Health Cards for Consumer Health Search

2019 | Proceedings of the 42nd International ACM SIGIR Conference on Research and Development in Information Retrieval (SIGIR '19)
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Gianluca Demartini


This paper investigates the impact of health cards in consumer health search (CHS) — people seeking health advice online. Health cards are a concise presentations of a health concept shown along side search results to specific health queries; they have the poten- tial to convey health information in easily digestible form for the general public. However, little evidence exists on how effective health cards actually are for users when searching health advice online, and whether their effectiveness is limited to specific health search intents. To understand the impact of health cards on CHS, we conducted a laboratory study to observe users completing CHS tasks using two search interface variants: one just with result snip- pets and one containing both result snippets and health cards. Our study makes the following contributions: (1) it reveals how and when health cards are beneficial to users in completing consumer health search tasks, and (2) it identifies the features of health cards that helped users in completing their tasks. This is the first study that thoroughly investigates the effectiveness of health cards in supporting consumer health search.