MedlinePlus XML Data Sources
MedlinePlus Web Service
The MedlinePlus Web service accepts keyword searches as requests and returns relevant health topics in ranked order
in XML format. The Web service provides access to all English and Spanish MedlinePlus health topics and offers a
variety of retrieval types and search parameters to allow for user customization. The contents of the XML output can
include basic information about the health topic, as well as associated data, such as all of the links that appear on
MedlinePlus health topic pages.
With the Web service, software developers can build applications that leverage the authoritative, reliable health
information in MedlinePlus. The MedlinePlus Web service is free of charge and does not require registration or
licensing. The service is updated daily (Tuesday-Saturday) to correspond with the update schedule for the
MedlinePlus.gov Web site.
The MedlinePlus Web service harnesses the power of the MedlinePlus search engine and provides an ideal solution for
implementations that require on-demand delivery of the most up-to-date information. For example, it can be used to
deliver real-time search results to users or to create static links on a Web site. To learn more, see
MedlinePlus XML Files
MedlinePlus publishes three types of health topic XML files daily (Tuesday-Saturday):
• MedlinePlus Health Topic XML
• MedlinePlus Compressed Health Topic XML
• MedlinePlus Health Topic Group XML
These files cover all English and Spanish health topics and can be found on the MedlinePlus XML files page,
, which includes links to the six most recent files.
Each XML health topic record includes data elements associated with that topic. This associated data includes:
• basic metadata (health topic title, URL, language, date created, and ID),
• vocabulary (MeSH, “Also called” terms, see references),
• full summary,
• group membership,
• related health topics,
• equivalent English or Spanish topics,
• related content in other languages,
• primary NIH institute, and
• all site records (links) assigned to a health topic page, including their names, URLs, organizations, category
assignments, and standard descriptions.
These XML files allow you to download and use virtually all text and links that appear on MedlinePlus health topic
pages. The MedlinePlus Compressed Health Topic XML contains the same information as the MedlinePlus Health Topic
XML, but it is posted as a .zip file for easier downloading.
The MedlinePlus health topic group XML files contain information on all English and Spanish topic groups.
MedlinePlus Connect is a free service that allows patient portals, electronic health record (EHR) systems, and other
health IT systems to easily link patients and providers to relevant consumer health information.
MedlinePlus Connect is available as a Web application and a Web service. The MedlinePlus Connect Web service
allows EHR systems to pull MedlinePlus links and information directly into the EHR interface, and it relies on the use of
medical coding systems in EHRs. When an EHR system sends a code-based request, the MedlinePlus Connect Web
service responds in XML, JSON, or JSONP format.
For more information on MedlinePlus Connect and to see the full range of implementation options, visit
MedlinePlus RSS Feeds
MedlinePlus offers over 1,800 RSS feeds corresponding to every English and Spanish health topic page on the site and
several general interest RSS feeds including:
What’s New: MedlinePlus Announcements and Special Features
MedlinePlus Health News
New Links on MedlinePlus
New NIH Links on MedlinePlus
MedlinePlus on Twitter
You can subscribe to any of these feeds in your favorite RSS reader, and stay up to date with the quality, reliable health
information provided by MedlinePlus. Links to all feeds are available on the MedlinePlus RSS feeds page in English,
, and Spanish,
The MedlinePlus RSS feeds are for personal use only. They may contain licensed content and, therefore, NLM cannot
grant you permission to use the MedlinePlus RSS feeds on your Web site or information services.
For more information on any of the XML data sources described above, email the MedlinePlus team by clicking on
the “Contact Us” link at the top of any
Last updated: December 2013