explanation of each):
  • A simple definition of the condition.
  • The total number of research studies undertaken and the number of patients covered.
  • All possible treatments are arranged around views like – Hot, Top, Complimentary & Alternative, and Effective. You can explore all possible treatments from here. Each treatment is backed with research information. You can also click the large blue “View All Hot Treatments” to access information on more treatments.
  • Institutions that are involved in the latest research findings.
  • Related conditions that can be studied along with the one you are searching for.
4. If you want to explore all the research that has been done on a particular condition, go over to the Research Studies. Change the view according to New or Effective. You can view the abstract of the research and also connect to the source of the original paper.

Compare treatments with the help of graphics and filters

When you want to compare all treatments, hit the large blue button. You have a choice between a Data Table or Bubble Chart view. You can use the filters to personalize your search.
You can hit the color markers for more information like the research studies.

Build your personal medical binder

Medify allows you to build up a personal medical binder with all the information you access here. Every scrap of information can be saved and can be used as a support tool in the event of a medical crisis. You can also share this information with the community here to seek support and more knowledge. Your account also helps to keep you abreast of the latest developments as it tracks new studies and informs you when they are published.
Medify helps with medical research. It certainly makes it more organized. Here’s where you can find a wealth of medical information to compliment the ones you find on Medify.
Which is the online resource you go to for the latest in medicine and health? How would you rate Medify alongside them? Give us a dose of your opinion.

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