Health Web Sites Receiving Investments
Recent changes in the health care market have resulted in some "big-name investors ... once again bankrolling health information Web sites," the Washington Post reports. Traditionally, companies have failed to make money from online health care businesses, but the market has evolved enough to make it profitable, investors, entrepreneurs and analysts said.
Currently, WebMD is the "dominant player in the field," but other sites plan to enter the market in the coming months, the Post reports. For example, Time Warner later this year is set to launch EverydayHealth.com, a site that is intended to deliver personalized health information to more than 11 million people.
The Carlyle Group, Allen and Sequoia Capital last year purchased HealthCentral Network, which features a network of 25 condition-specific destinations that offer physician-reviewed information and a format that facilitates conversations among people with the same illness.
Steve Case, founder of America Online, and investors are set to launch Revolution Health in the fall. The site, Revolutionhealth.com, will offer a searchable encyclopedia of disease information, tools for finding doctors, making appointments and managing health-related expenses. Revolution Health also will invest in walk-in retail clinics.
Case said, "It's best to attack this problem through multiple prisms and build a set of services that can attract an audience and can aggregate benefits to those consumers, as well as those who want to provide services to those audiences."
Wayne Gattinella, CEO of WebMD, said, "The consumer is starting to expect the same information with respect to a health provider as they expect with an airline or investment vehicle. Those are big forces that will accelerate changes in our industry in the next five years" (Shin, Washington Post, 8/8).