West Shell, ceo of Healthline, is now talking. He has taken the company during the last three years from 5 people to 80 people. Now it is the leading provider of health information in US he says and soon to be the world.
Healthline Networks develops services which it first tries out on Healthline.com which is one of the top sites in the US with 27m impressions and 6m uniques in February. He says the market is changing fast – the ageing population is driving the market. 80% of all elderly Americans went online last year looking for health advice, he says.
Medical search is a complex area basically since consumer and medical language don’t match. The core asset is the world’s largest medical taxonomy.
Next they are planning to add advertising, again driven by the taxonomy.
WebMD has 18% of the market on its own, but because the Healthline platform is distributed through partners it has already over 20% market share, says West.
Now they are working with health insurers (like Aetna) and medical suppliers (like GE) to provide customised and personal health information systems. These can be multi-million, multi-year deals.
"These are not Barney deals ("I like you, you like me".) (talking about the partnership deals.)