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Mobile health app uses natural language questions

February 26, 2014
by Richard R. Rogoski
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Getting the most valuable information from a search engine requires choosing the right keywords--often a tricky task. MedWhat, a Silicon Valley-based mobile app startup, has developed an app that allows users to search for health information using natural language the same way they might ask another person.

The concept is not new; the iPhone's Siri and Samsung's S Voice use the same basic word recognition technology. But since the search engine is designed to provide health-related information only, the user doesn't have to wade through lists of irrelevant results.

According to the company's website, "MedWhat encourages you to interact in a more natural way; the way you might interact with an expert friend or your doctor. The longer your question, the better we’ll be able to answer it."

The company also assures users that the answers they get will be accurate and reliable. "We use top-vetted sources such as the National Institutes of Health (NIH), the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and PubMed," the company stated. "Additionally, we use more familiar yet heavily curated sources such as Wikipedia." 

The app is available for both iPhone and Android operating systems.