http://rxlist.com/ Meds (excellent) drug identification
Federal Occupational Health
Condoms - Consumer Reports Ratings Choices of Birth Control Your comparative guide to contraceptives
Condoms - Consumer Reports (If not available on CR site Ratings Choices of Birth Control Your comparative guide to contraceptives
PC Magazine - the number is their rating (5 is best)
www.medicinenet.com 5 MedicineNet.com's busy home page leads with items of topical interest, such as anthrax FAQs. But the site's strongest asset is an extensive library of original articles on health conditions, drugs, and medical procedures. Material is easy to find, easy to read, and aimed at the intelligent and inquisitive consumer. The site offers a premium service ($9.95 per year) to complement the free stuff. For the extra bucks, you get emancipation from banner ads, personal research assistance, a member newsletter, and discounts on prescription and drugstore purchases. This one belongs on the bookmark list of any inquisitive health consumer.
www.intelihealth.com 5 In addition to authoritative articles reviewed by faculty members at the Harvard Medical School and the University of Pennsylvania School of Dental Medicine, Aetna's InteliHealth provides invaluable symptom flowcharts (you can check out the cause of your baby's rash, for example, by following a straightforward interactive questionnaire). You'll also find bulletin boards, chats, e-mail newsletters, a medical dictionary, a drug resource center, guides to medical and dental procedures, a digest of current health news, and more. Advertising is minimal and unobtrusive, content is comprehensive and readable, and there's plenty to browse, even when you're not trying to find answers to specific questions. An animated heart demo, for example, shows you just what's going on in that vital organ. InteliHealth is a top-notch site.
www.merckhomeedition.com 4 If the other sites reviewed here don't provide a particular feature you're looking for, chances are The Merck Manual of Medical Information: Home Edition will. This well-known, highly regarded encyclopedia is now available in an interactive online format, complete with videos, animations, audio clips, photos, and illustrations. The plain-text version of the manual is also available online. The site's reading level is well above that of the more general-purpose consumer sites, but for the most part, it stays within reach of the educated layperson. Advertising is nonexistent, despite the site's explicit affiliation with a major pharmaceutical company. This is a useful family medical resource.
www.healthscout.com 4 If you're a health-news junkie, make this site your home on the Web. Updated daily, it provides health highlights, a healthful-living tip du jour, and feature articles on current hot topics. Nine channels (Men, Women, Kids, Seniors, and so on) provide categorized access to a news archive, and 11 optional newsletters (Diet and Fitness and Mental Health, among others) deliver weekly updates to your e-mail box. For those in search of more technical news, HealthScout also provides a tool for searching Medline, a comprehensive index of medical and life-science journals. It's not a medical encyclopedia, but HealthScout includes some useful videos on particular conditions and illnesses. But the site's strength is news coverage.
http://consumer.pdr.net 4 PDR.net for Consumers is a gateway to a library of medical resource materials, most notably Stedman's Medical Dictionary and the ubiquitous Physicians' Desk Reference. Access to these two standard texts costs $9.95 per month or $99 per year. But a wealth of useful material is available here for no fee: the PDR Family Guides to prescription drugs and women's health, a medical encyclopedia, an interactive cancer treatment decision-support tool, information about clinical trials and how to participate in them, a tool to help you select a physician, and access to Medline. This site is an invaluable resource for both patients and those who care for them.
www.webmd.com 4 There's a lot to explore at WebMD, including a drug and herb database, articles about diseases and conditions, information about clinical trials, and copious news and commentary relating to current events in the medical world. The site also presents live chats, offers newsletters on more than 35 subjects, assists users with finding doctors and health insurance, and provides the means for recording your medical profile and health history. This is an ambitious site, replete with readable, accessible, and thorough information. It's a valuable resource, despite its somewhat obtrusive burden of advertising.
www.drspock.com 3 The Dr. Spock Co.'s Web site is a bit heavy-handed in its celebration of the late and legendary pediatrician. Even so, it manages to serve up a good amount of useful child-rearing and child-healing guidance. Articles are organized by developmental stage, from pregnancy through school age. A panel of experts is available to answer users' questions, and message boards let parents talk to one another as well as to the experts. Participation in these interactive services requires registration; it's free, but you have to divulge particulars such as your family income and number of children.
www.healthcentral.com 2 HealthCentral.com is the online home of radio medical guru Dr. Dean Edell. If you enjoy his show, you'll probably like reading his commentary here. While you're doing that, you can take advantage of numerous opportunities to exercise your credit card for vitamins, prescriptions, beauty products, shaving cream, disposable diapers—you name it. You can look up medical conditions, pose questions to experts, and sign up for a newsletter. But the emphasis at HealthCentral.com is on shopping and Dr. Edell's personality.
www.healthsquare.com HealthSquare.com's orientation and its motto, 2 Helping women and their families lead healthy lives," are reflected in the site's top-level menu, which includes such items as Woman's Health, Baby and You, and Healthy Kids. The site provides access to three PDR Guides (the Encyclopedia of Medicine, Guide to Prescription Drugs, and Family Guide to Women's Health). Apart from these useful reference works and a relatively low ad density, however, HealthSquare.com has little to offer. The content is bland and far from comprehensive.