Consumer health websites

If the internet is a city, these links are the health centre buildings. If you'd like to tell me about others mail me:

All new integrated top level page for all parts of the NHS and Department of Health, with prominence for NHS Direct telephone service. Links page ( most useful part of site. You don't have to go far to find a lack of corporate consistency in design, but does this matter?

Entering his eighth decade didn't stop Former US Surgeon General "Chick" Koop from jumping on the internet bandwagon. Consumer level content is updated daily. Business model based on advertising revenue. Claims on-line drug checker, personalisation.

Crude portal site that subtracts value by loading cheezy and intrusive Java applets that run scrolling headline animations. That's bad enough, but they perist after you've been directed to external content.

Once the 800 pound gorilla of health web site evaluation. Host of the most prevalent code of conduct for internet, and some surveys of health use of the internet. Curiously limited topic-oriented content best ignored.

Refreshingly well designed medical portal with UK orientation. Wide range of links to medically oriented web materials. Invites users to submit sites of interest though editorial policy is not explicit.

The usual consumerfest: on-line subject encyclopaedia plus customisation. Some nice on-line tools: a recipe finder (strangely under-developed) and a pregnancy calculator for example.

Giant US portal aimed at healthcare professionals. Links with EMR company MedicaLogic and consumer health CBS Healthwatch make this the one to watch. All the customisation and CME features you'd expect, and great site searches, though US focus may reduce its usefulness for UK users.

Interrogate Dr Hilary Jones direct! Well, send him an email. Text-based site with consumer information. Explicit editorial team with strong medical orientation, and some evidence of life in the chatrooms.

Ex-ePulse Dr Simon Berrisford's startup: content oriented for general practitioners, though registration (GMC no, postcode) required (even to follow external links).

Consumer oriented site with some huge tracts of health information. Strong on clear identification of content providers and sponsors. Some nice features: health risk appraisal tools and weight gain calculators, plus the inevitable customisation.

US consumer health site with usual information, plus customisation bells and whistles. Differentiates itself from its competitors by its link to telephone consultations with nurses, and an excellent "Yoga at your desk" class.

US consumer health site searches for health care providers on criteria of cost, location, gender. Enables consumers to enter condition, diagnoses, interventions, and obtain estimates of what this will cost.

Request a cosmetic surgical procedure, then wait for the estimates for the work to flow in from surgeons. Amusing BMJ review available.

On-line index of healthcare providers than enables consumers to compare prices. Limited scope even in the US, but it makes you think... Quality guides rudimentary, and does not filter for quality on behalf of the consumer.


Douglas Carnall 2000