50 Web Apps to Help You Stay Happy and HealthyPosted May 1st, 2008 by Site Administrator in Health (5 Comments »)
According to the Pew Internet & American Life Project, nearly 113 million people currently use the Internet for health information. Many consumers, however, face a mass collection of generic, and at times unreliable, health information. The maze takes them through health portals, message boards, chat rooms and blogs. The consumer is left to sort through conflicting or irrelevant information, seldom finding information that is pertinent. But, a revolution in both technology and health care is providing a better solution. Enter Health 2.0 in 2007, the year that open source technology crossed over into health care. The Health 2.0 conference held in September that year inspired the launching of a thousand sites (figuratively). The movement to create user-friendly medical experiences online began well before that date, however. Using Web 2.0 technologies such as wikis, mash-ups, video, blogs communities, and user-generated data, the trend, overall, was and is intended to help the consumer become better informed about that consumer’s health. The following fifty sites provide patients (and their health care providers) with tools to help patients gain access to medical records, to share those records, to conduct research on a condition or to determine the best route for recovery. The sites are listed below are in alphabetical order beneath each category heading. While the sites are numbered, the numbering does not indicate that we favor one site over another or that they are listed in order of value. Unless noted, all sites are free for consumers to use.
Do you need to find a nurse or physician? Perhaps you’re wondering about that home care agency located in the next town. The following sites rate these options and more for people who seek health care. In some cases you can join in and help to rate your health care providors as well. While some professionals state that these sites are similar to rating restaurants and hotels, most of the sites listed below allow physicians and other health care providers the ability to comment on reviews.
- CiteHealth: Using information from government and commercial data sources, direct verification, and consumer opinion, CiteHealth provides consumers with hospital, nursing home, dialysis center, rehab center, home care agency and pharmacy information and reports. Users can connect with other people who face similar issues and collaborate with them through experiences and information. This site’s newest features include review funcationality, favorites, health providor monitors and more.
- Health Ranker: If you’re familiar with DIGG, then this site will seem familiar to you. The difference is that Health Ranker dishes up topics on health, categorized by News, Fitness, Diet, Nutrition and more. This site serves as a media temple for all things health related, which makes it a tool for research as well as a rating system for important information according to users. The Health Ranker also includes a blog, where users can stay updated on the progress of this beta system.
- HealthGrades: Visitors to HealthGrades.com find quality ratings and cost information for the nation’s 5,000 hospitals and 16,000 nursing homes as well as in-depth profiles of the nation’s 650,000 physicians. As a leader in the consumer revolution in health care, HealthGrades receives more than 3 million unique visitors to its consumer Web site each month. Founded in 1999, the firm is headquartered in Golden, Colorado, and has over 135 employees.
- RateMDs: This site allows users to find doctors by region and to read and write opinions about physicians. The site averages over 600 new ratings per day, but there’s no way to realize whether the ratings are produced from first-hand experience or not. Multiple entries coming from the same computer are deleted, however, unless the users create new registrations and log in information. Doctors are free to respond to opinions and ratings, and they are encouraged to tell thir patients about the site.
- Vitals: You may need a doctor at some point in your life, even if you try to avoid doctors and hospitals at all costs. If you don’t have a family physician, then Vitals can help you make an intelligent and informed decision about which doctor to choose. This beta site has produced a three-part review process that supplies information on a doctor’s quality and expertise, consumer ratings and reviews, and recommendations from other physicians. You can find a physician located in your area or find a health care professional by expertise.
The ability to share information online about an illness or injury, medications and treatment, and recovery or loss have been available for years. But now consumers can localize their stories through a number of sites geared specifically for this process. Note that many of the sites listed below are in ‘beta’, which means that they’re testing the site for responses, usage, and technical issues. So, a word on backing up your information so that it isn’t lost if the site disappears one day.
- Daily Strength: Anonymous and free, this site provides a forum for patients who seek advice, treatment experience and support for their illnesses and injuries. The site boasts 500+ support groups for health issues and life challenges, and users can research the latest drugs, treatments, and alternative therapies on this site as well.
- HealthVault: Microsoft’s HealthVault is designed to put you in control of your health information. A free HealthVault account helps you collect, store and share information with family members and gives you a choice of applications and devices to help manage your fitness, diet and health. You input information, and you decide who can see and use this information on a case-by-case basis.
