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NY-based appointment planning and physician review service ZocDoc has announced they have traveled via the El and have expanded to Chicago. Last October the doctor management service expanded to Washington, D.C.
ZocDoc is very easy to use. You select your insurance provider, location and specialty (dentist, psychiatrist, derm, etc.) and ZocDoc spits back a list of available appointment times. For me it’s saved a ton of time calling around to find available appointments that match both my insurance provider and my availability. ZocDoc notes that they have over 150,000 available appointments in the Chicago area. Currently ZocDoc is handling appointments for three specialties: primary care, dermatology, and OB/GYN.
ZocDoc is currently available in NYC, San Francisco, Chicago and Washington. The company generates revenue by charging doctors a fee for completed appointments although I believe the primary care appointments are at no cost to the doctor.
NY-based appointment planning and physician review service ZocDoc has announced they have traveled a bit further south and have launched in Washington, D.C. They selected Washington based on feedback they have received from potential users over the past year.
ZocDoc is very easy to use. You select your insurance provider, location and specialty (dentist, psychiatrist, derm, etc.) and ZocDoc spits back a list of available appointment times. For me it’s saved a ton of time calling around to find available appointments that match both my insurance provider and my availability. ZocDoc notes that they have over 21,000 listed appointments in the D.C. area. In NYC ZocDoc has over 300,000 available appointments and the company notes that over 90,000 people use the service each month.
It’s great to see a NY-based startup expanding to another east-coast city.
Check out all of our ZocDoc coverage including my real-world test of the service. ZocDoc team members are also looking to meet with Senator Olympia Snowe around health-care reform, something I’ve written about previously and still believe we are doing it all wrong.
It seems these days you can’t put on the TV without every channel discussing the health care reform in the U.S. On my flight back from Austin, the JetBlue monitor was filled with people saying yay or nay to President Obama’s plan to create a better healthcare system for all of us here in the United States. I must admit that I haven’t read all of the endless pages of information about the plan but what I do know is that we are doing this all wrong. I’d like to share why and please understand that this isn’t a political discussion, it’s a business and technical discussion.
Back in late 2007 some of you might remember that my mom was in the hospital for a couple of weeks. I wrote a post about what I saw while I sat with her in the room along with how the doctor’s handled her after she was out. It was a complete mess. Not just a mess for my mother and me but also for the doctors, the hospital, the insurance company, the pharmacists, yep, everyone involved participated in the mess (even me).
Instead of jumping from the supposedly horrible healthcare system we have in place today to one that is supposedly significantly better, why don’t we take 12-18 months and get the underlying technology fixed first?
Let’s get rid of all paper, get tablet computers in the hands of doctors, and finally create a way for patients to hold their information just like a credit report.
It’s easy to say that security and privacy will be an issue with a fully-integrated tech solution. But I am not sure that I agree it will be any worse than the way our credit is handled. In fact, I think it could be even stronger when it comes to privacy and security.
For example, let’s say you visit a specialist and the doctor wants your “record” from your primary doctor. Great, now he or she can get it in a moment using the HCS (health care system). The specialist doctor is authenticated into the system – you then log into the system and provide the specialist with time-and-provider coded access to your record.
NY-based Magnify.net has created a news and information portal around the swine flu outbreak. The portal includes videos from CNN, news from the AP, Twitter search results, videos from MSNBC, videos from around the Web and the Twitter stream from the CDC. They also include the swine flu map we posted yesterday.
It’s a smart move for Magnify as it gives the service some broad, mainstream traffic where users can see how the technology works. Other services should think about this and how they too can play off all important news events with their startups.
Not sure I would prioritize a general Twitter search so high on the page as the information is typically not researched and could provide poor information. Would rather see “official” news higher up on the page.
WebMD has announced a new partnership with Boots (similar to CVS in the U.S.) in the UK to create a consumer health portal. The portal will combine health information from WebMD plus pharmacy and online sales via Boots.
"We are excited to be working with Boots UK as an important part of our strategy to expand WebMD’s presence internationally," said Wayne Gattinella, CEO and President, WebMD. "Boots is the recognized leader in pharmacy and healthcare in the UK. Together we will build a powerful new health information resource designed to help UK consumers lead healthier lives."
The new portal site will launch in mid-2009 and WebMD and Boots will share in the development costs of the site. WebMD will manage the online advertising on the site but both companies will share equally in the generated revenue.
NY-based HealthiNation has raised $7.5 million in Series B venture capital the company announced today. The funding round was led by Intel Capital and previous investor MK Capital also invested in the round. HealthiNation creates original health videos on a variety of topics including birth control, cancer, diabetes and how to quit smoking.
HealthiNation launched in mid-2006 and their videos are also provided to a variety of cable networks including Comcast and Verizon.
Seeing as HealthiNation is based in NYC, I immediately thought that perhaps they should partner with another health-related service here in NYC, OrganizedWisdom. We interviewed OrganizedWisdom this summer and the HealthiNation videos would be a good complement to the OrganizedWisdom offering. I do notice that OrganizedWisdom has a page about HealthiNation.
I noticed that HealthiNation uses infomercial actress Pat Murphy in many of their videos. Does this hurt their credibility when their lead speaker was just shilling for forex loans last week and is now talking about birth control?
I’ve written about several health startups including iMedix and NY-based OrganizedWisdom. Yesterday I had the opportunity to speak with Keith Schorsch, founder and CEO of Trusera. Trusera is a Seattle-based startup attempting to make sense of health online.
Keith explained that Trusera helps people share real world health information with others. The idea for Trusera came to him when he was ill and doctors in Seattle couldn’t figure out why. A friend in New Jersey suggested that it might be from a tick bite and it turned out that it was lyme disease. Once he told his doctors of his friend’s suggestion, they were able to treat the illness and get Keith back to full health.
When I asked Keith to sum up what Trusera is in one sentence, he replied, "It’s a site for people who want to take hold of their health". The site allows people to post questions and answers along with a content section similar to a blog. There’s a social network and a Facebook-style news feed showing the latest content posted on Trusera.
Trusera officially launched in June with a beta period from March. The company has 15 employees and is currently angel funded. Keith wouldn’t share any user stats with me.
Regarding their business plan, Keith noted that they are running some ads and are launching an ad network on site in the coming week. There’s also a variety of premium services coming soon and he also says there’s value in the platform. This is similar to OrganizedWisdom and their white-label solution.
Trusera features good health related content and could become a strong health-related social network over time. Keith asked me for my thoughts on the service and Web site and this is what I shared with him.
- I don’t get what the site is about or offers when I come to the home page.
- I would move the signup/membership widget off of the right bar – it’s distracting and since the majority of people will only browse, use that space for better messaging – do you really want your visitors’ first impression to be a captcha?
- The search goes to a typical search results page (which didn’t provide many relevant results) – my suggestion would be to create topic pages for the most popular terms – Keith talked about focusing on search engine optimization and topic pages would certainly help with that
- The site design needs to be much warmer – the logo colors are warm but the rest of the site isn’t – health is nothing something people look at unless they have to – make people feel at home and comfortable
- The site feels way too loose – as if they stuck on thing after thing without considering integration
Thanks to Keith for spending some time with me yesterday.