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The Revolution Begins: A Sneak Peak At Revolution Health’s Beta Website

Update: Revolution Health is now inviting people to join its Website.  Click here to learn more.

This morning, Steve case, co-founder and former CEO of AOL, posted an article on a password-protected blog on Revolution Health’s beta Website about why he launched the company.  He said:

“After leaving AOL, I thought long and hard about what I should do next.  I felt that health care was in dire need of transformative change, and decided to build another company that could be a change agent, with the goal of shifting power into the hands of people themselves . . . Even though the United States has many of the world's best doctors, hospitals, and technologies, the ‘system’ continues to make things difficult, cumbersome and frustrating.  The system doesn't need incremental band aid type approaches.  It needs fresh thinking.   It needs a revolution, led by the people, for the people.  And that's what we're hoping to catalyze at Revolution Health.” 

Yes, after months of planning and speculation, Revolution Health preparing its debut.  This morning, I received an e-mail penned by Revolution’s CEO John Pleasants from a colleague of mine with ties to the company.  In the e-mail, Pleasants invited readers to visit and comment on a beta Website the company has launched.  The Website’s purpose is to provide consumers with tools that will help them:

- Organize their health information

- Rate their doctor

- Develop a community of engaged consumers who share information about insurance companies, via blogs, online bulletin boards and other forms of user-generated content 

- Search for healthcare and medical information

Revolution Health Is Trying To Solve Many Of Consumer Driven Healthcare's Problems

One of the major problems with consumer driven healthcare is that people do not have the information or tools they need to make informed choices about their health.  For example:

- They don’t know the price and quality of healthcare services  

- Insurance bills are hard to decipher

- People pick physicians out of a book and have little knowledge about them  

- They get limited support when trying to hew to a diet or exercise program  

- There are few places for consumers to store and access their medical records

- Information about drugs and medical procedures is scattered across the Internet

- They have to sift through millions of results on search engines to find relevant content   

After browsing Revolution’s Website, it became very clear to me that the company is attempting to solve many of these problems.  Case and colleagues clearly want their Website to become THE destination for people looking for any kind of healthcare information.

A Brief Tour Of Revolution Health’s Beta Website 

To view the site, Revolution asks you to register.  For those of you that don’t want to go through the trouble, following is a brief tour of the beta site.  (Disclosure: Revolution Health gave me permission to publish screen shots of its Website.)

The Home Page

After a quick glance at the home page, it is clear that Revolution is trying to provide consumers with actionable information about their health.  It provides:

- Assessment tools such as symptom checkers and health calculators

- Health Guides who will provide customized healthcare content to users

- Disease management tools such as cancer prevention programs

Consumer-Generated Content

Revolution Health recognizes that user-generated content is becoming increasingly important to healthcare consumers.  The company is hosting numerous blogs, discussion boards and other online forums filled with information from consumers about everything from Lasik surgery to health insurance.

Helping Consumers Choose Health Insurance

Each year companies and government agencies ask consumers to pick from a menu of insurance options.  Some are starting to offer high deductible health insurance plans like Health Savings Accounts.  However, according to a Harris/WSJ poll, many people are not planning on enrolling.  Revolution is seeking to help people do this with tools that will:

- Let people shop for insurance plans by zip code and
personal preference

- Research and learn about insurance

- Consult brokers that will guide them to the best insurance packages

What Revolution Health’s Impact Be?

When Revolution Health officially launches next year, it is guaranteed that it will generate lots of discussion.  The company is betting that people are tired of going to many places to find healthcare information.  They want to become THE source for health content and hope that people won’t go anywhere else. 

Will it work?  Revolution Health will only be successful if it is comprehensive and provides an excellent user experience.  That means it has to have the most active community and the best healthcare content.

What about the trust equation?  We live in a world where big organizations are trusted less than you and me.  How transparent will Revolution Health be about the companies it chooses to highlight?  How will it vet content (user and medical) on the site and ensure that it is accurate and reliable? 

How will Revolution Health impact other companies in this space?  As I browsed through the site, I saw that it is competing with a lot of other firms such as:

- Health focused search engines like Healia and Healthline

- Social networks like OrganizedWisdom and Trusted.MD

- Doctor rating sites like

Clearly, these companies will need to differentiate themselves from Revolution Health in order to protect their user base and market share.

Is Revolution Health Trying To Do Too Much?

The folks at Revolution Health are justifiably excited about the company.  However, others I’ve spoken with about Revolution Health are concerned that it is trying to do too much.  Will it be able to manage all of its features and ensure that they are well-executed?  Will it be a catalyst or foe of innovation?  Is it too big?

These are all excellent questions.  We’ll see how/whether they will be answered.

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5 Comments/Trackbacks

Fard - wasn't sure if you were aware but is also now open for public use and actually, one of Revelution's Product Manager (over SimoHealth) was/is a private alpha tester of the web app. Also, Intuit's team was/has been given open access to the app.

MedBillManager is focused on making dealing with medical bills easy as well as allowing the community of users to anonymously compare what they paid, were reimbursed, etc to other users.

Since we have been so open in letting Revolution and Intuit learn from our app and tool... just thought we'd mention that our app is available NOW for people that need immediate help and is free vs. $39 (Revolution's SimoHealth) or $48 (Intuit) for one or 2 people to use.


Thanks for your comment and for alerting me to MedBillManager. I'll take a closer look at the site and may cover it at some point in the future.

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