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The Semantic Web for Health

Web 3.0 is defined (by the Web 🙂 thru as

The predicted third generation of the World Wide Web, usually conjectured to include semantic tagging of content.

What does that mean? Semantics is the study of meaning – a Web with more meaning? Tim Berners-Lee, the inventor of the World Wide Web was quoted by Wikipedia as having said this –

I have a dream for the Web [in which computers] become capable of analyzing all the data on the Web – the content, links, and transactions between people and computers. A ‘Semantic Web’, which should make this possible, has yet to emerge, but when it does, the day-to-day mechanisms of trade, bureaucracy and our daily lives will be handled by machines talking to machines. The ‘intelligent agents’ people have touted for ages will finally materialize.

From W3C at

The Semantic Web is about two things. It is about common formats for integration and combination of data drawn from diverse sources, where on the original Web mainly concentrated on the interchange of documents. It is also about language for recording how the data relates to real world objects. That allows a person, or a machine, to start off in one database, and then move through an unending set of databases which are connected not by wires but by being about the same thing.

Imagine the possibilities for health! The Semantic Web will make it easier to find relevant health information online. I thought about the Semantic Web when I came across this article, Google Users Will Get More Personalized Results in Searches by Brian Womack on According to the article, Google will for the first time bring personal content into the results page by tapping photos, news and comments posted on Google+. Womack says that, “If someone searches for a dog, for instance, pictures of friends’ dogs might show up first in the search results.” Now is that cool or eerie?!


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