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One click away: Health self-education in Thai

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New website provides reliable information by top doctors in the Thai language for quick self-education about your medical problems.

haamor.com webpage

The team of haamor.com founders, (from left) Keerati Inochanon, Dr Puangtong Kraiphibul and Wicharn Manawanitjarern. 

Click button to listen to Online Medical Information in Thai Language to download

The digital doctor, Online healthcare encyclopaedia may be quick remedy to Thai's ailment anxiety by Sasiwimon Boonruang


haamor.comWaiting in a long queue for hours, days or weeks to see the doctor can amplify the worry of having an unknown condition. But now such anxiety can be partially relieved by consulting an online healthcare encyclopedia haamor.com

Founded by two young computer engineers, Keerati Inochanon and Wicharn Manawanitjarern, the website was inspired after the pair shared similar experiences. 

"I got moles on the skin. It made me so worried because both my grandmother and auntie died due to cancer," said Keerati, who spent nine years studying and working in the United States. He contacted a doctor but had to wait two weeks for the appointment, during which time Keerati never felt totally relaxed. 

"While waiting he decided to consult his condition on the internet and found useful information on www.WebMD.com, an English-language online resource of medical information. The information on the website lead him to feel more comfortable but also inspired him. "The information on WebMD.com is in-depth and easy to read as it serves the general public. I thought it's a pity that Thai people are not as lucky as Americans, as there is no such website in the Thai language," Keerati said. 

Wicharn had a similar experience. He never thought he would have to use the internet to seek information about a medical condition but when his mother was diagnosed with zero-stage breast cancer, he found himself searching busily online for information about the disease. He found the most helpful information on foreign websites, while the information on Thai websites lacked references or the writers' names. He learned from an English-language website that zero-stage breast cancer can be totally cured. 

"Both engineers were inspired and wanted there to be a similar online resource for Thai speakers. So they launched the haamor.com website as an "advice on diseases, advice on doctors" healthcare encyclopedia in Thai.

The founders are not doctors, but they collaborated with and pooled medical experts from various areas. There are more than 50 doctors, from public and private hospitals nationwide, sharing their knowledge on haamor.com.

Prof Emeritus Dr Puangtong Kraiphibul, a healthcare professional who is an expert in cancer, is the honourable editor and co-founder of haamor.com.

The website's name has a literal meaning. In Thai language, haa means to search or look for, mor means doctor. When people fall sick, the first thing in their mind is to find a physician. The haamor.com website provides basic knowledge on various healthcare topics that can give peace of mind to an ailing visitor. The second meaning of the haamor.com name can be found in the website's other main feature, the doctor's directory search. The filterable database allows users to easily find out information on specific doctors such as what they specialise in or locate the hospitals they are working at.

Visitors to the website can seek information by inputting search terms on haamor.com's homepage the same way they would begin a search using Google.

All the articles on haamor.com have the names of the doctors and their bibliographic references. As reading entire medical articles from the beginning to end can be heavy going, the website is designed with links that allow visitors to seek explanations of certain terms and vocabulary without having to look them up using a separate search engine. The articles are also easy to understand, simple enough for readers of primary school level.

There is also a messageboard where visitors to the site can post questions that are answered by doctors.

Founders Keerati and Wicharn, who are specialists in web technology, collated statistics ranking the top 100 most-searched diseases on their database. They found that in the past 12 months, 4.4 million people searched for information about cancer, 2.4 million about Aids and 1.9 million about diabetes mellitus.

By looking at the search volume data of people nationwide they found that more people upcountry made searches than those in Bangkok. "Because there are more hospitals in Bangkok than upcountry, people living in the provinces are more likely to search for information online," Wicharn explained, adding they could also do a provincial ranking, indicating what diseases were the most searched in each province.

In addition, the site has accumulated a database comprising almost 200 hospitals and 15,000 doctors. Patients can find out if the doctors they consult are also working at any other hospitals and their working hours, so that they can organise the most convenient time for a consultation.

(Source: Bangkok Post, The digital doctor, Online healthcare encyclopaedia may be quick remedy to Thai's ailment anxiety, 13/12/2011, Sasiwimon Boonruang, link

Online Health Information Vocabulary

healthcare - the treatment and prevention of diseases and other medical problems
encyclopedia - a set of books that explains many different subjects in little articles สารานุกรม, หนังสือที่รวมความรู้หลายสาขาวิชา
online - connected to the internet

online healthcare encyclopaedia - a website that is like an encyclopedia (example: Wikipedia)
an English-language online resource of medical information.

