Home Microsoft Acquires Health Search Engine, Medstory – The Continued Rise of Vertical Search

Microsoft Acquires Health Search Engine, Medstory – The Continued Rise of Vertical Search

Microsoft has
Medstory, a vertical search engine
for health information. This is an interesting development in a few ways – but in terms
of Web tech trends, because it’s another sign of the rise of vertical
search engines
. We’ve written before about how VSE such as
are beginning to make their presence felt, alongside generic search engines
like Google and Live Search.

Microsoft has bought Medstory because it’s an “intelligent” and “intuitive search
technology”. The
NY Times says
that Medstory’s “search software applies artificial intelligence
techniques to medical and health information in medical journals, government documents
and on the Internet.”

Doing some quick tests of Medstory, I noted that the search results were very
thoroughly categorized and the types of sources were clearly identified, so that users
can get e.g. clinical trials and research materials if they wish. It’s a great example of
how a vertical search engine can offer ‘value add’ features that are specific to the
domain – for example in the case of health, which is a highly specialized domain, the
source of search results is important; as is categorizing them so that different
types of information can be perused more easily.

This acquisition follows Microsoft’s purchase last July of “health-intelligence”
vendor Azyxxi
. Mary Jo Foley is also reporting that Microsoft’s Health
Strategy group “has been building “Windows Live Healthcare” offerings, some of which
could be free and ad-supported, and others of which could be paid and

While the web-based health industry is a potentially huge market (just ask Jim Clark of Netscape and
Healtheon fame), which probably is the main reason for Microsoft’s interest in it, an
equally valid reason could be that Microsoft wants to corner the vertical search engine
niche for health – before Google gets to it.

About ReadWrite’s Editorial Process

The ReadWrite Editorial policy involves closely monitoring the tech industry for major developments, new product launches, AI breakthroughs, video game releases and other newsworthy events. Editors assign relevant stories to staff writers or freelance contributors with expertise in each particular topic area. Before publication, articles go through a rigorous round of editing for accuracy, clarity, and to ensure adherence to ReadWrite's style guidelines.

Get the biggest tech headlines of the day delivered to your inbox

    By signing up, you agree to our Terms and Privacy Policy. Unsubscribe anytime.

    Tech News

    Explore the latest in tech with our Tech News. We cut through the noise for concise, relevant updates, keeping you informed about the rapidly evolving tech landscape with curated content that separates signal from noise.

    In-Depth Tech Stories

    Explore tech impact in In-Depth Stories. Narrative data journalism offers comprehensive analyses, revealing stories behind data. Understand industry trends for a deeper perspective on tech's intricate relationships with society.

    Expert Reviews

    Empower decisions with Expert Reviews, merging industry expertise and insightful analysis. Delve into tech intricacies, get the best deals, and stay ahead with our trustworthy guide to navigating the ever-changing tech market.