- MDJunction: "This community is about people helping people, sharing personal experiences and knowledge, just as it used to be in the old days." The unknown creators of this site believe that a person who deals with a health challenge can gain a lot by talking to others who are (or were) in the same spot. It can be a treatment recommendation, a review on a doctor or just a ‘rant off" about your troubles. The communities are created via self help Support Groups, each one dedicated to a single health issue and managed by the community itself.
- Medications.com: This is another beta site, one that contains over 14,500 drugs and their variants in a database to date. Users post side-effects, both positive and negative, to drugs and relay messages about medications and how they’ve affected diseases and injuries. Visitors to the site can search for drugs by name, by side effects and conditions. The site also hosts a Question and Answer page, where users can post questions in hopes that other users will respond to their queries.
- MyMedLab: MyMedLabcombines the expertise of doctors with "upfront pricing, convenient service and quality testing" so users can create a simple way to learn about their health issues. The result is a Personal Health Record (PHR) that users can share with other doctors, family members, or anyone who needs that information. The point behind this service is that many patients have little to no access to health records. So MyMedLab.com offers consumers direct access to the same diagnostic testing that a patient would normally receive, only it costs less and provides patients with the information needed to take a more active role in routine care and prevention.
- PatientsLikeMe: Founded in 2004 by three MIT engineers whose collective experience spans from running the world’s only non-profit biotechnology laboratory to large-scale online commerce applications, PatientsLikeMe is a privately funded company dedicated to making a difference in the lives of patients diagnosed with life-changing diseases. The site began with their personal experiences with ALS (Lou Gehrig’s disease), and this experience inspired them to create a community of patients, doctors, and organizations that inspires, informs, and empowers individuals. They’re committed to providing patients with access to the tools, information, and experiences that they need to take control of their diseases.
- People’s MD: Why depend on a single source for health information when you can gain insight about illnesses and injuries from ordinary people, health and wellness advocates, other physicians, nurses, and health care professionals, and from patients or survivors? There are "no censors and no limits" to the voices posted here, as this site hopes to make everyone a "Health Hero."
- Revolution Health: This Web app puts individuals at the center of their own health care by allowing them to make informed choices and by offering more convenience and control over individual health care decisions. Chaired by AOL Co-Founder Steve Case, consumers can use this site to find healthcare professionals and hospitals, insurance coverage and more. Additionally, registered members can build healthpages and communicate with other who are enduring similar injuries and diseases through Revolution Health’s CarePages. Revolution Health is an all-encompassing health site that focuses primarily on women, but men also can participate in perusing information, sharing stories, and writing blogs.
- Sprigley: Through a simple conversation with the site, Sprigley learns about you and thousands like you. Sprigley then pools what it learns to help you and to help others learn more about diseases and injuries, causes and cures. The site accomplishes this goal through algorithms that apply a tagging system. So, the more you talk with Sprigley, the more Sprigley can help you and help others like you.
- Trusera: When former Amazon.com executive Keith Schorsch struggled to find information on the Web about a health condition, a business plan grew to help others find information as well. The beta version of Trusera was launched in December 2007; now, anyone can tell their story, find stories about various health issues and life concerns, and connect with others who have similar stories. The stories are told through journals and video, and the site encourages freedom to "be yourself."
- Taumed: Instead of surfing endlessly for irrelevant information about diseases and injuries, TauMed has created a user-experience where consumers can connect quickly with the most relevant health information possible. The site is a research tool, but it’s first and foremost a virtual health community where people can ask, share, and interactively engage with others and with the information included on the site. So users will experience a hybrid experience as they search for information and learn about that information through community.
While WebMD has proven to be one of the most popular medical research tools around, the following sites also provide health care information. Using more than one source to discover information about an illneess or injury is somewhat like seeking a second opinion on the same – more knowledge is always better when it comes to health.
- DoubleCheckMD: Although the name of the site seems more of a rating system for doctors, in reality it provides a way for patients to check how their drugs might interact with each other. Users list the drugs that they’re taking and the symptoms they’re experiencing. The site will then spit out information about whether the drugs are causing the reactions or not. Users might note that just because a drug or combination of drugs can cause a symptom does not mean it is actually causing your symptom. Symptoms can be caused by medical conditions as well.
- eDrugSearch: While many consumers are interested in online pharmacies as a means of saving money on their prescriptions, they are often concerned about whether they can trust the quality and safety of the prescription medications they find online. eDrugSearch.com provides users with a safe, low-cost prescription medication database issued from licensed online pharmacies. Outside this service, users can research pharmacies and their reputations, up-to-the-minute prices and detailed drug information through community, tools and resources to help consumers make smart decisions when purchasing prescription medications online. This site’s advanced search features enable members to identify pharmacies with specific licensing requirements, third-party accreditations, Better Business Bureau memberships and more.
