Healthline Semantic Search Platform Gives Context to Health Care Data

Healthline has launched a Consumer Engagement Platform, which allows health plan providers and businesses to offer contextual searching of medical data to their members and employees.

Healthline Networks, which operates a health reference site called, has launched its Consumer Engagement Platform to enable health insurers and businesses to offer members and employees contextual searching of health data from electronic health records and medical claims. The platform also provides electronic messaging tools and educational video content.

Available as a software as service (SaaS) or hosted model, companies can personalize the contextual search, messaging and video tutorials according to patients' needs.

The platform primarily delivers contextually relevant health data to patients but also allows physicians to get clinical decision support, West Shell III, chairman and CEO of Healthline Networks, told eWEEK.

Healthline announced the news at the Health 2.0 Spring Fling conference in Boston May 14.

"We have been developing consumer-centric health search, navigation and content for the past 10 years, and we're now providing this experience in a suite of engagement solutions to help health enterprises effectively connect their members to actionable health care information," said Shell.

Converting the data into electronic health records (EHRs) is a critical first step, but that information needs to be searchable and put into context, according to Shell.

"How do you take those very powerful databases and bring them to life?" he asked.

The Consumer Engagement Platform comprises Semantic Search 3.0, Content and Visual Learning Solutions, HealthScribe Content Management Systems (CMS) and SmartMessaging.

Semantic Search 3.0 includes Healthline's Medically Guided Search, which allows doctors and health plans to sift through Web interactions, user profiles, claims and data from patient health records.

Healthline's search technology pulls content based on demographics such as gender, age, ZIP code and health plan details, said Shell.

"This information can then be used to educate and guide members to specific actions, appearing on portals or incorporated in customized care management programs and as proactive communications," said Shell.

Healthline's semantic search engine shows the relationships among diseases, conditions, symptoms, procedures, medications and treatments, said Shell.

"Ultimately, they need to be put into context to truly understand what's happening and what they need to do to stay healthy," said Shell. "This concept-based approach to search goes beyond simple keyword analysis to recognize queries based on medical relationships and intent."

If, for example, a patient searched for the term "wheezing," the database would bring up a set of conditions related to this common asthmatic symptom, said Shell.

Like the consumer Website, the Consumer Engagement Platform incorporates health reference articles, videos and a medical dictionary. The service also provides BodyMaps' 3D atlas of human anatomy, as well as Bodies in Motion video tutorials about health issues.

In addition, the Healthline CMS system, which is integrated into Semantic Search 3.0, tags and indexes health care content from third parties.

HealthScribe delivers localized content to mobile Web and email based on drug names, dispensing methods and related imagery specific to a country, said Shell.

SmartMessaging sends patients Short Message Service (SMS) and email messages that are relevant to specific health areas. The service also sends reminders about medications and blood tests. Diabetics could receive messages to encourage them to adjust their lifestyles and diets, said Shell.

Within the next few weeks, Healthline plans to launch an iPad version of its Consumer Engagement Platform, which will make 3D visual-navigation tools available on the tablet. Healthline demoed the iPad app at the Healthline 2.0 conference May 14-15.