One of the challenges of being a successful vertical search engine is finding that sweet spot where no one else plays. Healthline, a new health search engine out of San Francisco, thinks it’s found its spot. It’s between a general search engine such as Google and a “medical destination site” with limited content such as WebMD.
“We’re the first search engine focused on the health care domain,” said West Shell III, chairman and CEO of the company.
Healthline says its stength is the ability to interpret everyday words used by searchers and match them with medical terminology so that users can burrow down to the info they need. It does this with semantic search technology and a health taxonomy of more than 800,000 medical terms and synonyms. The company’s crawled 62,000 of the top health web sites (they have 40 million pages indexed) and hooked in with some of the top medical databases.