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US Government Data Sources

MedlinePlus Connect Web Service

Department: Department of Health and Human Services (HHS)
Agency: National Institute of Health (NIH) ( )
Sub Agency: U.S. National Library of Medicine ( )
The MedlinePlus Connect Web Service ( ) is a free service of the National Library of Medicine (NLM), National Institutes of Health (NIH), and the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) which allows health organizations and health IT providers to link patient portals and electronic health record (EHR) systems to MedlinePlus, an authoritative up-to-date health information resource for patients, families, and health care providers.

MedlinePlus ( ) is a consumer facing web site that provides information about diseases, conditions, and wellness issues. It also provides a medical dictionary, links to the latest medical research and information about clinical trials. MedlinePlus can be used to learn about the latest treatments, look up information on a drug or supplement and view medical videos or illustrations.
Help/Documentation: ,
WSDL/Data Location:
The REST-based MedlinePlus Connect Web Service conforms to the HL7 Context-Aware Knowledge Retrieval (Infobutton) Service-Oriented Architecture Implementation Guide, January 2011 Draft, which uses Atom as the framework for the knowledge response. The output of the request is XML, which is presented in the Atom feed format.

The base URL for the web service is:

As with all REST web services, additional parameters are appended to the base URL to specify the type of operation to perform as well as to provide the information needed by the operation. There are three operations that can be performed by the MedlinePlus Connect web service. They are:
• Requests for Diagnosis (Problem) Codes     
• Requests for Drug Information     
• Requests for Lab Test Information

Example: MedlinePlus

/// <summary>
/// Returns summary information for the specified problem code
/// </summary>
/// <param name="pcValue">The value associated with the problem code</param>
/// <param name="cs">The code system in which the problem code has meaning</param>
/// <param name="objAppErr">The application error object</param>
/// <returns></returns>
public static XElement getProblemCode(string pcValue, PCCodeSystem cs, Language lang, ref ToolKit.AppErr objAppErr)
    XElement problemCode = null;
    string url = MedlinePlusConnectBaseURL + "?mainSearchCriteria.v.cs=" + getPCCodeSystemValue(cs);
    url += "&mainSearchCriteria.v.c=" + HttpUtility.UrlEncode(pcValue);
    url += "&informationRecipient.languageCode.c=" + getLanguageValue(lang);

        problemCode = XElement.Load(url);
    catch (Exception ex)
        objAppErr.AppErrNum = -1;
        objAppErr.AppErrMsg = ex.Message;

    return problemCode;

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