AT A GLANCE Searchmedica bid to increase awareness

What’s new with Searchmedica?

Medical search engine Searchmedica has launched a service for doctors which will allow them to make an online search specifically on drugs. It previously had three categories of information which doctors could search: patient, evidence-based and clinical-based. To these it has now added drug information.

How does that differ from an ordinary search?
It’s quicker. The company’s research suggests GPs tend not to look at more than the first page of any search so this refines what they will be presented with. The time-saving element is likely to be particularly useful since GPs apparently use the search engine while in consultation with patients.
But presumably this is not just useful for GPs?

No, it’s an online resource for anyone with an interest in various therapy areas, so healthcare PROs could find it useful. It doesn’t offer content, it is purely a search function, but this can include advice, background information and guidelines on prescription and OTC products.

Does Searchmedica have comms support?
It has hired ITPR to up its profile in the healthcare industry. The target audience is the medical press, in particular those relating to GPs. Searchmedica itself is a spin-off, launched last October, from well-respected GP publication Pulse. ITPR’s media relations campaign has so far involved press releases, opinion articles and interviews. Account manager is Stephen Smith.

Is there scope for it to expand?
UK director Lisa Taylor wants to engage a wider healthcare audience, making it relevant to pharmacists, nurses and practice managers. Although the core services would remain the same, there would be some differences in the sites searched, for example.
And what does it actually search? A variety of approved websites – in surveys, GPs have explained to Searchmedica what sites they tend to look at and the ones they trust. For the drug category, sites it trawls include the Electronic Medicines Compendium, National Prescribing Centre and the Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency.

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