- Healthline: Healthline’s taxonomy-driven "Medically Guided Search" platform provides consumers and business partners with a portfolio of online health search, content, and navigation services. This "semantic taxonomy" is built from multiple medical databases and uniquely connects interrelated concepts to provide a semantic organization and contextual presentation of health-related information. Started in 1999 as YourDr.com, Healthline provides a pulldown list of symptoms that may make a hypochondriac out of you. Users can gain access to information through video, articles, quizzes, calculators and more. Plus, there’s a marketplace where consumers can browse through products to compare prices and availability.
- MamaHerb: A 74-year-old woman’s cancer is cured, and no one knows for sure how it happened. "Was it the wheatgrass juice she had for breakfast? The Organic food she started to eat? The beets and carrots? Or maybe it was just a coincidence? And could it be that there were still other natural medications that would have made her situation more bearable, or even prevented it altogether?" The son of this woman is the creator of MamaHerb, a site where people from all over the world can share their knowledge about herbs and other natural substances they’ve experienced as helpful, or even been tipped off about by their family members, friends, or even by their grandma. The goal behind this site is to do what pharmaceutical companies and universities have failed to do – research the power behind natural medicines.
- MEDgle: MEDgle is a MEDical GLobal Electronic computer generated search. Users can search through over 10,000 symptoms and more than 2000 diagnoses to find information about any disease or injury. All data have been entered by physicians using medical knowledge learned in medical school and residency as well as publicly available information available such as the Center for Disease Control – CDC and National Institutes of Health – NIH. system has been seeded with information regarding age, duration, symptoms, and diagnoses as well as risk factors for specific diseases. Probabilities are calculated based on given search criteria. The potential results are then ranked according to aggregate probability scores. This system uses red stars to provide users with a visual cue regarding the common occurrences of results for a given set of symptoms based on probability estimates. The system is in beta, so check back if you don’t find what you currently need.
- MedHelp: "Long before WebMD or even Yahoo, MedHelp pioneered the field of consumer health information on the Internet." The story behind the creation of MedHelp is fascinating and very personal. The two creators, Phil and Cindy, struggled with family members’ health issues and – after one success and one failure – this duo decided that the world needed a site where consumers could find health care, talk about resources, and build community for support. Today over 5.5 million visitors have frequented this site, which is filled with over two million medical posts.
- MedWorm: MedWorm collects updates from over 5000 authoritative data sources via RSS feeds. From the data collected, MedWorm provides new outgoing RSS feeds on various medical categories that you can subscribe to, via the free MedWorm online service or through another RSS reader of your choice, such as Bloglines, Newsgator, Google Reader or FeedDemon. MedWorm was built and is owned by Frankie Dolan, a UK based IT developers.
- Organized Wisdom: OrganizedWisdom is a human-powered, physician-guided search service for health. The information is categorized by WisdomCards, hand-crafted search result pages on the most popular health topics. Users can find WisdomCards on diseases, conditions, treatments, drugs, health products, doctors, hospitals, and even health companies. The visitor to this site also can RequestWisdom if the topic isn’t cataloged, and use the LiveWisdom chat feature with board certified doctors, health professionals, and health advocates for a nominal fee. OrganizedWisdom is based in New York City and was founded in 2006 by serial entrepreneurs Steven Krein and Unity Stoakes, who have worked together building companies since 1997. Visit their blog when you have time to learn more about the philosophy behind this idea.
- PharmaSURVEYOR: This Web app enables consumers and experts to survey drug regimens. The focus is to create a format that points to drug safety, effectiveness and cost. But, the main focus is to improve understanding about risks for Adverse Drug Events beyond drug trial data and especially for multi-drug regimens. PharmaSurveyor hopes to accomplish this goal by collecting consumer experiences and through surveys as well as through FDA trials data. This information will, for the first time, produce a post-market surveillance at Web scale
- Remedi.es: This site will appeal to users who seek alternative remedies to diseases and injuries. Remedi.es is a homeopathy resource built by homeopathic practitioners and patients, and users can search for information through a search engine or through the home page tag cloud. This one-man show was created by Steve Odom, with the impetus provided by a sick dog. Homeopathy extended the dog’s life, and he became a believer. But, when he began to research homeopathic solutions to simple colds that his son would bring home from school, little was found on the Internet. Hence, this site. A discussion feature is planned for the site, and homeopathic practitioners and patients are free to contribute information.
