HealthTap: personalized online health information

August 9, 2011 | Robert Scoble

More and more of us are turning to online resources for answers to questions related to our health. Unfortunately, a lot of what we find can be confusing, and it’s often hard to know what information can be trusted and truly applies to our specific circumstances. HealthTap is addressing these issues by involving physicians in the conversations and by personalizing information to each person’s individual needs.

“More than half of us [according to research from Pew Internet] think that the information we find on the Internet in health is useless and of no help at all,” explains Ron Gutman, Founder and CEO of HealthTap. “That’s a problem, because if 80% of us use the Internet for health, and most of us think it’s useless, then the opportunity is really huge to help people. We think that trust is key for that. We think that personalization is key for that. And we are here to really revolutionize health and well being, really transform this industry, by bringing personalization and by bringing physicians into the conversation, and we are confident that we can do it better than anyone else.”

HealthTap is free to use and can be accessed anonymously. Users can provide as much or as little information about themselves as they would like; however, the more information they provide, the more personalized the responses to their questions will be. When possible, the system will direct users to responses provided by physicians in their geographic area so that users have the option to visit the physician personally. All physicians on HealthTap must be actively practicing and licensed in the United States to have access to the network.

“Physicians are not in the health conversation [online] right now,” says Gutman. “For the first time, we are able to bring now more than 2,400 physicians to HealthTap to answer questions, create tips, create guides, endorse one another to help you find physicians that are more trustworthy.”

Information that you provide is stored in your Personal Health Report (PHR), and this information allows the system to provide you with answers tailored to your specific needs. It also allows the system to make associations between symptoms you may be having and aspects of your medical history that you were not aware were related to one another. Your PHR is always available to you to view and edit and is never shared with anyone else.

“It’s all about quality, trust and writing the right algorithm that will optimize both answering your questions,” explains Gutman, “but also give it to you from a trusted resource that you can actually see in the real world. We believe that will revolutionize health and well being.”

More info:

HealthTap web site:
HealthTap blog:
HealthTap profile on CrunchBase:
HealthTap profile on Twitter:

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Treating Scoliosis August 10, 2011 at 3:37 pm

Everyone’s health situation is different. People look for information online and often self-diagnose their problem, which isn’t safe since they are probably wrong. While it’s always important to visit a doctor if you are experiencing any problems this service looks like it will be beneficial for a preliminary review of the situation.

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