It is a fortunate thing to have health insurance and to be able to go see a doctor when something goes wrong, but like so many first world problems, I am annoyed at numerous inefficiencies in the process. Or at least the lack of alternatives to the process. But, as of today, an alternative is able to report a substantial amount of secured funding. And now a connection with a real, bonafide doctor is within the palm of my hand on my iPhone.
HealthTap is a new application that allows patients to post their questions that are instantly routed through the HealthTap network of doctors who can peer review one another on questions that match their specialities. Questions are limited to 150 characters (although more characters can be purchased for .99). What’s the incentive for health care professionals? HealthTap is making a play to become a single source of truth about doctor reputation and efficacy. Essentially, HealthTap becomes (for physicians) a marketing tool with which they can attract new clients.
So far, 739 million answers have gone out to more than a million users. And including other rounds of investment, this brings HealthTap’s fundraising to a comfortable $37.9 million. How they will monetize HealthTap is not yet quite clear. Will it be in selling enterprise-level plans to health care institutions? Or sharing its large stores of data with researchers and developers? It’s still not clear yet.