remedy - a cure for a disease, the solution to a medical problem
ailment - an illness อาการป่วย, โรคทางกาย
anxiety - being worried about something
quick remedy to Thai's ailment anxiety

queue - a line of people waiting for something คิว
waiting in a long queue for hours to see the doctor

amplify - make larger

medical condition - a disease, a medical problem
condition
- medical condition 
amplify the worry of having an unknown condition

relieve anxiety - reduce or end anxiety (worry, nervousness) about something
partially - partly; not completely
relieved - happy that something unpleasant has not happened or has ended โล่งใจ, เบาใจ, หมดกังวล, ผ่อนคลาย

consulting
- discussing something with someone in order to get their advice or their permission to do something หารือ getting expert advice on a subject (for example: how to run a business or how to build a building)
anxiety partially relieved by consulting an online healthcare encyclopedia

inspire - give good ideas
the pair - two people
the website was inspired after the pair shared similar experiences

moles -
dark areas on the skin

spent - used ที่ใช้ไป
spent nine years studying and working in the United States.

appointment - when someone is officially chosen for a job การแต่งตั้ง
had to wait two weeks for the appointment

inspired - give a person good ideas or energy (enthusiasmm, excitement0 about doing some activity

depth - the distance down either from the top of something to the bottom, or to a distance below the top surface of something ความลึก
in-depth - covering a subject with great detail, giving the details about a topic or subject

serves the general public - helps all the people in the country

it's a pity that
- it is disappointing น่าผิดหวัง น่าเสียดาย

stage - a part of an activity or process or a period of development ระยะ, ช่วง, ตอนจังหวะเวลา  ระยะเวลา ช่วงเวลา
diagnosed with zero-stage breast cancer - very early cancer (disease has not developed that much yet)

the information on Thai websites lacked references or the writers' names.
wanted there to be a
similar online resource for Thai speakers.

launched - began, started เริ่ม เริ่มต้นดำเนินการ
launched the haamor.com website

they collaborated with and pooled medical experts from various areas

nationwide - including the whole country ทั่วประเทศ ทั่วทั้งประเทศ
public and private hospitals nationwide

emeritus - a professed who is retired at a university (taught many years and is now old and has stopped teaching)
Prof Emeritus - professor emeritus, a retired professor
healthcare professional - a highly trained person who works in medicine and health (from doctor to physical therapist to nurse) 
Prof Emeritus Dr Puangtong Kraiphibul, a healthcare professional

founder - a person who establishes an institution, business, or organization ผู้ก่อตั้ง
the honourable editor and co-founder of haamor.com.

literal meaning - exactly what the words mean (nothing more, nothing less)

physician - a doctor

ailing - ill and weak ป่วยและอ่อนแรง
give peace of mind to an ailing visitor.

feature - to include someone or something as an important part ทำให้เด่น
the website's other main feature
 
doctor's directory search

database - a large amount of information stored in a computer in an organised way ฐานข้อมูล
filter - to get the small set of information that you want from a big set of information
filterable
database

specialise - to concentrate on a particular subject or active มีความชำนาญเป็นพิเศษ

locate - to find where something is หาทำเล,หาที่ตั้ง
locate the hospitals - find hospitals

inputting search terms - entering words into Google (or another search engine)
bibliographic references
- places in a writing where the writer shows what books and articles his ideas come from, also called "citations" 

links - 1. connections or paths from one web page to another web page on the internet; 2. connections ความเชื่อมโยงกัน
links that allow visitors to seek explanations of certain terms and vocabulary without having to look them up using a separate search engine

simple - easy to understand; not complicated ง่าย,ไม่ยุ่งยาก, ไม่ซับซ้อน
primary - first and most important
easy to understand, simple enough for readers of primary school level.

messageboard - a place where people can have an online discussion or debate, a forum
post questions that are answered by doctors -
enter a question on a website (which will then be answered by doctors)

specialist - a worker or teacher with special knowledge in some small area
specialists in web technology

statistics - facts about something, described by counting them สถิติ
collated statistics -
collated statistics ranking the top 100 most-searched diseases on their database.

diabetes mellitus - a deadly disease in which you have abnormally high blood sugar levels; the body does not produce enough insulin to reduce the amount of sugar in the blood โรคเบาหวาน (See Wikipedia)

search - to look somewhere carefully in order to find something ค้นหา
volume - the quantity or amount of something
search volume - the number of searches being done by people for different terms (example: the term "diabetes")
data
- facts or information used for making calculations or decisions ข้อมูล
search volume data - data on how many people are searching for what topics or terms

upcountry - 1. to the north of Bangkok; 2. outside of Bangkok, in the provinces
more people upcountry made searches than those in Bangkok

ranking - how high a person or organization is in a group: 1st, 2nd, 3rd, ....
provincial ranking - how high they are in the province

site - website
comprising - consisting of ประกอบด้วย
the site has accumulated a database comprising almost 200 hospitals and 15,000 doctors.

convenient - easy to do; easy to use
convenient time - an easy time to do something (example: after work is a convenient time for a dental appointment)

consultation
- 1. asking an expert for advice on how to solve a problem; 2. asking other people for their opinion and preferences before acting
organise the most convenient time for a consultation.

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