Friday 26 February 2016

A Review of MedNexus: A more accurate search engine for medical information.

MedNexus is a search engine; specifically designed for medical information. It began as a website only accessible for medical professionals, but has now been made available for patients. What sets it apart from other search engines (Google, for instance) is that it only displays accurate and reliable information. The user does not need to sift through pages of irrelevant information in order to get the answers they need. As a chronic illness blogger, I like to keep myself informed on various things to do with the medical conditions that I talk about; whether it is how the condition is diagnosed, treatments available, new research developments, or anything else that may be useful for myself and my readers. I decided to test the MedNexus website, to see how well it delivered on its promises.

Home page

The layout of MedNexus' home page is a very clear one; with easy to read sans serif font. The search box is right in the middle of the page, and I find my eyes are drawn to it straightaway. If you want to go straight to common, chronic, seasonal, or recently searched images, suggestions are available on the same page. They are clearly laid out and organised into columns.

As you scroll down, there's a short description of what the website does; i.e. its purpose. It also states why it is the ideal search engine for medical information specifically.

 "For all levels of expertise". This quote implies that there are different ways you can search; depending on what you need to find. It shows how this search engine can work for you; regardless of your level of expertise.

The information on the homepage is laid out in a clear, concise way. It is separated into small, easy to read paragraphs and columns; with a clear subheading for each.

Testing the search facility

I decided to try out a general search then a more specific search, to see how easy it would be to get the exact information I desired. As you may know, one of my medical conditions is Fibromyalgia. I wanted to see how accurate the results would be, if I searched for information on this.

General search

To start off the search, I simply typed in "Fibromyalgia". I found that as I began to type, a drop down menu was displayed; giving search suggestions. Some of these suggestions included "What is Fibromyalgia?", and "How do you treat Fibromyalgia?". I found this a useful feature, as it allowed me to narrow down my search even more; so was more likely to result in quickly finding the answer to a particular question about the condition.

The results could be ordered by relevance or most recent. They are also categorized into "Health topics", "Published research", and "Forum discussions".

Specific search

For this search, I typed in "What are the risk factors for Fibromyalgia?". The same categories as the general search were displayed in the results. The first result I came across was entitled "Fibromyalgia causes"

Looking around the results page, I noticed the left hand side displayed sections entitled "Common risk factors", "Previous searches", and "Explained". I found that these broke down the results and explained them in a less scientific way.

Other links

Other links available on each page include "Home", "About", "FAQ", "Blog", "Privacy", "TOS", "Contact", and links to MedNexus' Facebook and Twitter pages.

I was disappointed to find that when the Facebook or Twitter link is clicked, it opens in the same tab. This could be an inconvenience for people who want to keep a particular page open on the main site. It would be better if these links opened in a new tab or window by default.


Overall, I find this search engine a very useful one. It cuts down the time taken to search for the information I need, and I do not have to pore through medical jargon in order to obtain accurate and informative answers. On the whole, this appears to be a fairly accessible website; in terms of its clear layout, the font it uses, and how it can be navigated. I am very likely to use MedNexus in future; as I feel it meets my needs much better than other search engines.

What do you think?

MedNexus are looking for feedback, and suggestions on how they can improve. They would like you to complete this short survey  to share your experiences on this. I recommend giving this website a go, and seeing if it works for you!


1. MedNexus Homepage:

2. MedNexus Facebook page:

3. MedNexus Twitter page:

4. MedNexus Survey:

Thursday 18 February 2016

We Are Struggling

I seem to be in a constant daze right now, and I'm getting frustrated that I'm unable to concentrate much. There is so much going on, and so many worries, that I'm struggling to cope with it all.

Both my parents and I have various long term illnesses and disabilities. Mum and I can't work, and it looks as if my dad may have to consider giving up work soon too. I feel so guilty that my dad has to do so much around the house. I do try so hard to do more, and I'm nearly always pushing myself too far (out of necessity!). It's getting to a point where we are worrying about the future. How will we manage around the house? Can we afford to keep up with bills? Will any of us be able to do some sort of work?

We have appointments coming up that may/may not provide answers; but in the meantime we are left trying to figure out what kind of support we can get (social care, benefits etc). If anyone thinks a life on benefits is an easy one, they seriously need to sit down and listen to people's experiences. It. Is. Not. Easy.

My parents, friends, and my boyfriend are all so supportive and understanding of my health problems. I don't know what I'd do without their support. They see/read about my good and bad days, so mostly understand how much I struggle and why I'm not able to work. I so wish that certain other relatives could understand that too though. I'm so tired of being asked if I'm back in work yet, why can't I do *insert completely unreasonable job here* etc. They seem to believe that I will recover at some point, and the idea of me never getting better seems impossible to them. I'm sick of having to explain over and over. It's taken me a while to get to a point of acceptance, and I still have times where I get so angry, frustrated, and upset that nothing is improving. I'm just trying to manage the symptoms I'm able to as best I can, and do what I can to enjoy life. That is my way of coping. Of course I read up on any new research I come across, but I need to be realistic and accept that right now all I can do is try to manage my conditions.

Support from loved ones is so important. Educate yourself, listen, do not judge, know that you may not fully understand but you need to accept what we are telling you. It is hard enough to deal with the daily struggles of having a chronic illness.

You may have noticed that I now have a donate button on my blog. If mum doesn't get any more help from her current specialist, we may have to travel to a hospital with more facilities, funding for new treatments etc. This will of course mean more expenses, and I'm not sure how we could come up with the money. I'm terrible at asking for money but I may need to soon. In return, I intend to blog more often and if there's anything in particular you'd like me to write about, give advice on etc, then leave a comment.