Using the Internet to Aid Medical Research

by Gabriella Sannino on February 25, 2009

bigstockphoto_goals_1036912Bio-medical and surgical research is a field that, by its nature, requires endless resources of clinical and academic information.  The perpetual advances in bio-chemistry, molecular biology, metallurgy, as well as a myriad of other scientific disciplines makes it extremely challenging to present research whose data and/or findings are original, valid, and beyond scientific reproach.  The addition of developing a product for clinical application makes it that much more complicated.

The sheer size and diversity of the scientific and academic community on a global scale provides limitless resources to assist the medical and /or surgical researcher in every step of the research process.  The Internet has made access to those resources easier, faster and less expensive than it has ever been through the use of Internet search engines and Internet browsers.  The key to using those avenues of access is search engine optimization (SEO).

Search engine optimization works when a client (an individual, facility, institution, professional organization, etc.) works in collaboration with an SEO service or medical SEO service to identify “keywords” that are relevant to their site.  The various medical copywriters, medical writers, skilled medical SEO copywriters and website content writers identify and narrow the list of keywords to target a specific concept, product, individual, institution, field of endeavor, etc.  The keywords are imbedded and distributed throughout text (articles, blogs, advertisements, etc.).

When the person who is seeking information enters one of those related keywords into either their Internet search engine or browser, they are directed to links and/or websites that provide them with either the information they are seeking or to additional sources of information.  This can include both the primary focus of the research as well as ancillary information related to their research.  Statistical analysis resources, research model availability, bio-chemical reagents and assay equipment, and laboratory equipment/supplies are all examples of ancillary necessities that can be accessed via the Internet using keyword searches.

An example of how SEO could reduce the amount of time, energy and funding consumed in a medical/surgical research situation would be of an individual or group who wants to research the feasibility of a new type of orthopedic prosthetic implant.  Using the Internet, the researcher(s) could investigate existing prosthetics of the same or similar type, determine what kinds of patents may be held and who the original investigators were.

Researchers can also find out what materials are used to compose the prosthetic, what limitations/advantages those materials may pose in the manufacturing process and any appreciable differences between existing devices and their proposed design.  Inherent advantages/disadvantages between the various options and other researchers who may be pursuing the same type of device for purposes of information/resource sharing can are all there with this excellent tool.

A myriad of other possibilities that would decrease the amount of time spent from the conception stage all the way through the marketing and distribution of the prosthetic are available on the Internet.  As this would decrease both the numbers of research associates and assistants as well as the aggregate amount of time put into doing all of the aforementioned research, it would directly conserve all-important funding as well as time and energy.

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