- Video MD: This site was created by physicians for physicians and their patients. "Using contemporary technology to help physicians fully educate patients on their specific health care concerns, the bond between doctor and patient will be changed forever. Not only will patients be more satisfied by having their own doctor educate them about their ailment, physicians can better educate patients without adding more work to an already busy schedule." VideoMD’s goal is to have the most comprehensive library of health videos on the Internet. All featured videos are reviewed for medical content, and a screening process confirms the credentials and identity of all health care providers.
- WEGO Health: WEGO Health identifies, ranks and organizes the most helpful health and wellness online content and makes it easy for anyone to gain access to that site and its information. Each WEGO Health page is a living document – continually ranked, evaluated, and updated by WEGO Health expert researchers, seasoned editors, volunteer reviewers and casual site visitors. Everyone has a stake, everyone can join in.
Many individuals realize that fitness helps to prolong good health and can help to regain a sense of self-confidence as well. The following apps combine a sense of community along with physical fitness training to help individuals meet fitness goals. While some apps are free, others cost less than a personal trainer.
- MyPypeline: This Web app offers a health and fitness community that provides workouts that you can either stream or download to your computer, video iPod or television. These workouts combine with a social networking community that allows you to connect with like-minded fitness enthusiasts, coaches and trainers. Founded by Matt Young, a leader in sports medicine and human kinetic research and education, this site’s workout options are not free; but, for a reasonable price, you can either rent or own each workout that you want. Communication with other "Pypes," or participants, is free.
- Podfitness: Podfitness has created a system that builds audio workouts just for your fitness needs. Create a fitness profile, then choose a training program customized for to fit your time and desires. You then confirm your workout (or workouts – you have more than one choice) and choose music to accompany your session. This program is downloaded to your iPod, Zune, or other MP3 player. Be aware that this is a free introductory offer to participate, so the use of this app may cost you some dollars down the road.
- ReliefInsite: Although not totally fitness oriented, this site can offer relief for sports training as well as for physical pain caused by illness or other injuries. Through the collection of structured and unstructured data and preparation of comprehensive reports, ReliefInsite provides a longitudinal perspective of a patient’s condition in real-time, enabling improved quality of care and assessment of outcomes. ReliefInsite is developed entirely on open source technology and delivered as an on-demand service over the Internet running on dedicated servers located in a locked cage at a secure, HIPAA-Compliant (Health Information Portability and Accountability Act) site in the US.
- SparkPeople: This site pits itself against pay-for-health programs such as Weightwatchers and eDiets, offering totally free information about diets, weight loss, fitness, health and more. Users can take advantage of community, recipes, workout plans and more as they lose weight, get fit, and learn how to live a healthy lifestyle. Special sections, like the one for women over age 50, allow users to hone in on a focused and realistic set of goals to regain health and wellness. This site also coined the term "Healthtainment" to best describe the motivational and positive experience people have at SparkPeople.com.
- StickK: This site invites you to put a contract out on yourself. If you have goals such as running a marathon, quitting smoking, losing weight – anything that is bound to be better for your health – then you make a contract that binds you to a commitment for that goal. Although the contracts are serious, the site provides a nice contrast with levity: "stickK is the legitimate (and adorable) offspring of a marriage between two unlikely mates: Personal Experience and Scholarly Research. (And they said it wouldn’t last!)." The Commitment Contract concept is grounded on two well-known principles of behavioral economics: (1) people don’t always do what they claim they want to do, and (2) incentives get people to do things. Consumers can find both principles at work in this site. If nothing else has worked, perhaps this is the gold key to your success…
- Workout Dump: If you need motivation to help continue those workouts, perhaps Workout Dump will help. You can input your workout information, share data with friends via a personalized RSS feed, analyze changes in pace or calories burned, and export data directly into a spreadsheet to further analyze your progress.
The Blogosphere has exploded with health 2.0 blogs since the Health 2.0 Conference was held in September 2007. While some blogs may go the way of the dinosaur over time, most of the blogs listed below have been around longer than 2007, and they seem to carry the most interesting and insightful information for anyone who wants to understand the health 2.0 revolution.
