CONSUMER HEALTH: Hopkins, InteliHealth End Web Alliance
InteliHealth and Johns Hopkins are terminating a four-year alliance during which they provided consumer health information on the Web, executives announced yesterday. InteliHealth parent Aetna U.S. Healthcare has acquired the university's minority interest in the firm and will begin seeking other partners for a new Internet venture. Since partnering in 1996, faculty at the university's schools of medicine, nursing and public health have provided information and reviewed material written by InteliHealth to post on the firm's Web site. But noting that "[e]-health has changed, and the business opportunities have changed," Johns Hopkins Consumer Health Information Director Steve Libowitz said, "We felt we were going in different directions, from a business standpoint." Aetna's plans to "move to a broader Internet strategy" and to "put the Internet at the center of all [its] business transactions" was "not what InteliHealth was at the beginning, and it's not what Hopkins wanted to do," he added. According to Libowitz, "Hopkins is planning to stay in the online consumer health business as a content provider," and is considering several potential business models and partners. For their part, InteliHealth officials said they expect to announce a deal soon with "one of the nation's leading academic medical institutions, which would anchor expanded medical content on the InteliHealth Web site" (Salganik, Baltimore Sun, 3/30).This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.