Overview of online healthcare communities

If you have not seen the statistics yet, a quick preview:

1. US spends almost 16% of its GDP on healthcare – $2 Trillion. This equates to approximately $6697 per person. No other country spends more.
2. Over 56% of us insured are covered by employer sponsored plans, about 30% by Medicare, Medicaid and SCHIP. The rest (14%) are insured.
3. Healthcare costs have been increasing 2.5% more than US GDP and more than double the rate of inflation over the last 30+ years.
4. Spending on drugs (prescription) is about 10% of the total spend.

There are 5 major constituents in the healthcare “space” – Patients, Providers (Physicians, Nurses, etc.), Payers (Insurance providers), Government & Pharma/Biotech/Drug companies. There are several others (Employers, etc., but the 5 major ones influence it to a large extent.

The major trend is towards “consumerization” of healthcare – providing and arming patients with more information at their fingertips so they can make better choices. Hence online communities (where patients, doctors, etc.) can connect and get information quickly so they can make decisions or get second opinions.

Over the next few weeks I will have a series of posts on the healthcare community space, but here are the companies I am reviewing.

There are several (about 50) broad and niche sites focusing on several disciplines or diseases so its going to be difficult to categorize them. For policy information I recommend the Healthcare Blog. Others talking about it more eloquently than I do are Paul Krugman and also do visit the Kaiser Foundation.

Here’s the list of communities that I have reviewed. There are several more for sure, but I am looking at comScore and other metrics to get a sense for the ones with traction / traffic before I dig deeper.

  1. WebMD
  2. Medhelp.ORG
  3. SteadyHealth
  4. HealthyPlace
  5. Revolution
  6. Health
  7. Health Line
  8. Health
  9. Health
  10. My Self
  11. Healthy Circles
  12. Kryptiq
  13. Pure Wellness
  14. Sound Health
  15. US
  16. American
    Heart Association
  17. Cap Med
  18. Daily
  19. Zoc Doc
  20. Patients
    Like Me
  21. I C You
  22. Organized
  23. Relief in
  24. Nurses
    Rate Doctors
  25. Health Tools Online
  26. M D
  27. Gimme20
  28. Psych Central
  29. Hesperian
  30. My Health
  31. Health
  32. Patients
    are powerful
  33. iVillage Your Total Health
  34. Health
  35. Vimo
  36. Healthline
  37. TauMed
  38. Wegohealth