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> March 2006  
    

> In this issue...

Dear HON-accredited Web sites,

Your efforts in providing trustworthy, reliable and relevant health information on the Web by respecting the HON’s Code of Conduct standard has incited search engines to take into account the importance of the quality content of their results and not only its quantity.


Cher membre HONcode,

Votre implication à fournir de l’information digne de confiance en respectant des principes éthiques et de qualité tel que le HONcode a incité les acteurs à prendre en compte cet aspect important dans le développement de leurs outils de recherches.


> Trustworthiness of health information now considerated by search engines

Web sites proffering health advice abound, as shown by Google, currently the most complete, which proposes over 4 billion pages containing the word ‘health’ (108 million 3 years ago), and 1 billion mentioning the term ‘medicine’ (20 million 3 years ago). Not only can nearly everyone use the information, but publishing your own Web site is just as easy. This has resulted in an unprecedented proliferation of information sources on a global scale. But searching for information has become more difficult, and the quality of search results is often disappointing. This is changing!

The search engines, on the heels of the Web, realized that they have a real stake in making sure the results of their searches are relevant, reliable and trustworthy. Few days ago an article from the Wall Street Journal, « Web Sites Make Health Searches Easier», by Jessica E. Vascellaro was dedicated to vertical medical and health search engines [Ref 1]. This article was not about basic specialized search engines, but rather on search engines promoting trustworthy health and medical sites such as Healthline.com which “touts sites that have been accredited by online Web ethics committees like the Health on the Net Foundation.”

Finding relevant information and ascertaining its trustworthiness are two inseparable concepts necessary for the web to flourish as an unprecedented source of knowledge and to continue in helping patient or citizen to stay healthy.

[Ref 1] New Engines Focus on Content From Select Medical Sources, Not Just Broad Lists of Links By Jessica E. Vascellaro, Published on 21 March 2006, WSJ


> Information de santé fiable sur Internet pris en compte par la nouvelle génération d'outils de recherches

La profusion de l’information de santé et son utilisation de plus en plus quotidienne par tout un chacun à fait réagir les acteurs de l’internet.

Les concepteurs d'outils de recherches, vecteurs incontournables d’information, ont pris conscience de l’enjeu de la qualité de l’information de santé sur internet. En effet, le très renommé Wall Street Journal en a fait état dans l’article « Web Sites Make Health Searches Easier » du 21 mars 2006, par Jessica E. Vascellaro. Cet article cite les outils de recherches verticaux spécialisés dans le domaine de la santé tels que Healthline.com, Kosmix.com, mammahealth.com, Webmd.com qui non seulement sont dédiés à un domaine mais qui ont pour objectif de fournir uniquement des résultats pertinents et fiables. Donc ces outils de recherches ne se focalisent plus sur la quantité mais sur la qualité et la fiabilité de leur résultat.

En effet, Healthline.com informe ses utilisateurs que les sites sont, soit sélectionnés par les médecins réviseurs, soit accrédités HONcode. L’information fiable est mise en exergue et permet au citoyen d’accéder en toute connaissance l’information qui guidera ses décisions en matière de santé.


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