My name is Paul Dovydaitis and I'm a student and researcher at the University of Illinois, working with the Text Information Management Group.
One of our projects focuses on improving search techniques for medical-related web forums, like this one. Currently it's not too hard to find factual information about a disease or condition using Google, but it's not so easy to find other people who are experiencing the same problems you are, especially if you haven't been able to get a diagnosis.
We've developed a prototype medical search engine we hope will be a small first step in bridging that gap. It indexes eight medical forums, and about a million discussions (and growing) - including those here on WrongDiagnosis. You can check it out at http://ucair.cs.uiuc.edu/healthsearch/
By getting real people with real medical questions to use the search engine, we can gather valuable data that will help us design and test new search methods - so we'd appreciate you giving it a spin next time you have a question!
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