Health Sciences Online has launched a website where anyone can access more than 50,000 courses, references, guidelines, and other expert-reviewed, high-quality, current, cost-free, and ad-free health sciences resources. The up-to-date, authoritative information is aimed primarily at health care practitioners and public health providers, enabling their training, continuing education, and delivery of effective treatments to patients.
The information is delivered by powerful search technology from Vivisimo, Inc., which allows users to easily see comprehensive search results and quickly find the answers they need with an intuitively navigated graphic interface. Through integration with Google Translator, users can search and read materials in 22 languages.HSO is a portal that includes more than 50,000 world-class health-sciences resources, selected by knowledgeable staff from already-existing, reliable, professional sources and resource collections.
These include medical specialty societies, accredited continuing education organisations, governments, and universities such as Cambridge, Columbia, Harvard, Hopkins, McGill, MIT, Penn, Stanford, and Yale.Founding collaborators for this site include CDC, World Bank, the American College of Preventive Medicine, and the University of British Columbia, and financial support has come from WHO, the NATO Science for Peace Program, the Canadian government, the Annenberg Physician Training Program, and many volunteers.
Health sciences information and training are vital for health and socioeconomic development, but excellent, free learning resources are difficult to find. In recent years, information and communication technologies, particularly the Internet, have been central to remedying this situation. However, there are still significant hurdles to accessing online content.
WHO notes that there is an enormous need to identify selective, current, accessible online educational and training resources to promote appropriate care and policies. HSO is a portal to a virtual learning centre with browse and search functions, providing free, online linkages to a comprehensive collection of top-quality courses and references in medicine, public health, pharmacy, dentistry, nursing, basic sciences, and other health sciences disciplines. These materials are donated, and typically hosted and maintained by our distinguished content partners, so materials are constantly updated.
HSO has succeeded where other initiatives have not, because its vision of a democratisation of health sciences knowledge has tremendous appeal to a wide variety of supporters. Senator Sam Nunn’s Global Health and Security Initiative says that, “HSO has abundant high quality resources, so it’s not like putting in keywords in a normal search engine