- Crossover Health: Dr. Shreeve has been long known as a board certified Emergency Medicine physician who has been actively involved in the design, development, and distribution of life science technologies that improve the delivery of care and enhance the quality of life. He created this blog with a primary professional interest in the convergence of medicine, technology, and business. For this doctor, health care information technology is the nexus of these diverse interests. His professional objectives are to design, develop, and distribute health care technologies that enhance patient safety, increase clinical efficiency, and improve overall quality of care. While technology serves as the enabler for this goal, his focus is on the revolution of the entire health care industry. The ultimate goal? To "create a true consumer market for optimal health."
- Health Care Law Blog: Bob Coffield is a health care lawyer practicing at Flaherty, Sensabaugh & Bonasso, PLLC and blogging from Charleston, West Virginia. His focus is "on helping businesses and health care providers weave through a variety of state and federal health care regulations and assisting them in business transactions." The main interest is technological applications to the practice of law and medicine. Although this site is geared toward health care professionals, the consumer can learn much by browsing through the blog entries about the legal issues surrounding privacy of health data, social networking and the evolution and adoption of electronic medical record systems and other uses of technology.
- Healthcare Blog: Everything you wanted to know about the health care system but were afraid to ask is located within this blog. Since its inception in October 2003, The Health Care Blog (THCB) has acquired a reputation as one of the most respected independent voices in the health care industry speaker and consultant, Matthew Holt, created and maintains this blog as well as the Health 2.0 blog. The latter site was created directly from the conference held this past September. Holt has more than fourteen years’ experience in the health care industry, and he has worked with many leading health care companies. Both blogs provide a wealth of information about health care systems, including election information, the impact of social media, and – of course – health 2.0 issues. Writers are encouraged to contribute at both sites, and readers are welcome to comment as well.
- Healthcare Futures: Sometimes it takes someone with a lot of past to look to the future. Michael "Mike" Ryan, MBA, FACHE, has more than twenty years of business development, health care management and consulting experience. He is Chairman of Executive Impact Group based in San Francisco with its roots to the nation’s first health care consulting firms founded in the 1950s. He has served as a hospital and health system Chief Executive Officer in Louisiana and Florida, and has served as Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer of an international health care consulting company with offices in Washington, D.C., Singapore and Rome. He is an advisor, investor or founder of several health care Internet companies including Hemisphere Health Care, Medical Alliances, Medical Registry USA.com, MyPsych.com, and HealthOnline.com. Mike is a recognized speaker, editor and is the creator and host of a national weekly chat forum for health care executives for America Online. He received his MBA from The George Washington University, Washington, D.C. He has bachelors degrees from Regis University in Denver, Colorado and completed graduate studies at Georgetown University and served as a White House Intern in Washington, D.C.
- HealthNex:: Many consumers are concerned about sharing their medical records online, and this blog – created by many of IBM’s thought leaders and experts who work with clients in all areas of health care and life science – addresses those issues. Blog entries include news on the Health 2.0 industry, including electronic health records, health information exchanges, clinical transformations, biobanking and more. The primary objective is to focus on practical ideas, programs and discussion of ways beneficial change can be realized faster and easier. "Of course, this blogging project is also intended to help people learn about the range and depth of IBM’s work in health care–and for us to learn from the rest of the world in return."
- MarketIntellNow: This blog is part of a larger picture, a company that rates physicians and that provides data about employer-sponsored PHR. While the special reports and the Wiki are not free to use, the blog is fascinating and free to browse. Interviews with many CEO’s from sites listed here and more are available for readers, and rankings of top firms also are available from a link in the sidebar. This is a great tool to use for insights into the companies and health 2.0 apps. More information means more trust, so this blog is lending credence to the health 2.0 community.
The future for health apps seems bright, if not a bit confusing. The explosion of new sites has made it difficult to choose what to use for consumer-based health initiatives. But, the following sites seem focused, with singular intents in most cases. The future seems to hold sites that offer localized help for consumers so that residents have information on hand that isn’t overwhelming and yet that is extremely helpful. On the other hand, some of the sites listed below are just plain amazing. Whoever thought about shopping for a diagnosis and remedies through an online mall had the future well nailed.
- American Well: Based in Boston, Massachusetts, American Well was founded in 2006 by Drs. Roy and Ido Schoenberg, and is the founders’ third venture in the health care technology field. In this instance, they’ve created a new health care marketplace where consumers and physicians can come together online to acquire and provide convenient and immediate health care services. Using the latest technologies in Web communications and digital telephony, the company extends traditional health care services to the home setting.
