Friday, 26 February 2016 Review*

When looking for information on health issues, generally our natural instinct is to just search symptoms or the name of a condition on a normal search engine, like Google or Bing. This can, however, be unhelpful due to many reasons, one of these being that a lot of clickbait type health websites exist or that tabloid type articles misconstrue details about certain conditions.

An apt example to talk about is the article published in a UK tabloid recently, where a young lady was interviewed about her experience living with Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome. While I'm sure she had good intentions to raise awareness, the newspaper obviously didn't since they made the focus of the article about the fact that she can't have sex 'properly' due to her dislocations and also included false facts. They stated that Ehlers-Danlos cuts your life expectancy to just 40 years, but didn't specify that they were talking about Vascular EDS, in fact they never seemed to mention it at all during the article, so that maybe proves a point that they weren't all that interested in actually raising awareness. 

This is where I believe that sites such as Mednexus are a lot more trustworthy and useful. 

When you go to the home page of, you are provided with a search engine to enter in the symptom or condition you want information on. Once you search, the results are split into three different categories.

The first is Health Topics. The results in this category are essentially to give you general information about your symptom or condition, but links are from trusted sites such as research centres, specialist hospitals or national institutes like the NIH in the US and the NHS in the UK.

The second is Published Research. This is exactly as the name suggests, the links provided are from books or papers that various doctors and specialists have written. Some of these may be a bit more complex wording wise since they're generally written by doctors for doctors but can still be very helpful.

The third and last is Forum Discussions. These are links to health websites that have a forum feature. Although information given there is not necessarily always clinically correct, I think it is still wholly valid, sometimes it's quite comforting to just be able to see the opinions and ideas of other people who are going through the same problems or support someone with the same problems.

I think this type of system is great!

There are however a few little things to fix. For example, I used the search engine to look up conditions I personally have and from searching 'Hypermobility Syndrome' I didn't really get any concrete Health Topics or Research links that were specifically for JHS. The results were slightly better for 'Joint Hypermobility Syndrome' overall and a lot better if I searched 'Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome'. The forum results for both were quite pleasing though, there were many different links discussing the topic. 

One interesting feature I discovered is that with some more common conditions, in this case I looked at results for Asthma you have these options, which I think would be very helpful.

On the whole,however, I think the Mednexus website is a really good idea, particularly the way they split the results so you can choose the source of your information and also I think it is very important that they try to filter out the bad and unreliable articles you would be sure to find from other search engines. And it is important to bear in mind that this website hasn't actually been running for very long so for it to be so good already is definitely a sign that it can only get better and better.

If you are interested, and want to voice your opinion too, the creators of the site have a survey here to fill in.

I hope this is helpful for some of you, I'd be interested to hear other peoples thoughts so let me know if you have any comments or questions!! 

*This is a sponsored post*

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Maira Gall