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Monday, 22nd January 2007

New Health Portal Moves into Preview Mode: Revolution Health

Now online, in preview, from D.C.-based Revolution Health is a massive new health and health info portal. Steve "AOL" Case is the Founder and Chairman of the company.

Search industry veteran and Wondir founder Dr. Matt Koll is also working at Revolution.

You'll also see that Revolution has a chief privacy officer and an M.D. (Chief Medical Officer) on its staff. Smart.

Other people on Revolution's Board of Directors include Carly Fiorina, Colin Powell, and Frank Raines.

Revolution Health is a massive site. This post only offers a brief review of some of its many services and features. Look for more in the next few weeks. Perhaps, Shirl will make it a Resource of the Week.

Things to Look For, Sources to Be Aware Of on Revolution Health

+ Keyword Ads Powered by Google

+ Like we've seen with WikiWax, AOL Pinpoint Shopping, and elsewhere, a search at Revolution Health offers dynamic search suggestions as you enter letters into the search box. Watch for the drop-down box as you enter i-n-f-l-u into the search box. Also interesting is that when a search for a drug occurs, a brief intro to the medicine is provided before running a search. Try searching for "Aspirin" and see an example of this in action.

+ Results from Revolution Health crawl at the top of the page

+ Results from Kosmix, a health vertical, can be seen near the bottom of the page.

+ Search terms are highlighted in snippets on search results pages.

+ Results are organized by category (left margin). For example, a search for "cold" turns up results, total number of results and hyperlinks in categories like Top articles, Medications, Natural health, and news. You'll also find a list of related searches. For example, a search for Sunburn returns related searches for skin cancer and sun exposure.

+ If you are a registered user of Revolution, your searches are saved for later use; at any computer and you'll have access to other features like answering a question or creating a blog.

+ Along the top of each page, a red box contains direct links to different parts of the site:

+ Toolkit includes a large section of calculators (body mass index for example), health trackers (a place to store info as you work on reaching a health goal), a health expense manager, and more.

+ The Healthy Living section includes editorial material on the topic

+ Conditions and Treatments
Find an alphabetical list of them along with a database of prescription drugs. The dynamic dropdown feature is also available here, but a spell correction feature would also be useful. Sources of the data are provided at the bottom of the page.

+ Some of the material on Revolution can be user-rated similar to the way you can rate a merchant on eBay or a book on Amazon. We're not sure how informative user ratings for specific prescription drugs or doctor-specified treatments will be. Stay tuned.

+ Doctors and Hospitals
Database of 700,000 doctors, 150,000 dentists, plus over 400,000 allied health professionals. Search or browse by state. User ratings possible. Let's hope that these ratings aren't "gamed" liked we've seen on other user rating sites.

+ Health Insurance Info
Compare plans. Before you begin, a disclaimer with privacy information appears.

+ Learn from Others
Message boards and blogs. Navigation is via pull-down menus that quickly lead you to content. As usual, caveat emptor with any type of info on the web. Registered users can also create their own blogs.

Again, what we've listed here is only the tip of the iceberg. That said, here are a few things we would like to see more of in the future:

+ Places for medical librarians and medical library organizations to be featured and participate.

+ More "featured" use of the wonderful resources available from MedlinePlus and NLM, including PubMed Central and the many local resources.

+ Although it's likely part of the site already (we were unable to find it), greater visibility to database like ClinicalTrials.gov and ToxTown.

+ A section of easy-to-find telephone numbers for medical information including numbers of drug companies, makers of household products, and poison control.

+ News and links to reports from the Kaiser Family Foundation, Healthstats.org, SSA, Medicare, California HealthCare Foundation and similar organizations would also be welcome.

+ A section where users can review new material as it's added to the site. For example, giving some attention to the MedlinePLUS "What's New" newsletter would be both useful and impressive. Alerts to new material via email and/or RSS would also be useful.


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