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FindZebra - the search engine for difficult medical cases

Physicians as well as laypeople use both general purpose and specialised web-based search tools when confronted with medical questions. FindZebra.com is a tool for generating hypotheses about rare disease diagnosis. It uses freely available high quality curated information on rare diseases and open source information retrieval software (Apache Lucene Solr) tailored to the problem. FindZebra is intended primarily for physicians and other professionals concerned with diagnosis of rare diseases. Our benchmarking against several search tools (Google search, PubMed and http://omim.org) shows that FindZebra has higher performance in retrieving the correct diagnosis when queried with symptoms [1, 2]. Our findings indicate that the ranking algorithm used is the most important factor for the success.

References

  1. 1.

    Dragusin Radu, Petcu Paula, Lioma Christina, Larsen Birger, Jørgensen Henrik L, Cox Ingemar, Hansen Lars K, Ingwersen Peter, Winther Ole: FindZebra: a Search Engine for Rare Diseases. International Journal of Medical Informatics, IJMI. 2013

  2. 2.

    Dragusin Radu, Petcu Paula, Lioma Christina, Larsen Birger, Jørgensen Henrik L, Cox Ingemar, Hansen Lars K, Ingwersen Peter, Winther Ole: Specialised tools are needed when searching the web for rare disease diagnoses. Rare Diseases. 2013

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Correspondence to Ole Winther.

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This article is published under license to BioMed Central Ltd. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. The Creative Commons Public Domain Dedication waiver (http://creativecommons.org/publicdomain/zero/1.0/) applies to the data made available in this article, unless otherwise stated.

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Keywords

  • Public Health
  • Search Engine
  • Open Source
  • Information Retrieval
  • Source Information