Two interesting and useful online databases give us two very different points on the spectrum of medical information.
GlobalHealthFacts.org is a new website providing searchable information on current country and regional health data. Created by the Kaiser Family Foundation, the site's goal is to provide up-to-date information on key data about the state of global health and healthcare. GlobalHealthFacts includes country-by-country information on HIV/AIDS, malaria and tuberculosis, as well as important socio-economic and demographic indicators such as physicians, nurses and midwives per 100,000 population, the rural/urban split, and the availability of international aid for healthcare. Country reports can be compared, and each particular piece of data has a link to original source material. The results page for a given country also includes a set of relevant news summaries from GlobalHealthFacts' sister site, GlobalHealthReporting.org. (Via Medgadget)
Hippocrates is a medical information search engine, providing one-click links to a variety of data sources about diseases and treatments. The search engine focuses on the "deep web," the dynamic content used to produce on-the-fly pages, which is generally invisible to traditional search methods. From what I could tell, the information sources searched are relatively mainstream -- although it does explicitly include alternative medical treatments -- and the data presentation is structured to make it easy for non-specialist users to find needed information quickly. Useful, to be sure, but what makes this website notable is that it was designed and built by the Indian company CloserLook, and runs on the big India news portal Chennai Online. (Via Open Access News)