Visual Exploration of Medical Vocabularies

If you’re interested in researching medical conditions, this might be a good place for you to spend a little time. The Visual Medical Dictionary takes your search for a medical term, gives you a definition and provides you with even more terms.

An example is order. Start at the medical dictionary at http://www.curehunter.com/public/dictionary.do and enter a drug, disease, or therapy name. I tried shingles. I got two potential results — one for a disease and one for a drug (a vaccine). When I held my mouse over each word, I got a definition and some additional information. But even cooler is what I got on the right side of the screen.

The right side of the screen gives you a visual tree of medical terms related to the word you specified. Some of these words are WAY too general to be useful (like “pain”) but some of them are very specific. Each of the new items will also give you a definition and will branch out into its own tree of definitions.

Just playing with this site for a little while I was able to quickly amass a vocabulary around which I could build queries for a disease. Now, if you want to do an in-depth search, you can subscribe to the subscription service that will give you a lot more details and research. But that’ll cost you $490 a year. I think I’ll just take the words I learn about here and bring them directly to Google or PubMed…