- be.YOU.tv: This app applies a "TV" persona to pay-per view online viewing on issues that range from fitness to personal and spiritual growth. Users can pick a plan between a daily or monthly pass or a free 7-day trial to view videos online that promote healthier living. The viewings consist of full-screen and ad-free broadcast quality videos on topics such as yoga, Chinese cooking, meditation, Kung Fu and more. The community is a bit misleading, as it doesn’t encourage viewer feedback. Instead, this site offers more information on the broadcast and its author/star.
- Carol: Carol is a shopping portal for people who need care packages for illnesses and injuries based upon gender and body parts. You can purchase anything from classes and coaching for pregnancy wellness to care packages for the evaluation and treatment of ingrown toenails. Users also can shop for treatment centers and join in community feedback. Users also can purchase charitable contributions to offer care packages to community members who cannot afford health care services.
- I’m Too Young for This!: A TIME Magazine Best 50 Website for 2007, the "I’m Too Young For This! Cancer Foundation" (iy) is a survivor-led advocacy, support and research organization working exclusively on behalf of survivors and care providers who are under age 40. This foundation uses music, the arts and social media to organize, mobilize and activate young adults to the cause, destigmatize cancer as a death sentence and make it hip to talk openly about "stupid cancer."
- San Francisco On Call Medical Group: Although this app is location-specific, it deserves a mention because it is expanding and because it is focused more on the average Joe and Jane rather than the rich who can afford concierge medical services. This business, which serves seven Bay Area counties, was started 10 years ago by Dr. Jordan Shlain. The group has since grown to six physicians and recently expanded to the Palm Springs area. Although the doctors in this home-calling (and hotel-calling) practice don’t accept insurance, they accept credit cards and help patients to file insurance claims. Most visits cost less than a trip to a doctor’s office or emergency care center, especially if you’re a regular client.
- Sermo: Although this site is for physicians and health care workers only, we wanted to include it to show how the field of health care is growing to fit into the health 2.0 revolution. This site allows physicians from around the country to post medical conditions, to make comments on previous posts, and to expand a nationwide wealth of knowledge about diseases and injuries. Sermo enablesdoctors to gain insights immediately from a peer community rather than wade through conventional sources that may be outdated and obsolete. There is no cost for physicians to participate, and a cash reserve is set-aside to compensate physicians for observations that are deemed highly relevant and valuable. We’re all for telling our doctors about this site!
- SugarStats: Perhaps one day every disease and injury will have its own Web site, where users can gain control of their health through tools such as this. SugarStats allows diabetics access to a simple and easy-to-use interface to input and access data from home, school, work, on the road or just about anywhere at all. "All you need is a web browser and the desire to take control of your diabetes." The day view is the core of the system where users can input statistics for any given day. Each day has 4 different modules to add/edit/delete statistics for blood sugar readings, medication, food intake and physical activity. The site also offers a blog that contains interviews, information about diabetes updates and news, and answers to simple questions about the site. This site enables diabetics to visualize their health trends and sugar levels, and it provides a great tool for the diabetics’ physicians as well.
- Wellocities: Wellocities was founded in 2007 and was created to improve the lives of Canadians with chronic conditions. While this site currently is a "place for Canadians with Diabetes," the concept is one that could serve entire nations of people who could share their support systems even as they travel. Canadians with diabetes currently can find doctors, blog about their conditions, seek help, and conduct research on this site.
- Who is Sick?: We’re in the future, where ordinary citizens can log and keep track of epidemic outbreaks, food poisoning concentrations, and more through user-generated maps and forums. Users can post sickness information onto the map anonymously, search and filter for sicknesses by location, time, symptoms, sex, age and keywords, discuss issues and ask questions on forums, and gain access to analytics that show sickness trends and current outbreaks. Just remember that this Google Map app is user generated, so you may need to take some seemingly apparent epidemics with a grain of salt.
- ZocDoc: Not only can users find doctors and dentists through this site’s search engine, they can set appointments as well. Although the site currently serves only the New York area, it’s also in beta – this means that if a site like this can take off in one of the busiest cities in the U.S., perhaps it can prove successful in other cities across the nation. Then, users can view services, ratings and reviews on those services and make informed decisions before setting an appointment. Plus, the user can skip the task of calling an office and playing the "what do you have open" game before settling on a date and time that may not work for the patient. Cyrus Massoumi, CEO and founder, thought of this idea when his eardrum ruptured during a plane flight. "He tried to find an ENT specialist, but outdated insurance websites and full schedules made him live in pain for 4 days before he could finally see a doctor. Today, one of the largest ENT practices in Manhattan is on ZocDoc’s waiting list and will come online in 2008."
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