Does the searching public care what doctors mention in their social encounters? Blitter does. Blitter is a hyper-vertical search engine that pulls clinical content based on its social mention by physicians.
“The idea behind Blitter is that it only includes content that an independent clinician has deemed interesting/newsworthy enough to comment about. Most clinical search tools grab all the content from a particular publisher – irrespective of the clinical usefulness of the output. So, we see Blitter as being a bottom up approach to content identification – possibly making it more useful.”
I’m skeptical at this point.
I wonder if there are enough doctors in public to really offer a selection of content. If you search ‘reflux’, for example, and see what pediatricians are saying you get the very restricted view of only one doctor. A patient searching crohn’s disease finds 11 mentions. Clicking through the results I’m not sure that these references represent the best information to help a patient begin to navigate their disease. Judge for yourself.
What doctors say in public spaces and why they say it is complicated business. My experience has been that personal and ‘soft professional’ dialog exceeds the sharing and curation of hard clinical information. And the mention of a disease with an associated link says nothing of its reliability as a source. In fact, some of us mention sources specifically in reference to their poor quality or unreliability. Perhaps the Blitter algorithm accounts for this.
As Twitter slowly slips into its long-tail phase and new platforms evolve, search engines such as Blitter will need to pursue the most active areas of clinical physician dialog in order to remain relevant.
The concept is nonetheless interesting.
H/T to Howard Luks (via Google+, ironically)