MedilinePlus and the MedilinePlus Medical Encyclopedia are the products the National Library of Medicine’s efforts to provide medical information, including senior health information, to the general public. MedilinePlus was launched in 1998 to provide information for the growing Internet community. When launched, MedilinePlus featured 22 health topics available in the English language. One of the 22 topics is dedicated to senior health information and senior health issues. The MedilinePlus Medical Encyclopedia of today contains over 800 topics that have been translated into over 40 languages in addition to English.
Over the years, the MedilinePlus Medical Encyclopedia expanded to include more topics, options for easier searches, and information specific to the queries of the Internet user. This includes providing senior health information pertinent to the elderly. For example, a senior citizen can view any information related to the elderly, such as societal issues that may affect a senior’s health
In addition to the MedilinePlus Medical Encyclopedia, MedilinePlus and the National Library of Medicine provides information through a medical dictionary, health news articles, videos and interactive tutorials which are all available on the MedilinePlus website.
Key milestones of the MedilinePlus Medical Encyclopedia include:
The debut of the website in October of 1998;
The ability for patients to receive general medical advice related to medical conditions as made available in May of 2000;
The addition of medical news articles through Reutershealth in January of 2001;
The site being accredited by the American Association of Health Plans and being the first government website to do so in April of 2002;
The site reaching 800 health topics in July of 2009;
The creation of Mobile MedilinePlus for people browsing the Internet on mobile devices in January of 2010;
and, the debut of over 70 animated videos on the human anatomy in May of 2010.
The MedilinePlus Medical Encyclopedia has received information from over 1,300 organizations provides over 18,000 links to health information to the benefits of its browsers, many of which review senior health information for the benefit of family members or patients.