One of the biggest challenges facing health care communication is the silos that we create. Doctors have spaces where they can talk to doctors. Patients easily connect with one another. But no one seems to be thinking about how we can get doctors and patients together. HealthTap may offer a solution.
HealthTap is an interactive health network centered around a rapidly growing database of health information driven by patient questions. In a nutshell: Patients ask questions. Physicians answer the questions. The answers are compiled, referenced and accessed through a robust search engine or through the profile pages of member physicians who responded. HealthTap serves patients with reliable health information. Doctors get a place where they can store those hundreds of questions that they are asked repeatedly.
The site has been in beta with pediatricians and OBs since its quiet launch 5 months ago. Today HealthTap is going big by opening its enrollment to all medical specialties. And based on the early input of nearly 5,000 physicians, HealthTap has been updated with some features worth mentioning:
Peer review. With today’s release the engineers at HealthTap have added some peer review features which will help give great questions more weight in the HealthTap environment. If a physician finds another physicians answer to a question reliable, they can ‘Agree’ with the other physician’s response. Or, they can simply choose to answer the question in a different way. If a patient finds a question that helps them, they can ‘Thank’ the doctor who answered. The ‘Agree’ and ‘Thank you’ features help participating physicians and their answers establish authority in the HealthTap community.
HealthTap Express. HealthTap is now offering a mobile product that puts knowledge directly in the hands of participating consumers and physicians. I’ve had the chance to play with Express. What so striking about the application is the simplicity of the interface and the speed at which it references the HealthTap knowledge base. If for no other reason, register with HealthTap, get the app and see how a clean, fast tool can put doctors and patients on the same page.
Focus on local. While the world may be flat, patients and the doctors who care for them are hyperlocal. Healthtap’s latest release will allow participating doctors to be notified of questions coming from local patients. So any physician interested in visibility in their local market will have an incentive to answer questions quickly. This is a really interesting concept and I’m curious to see how this feature evolves.
I had the opportunity to tour HealthTap’s Palo Alto headquarters during Medicine 2.0 last week and the energy coming from their team of informatics experts and engineers was amazing. Should they maintain their vision of bridging the doctor-patient silo this platform has potential that goes well beyond Q&A. HealthTap is the brainchild of Silicon Valley’s smiling health connector, Ron Gutman.
HealthTap is powered by doctors and patients so to make it buzz go on over to HealthTap and register. And feel free to ask me questions!