The Facebook of health information?

Lauren Zuzelski's picture

Dr. Oz is all abuzz and excited about a health and wellness social media platform – Sharecare – that launched in 2010 by the founder of WebMD, saying it is the “Facebook of health information”.

Sharecare claims to be a social media platform that allows people to ask/learn and act upon question of health and wellness, creating an active community where knowledge is shared and put into practice. So, I decided to check it out to see if there was any truth to his claim.

I began my experience by asking a common health question:

What foods should I eat during pregnancy?

I was surprised and impressed with the simple, easy to understand answers that could be filtered by contributor:

Filter 7 answers by contributor:

Within each answer, users can rate if they felt the answer was helpful. But, out of the 4 searches I did, no one had actually rated any of the answers. 

I also noticed that many of the topics and questions that I searched came back with little or no answers.

I then tried the “experts and people” section:

You can search for experts, people or organizations. I began my search for an “expert” in family medicine in my zip code. My results were less than successful. While a lot of results appeared, none of them had actually been updated by the practice/doctor to include any information that would make my search easier. Instead, it was generic listings of family practice doctors. No reviews, no ratings, this was info I could have found simple by starting at Google.

Dr. Jerry Nosanchuk, DO - Family Medicine

The “topics” section kept giving me an error, so I was unable to review that.

The “videos” section also left much to be desired.  It was confusing and seemed very generic. Even the categories available seemed limited.

Videos

Then I moved onto the Health Reference section – which to me was by far the most impressive section of the entire site.

You could easily search articles, research a drug, look of symptoms, browse treatment options, they even have a “pill identifier” if you don’t know what something is. I tried all of the searches out and was happy with the results.

What is this medicine?

Search by imprint, shape, or color

Overall, my opinion stands that Sharecare had potential of making health information searches easy, but not with their limited network. They really need to do some heavy marketing and pitching to doctors/practices/etc. to expand their reach.

Also, based on the Pew Internet & American Life Project recently released their Health Online 2013 report, a lot of the facts support the fact that the direction of the social media platform may not be the best idea:

  • 8 in 10 health inquiries start at a search engine, only 1% of people say they start their search on a social network.
  • Only 1 in 5 internet users have consulted online reviews/rankings of health care services or treatments.
  • People are less likely to post a review of a treatment/hospital/clinician, only 3-4% have done so.

What are your thoughts on Sharecare?  Have you seen any other healthcare social media platforms that you think are worth sharing?

Download our free whitepaper: Selling Pinterest to your hospital C-Suite.

subscribe

Enter your email address:

Comments 2 Add yours below

I signed up for Sharecare during last year's New Year's resolutions as a part of Dr. Oz's weight loss campaign. Initially, I received a weekly email with weight loss tips. These emails fell off by about March and I didn't receive another one again until, coincidentally, this morning. The tips are pretty generic "Write down your weight loss goals." Overall, I wasn't very impressed. I didn't think the service added anything to the overall campaign.

Mary - Thanks for your comment. After I signed up, I didn't even receive any follow-up, not even a canned "thanks for joining." I'm interested to see if the whole site is just going to fizzle out or if they are going to start to put actual effort towards supporting the site.

Why Brogan?

Results. Strategic insights that deliver more "aha" moments. Creative that makes an emotional connection. Account service that creates happy clients. And metrics that move your business forward. We guarantee you'll be delighted.

Client Hurrahs

  • Brogan & Partners has worked on a wide variety of health issues for us over the years. They have not only consistently provided innovative ideas and award winning campaigns, but they continue to help us work towards our overall goal of improving the health of Michigan residents.  Their creativity, expertise, and enthusiasm makes them an invaluable partner in our... More

  • Hiring Brogan & Partners to help Michigan Women’s Foundation create the brand and messaging around the campaign to raise millions of dollars to solve the backlog of untested rape kits in Detroit was a slam dunk!  With a well-deserved reputation for getting to the heart of complex and highly-charged issues with clear, action-driven communications, the Brogan team... More

  • A well-oiled machine operates at full performance, fluid and unyielding. At Frankenmuth Insurance we have often referred to Brogan & Partners as a well-oiled machine. Our experience with Brogan has been very strong and successful from the start. We view our partners at Brogan as an extension of our own staff. They are readily available to us at any time and deliver... More

  • When launching a startup, resources are very constrained and a startup has to pick its partners very carefully and with deliberation. There were many services that we have had to forego in the early stages of our company, Memloom. One crucial need, however, was identifying and aligning with a strong marketing partner who could help us with our brand, positioning and... More

  • We have been working with the Brogan team for the past 18 months. The Brogan team has truly been our marketing partner. They guided us through development our brand and messaging. They lead our our website redesign and deployment. And they provide excellent counsel on business development and market entry strategies. More

  • From the very first meeting we had with Brogan & Partners, it was clear that they had done their research on PREZIO Health, our competitors and the industry.  It has been  a very positive experience working with the Brogan & Partners team to re-design all of our service and product sheets as well as the total re-design of our website.  Their creativity is top-... More

Tweets, Blog Posts and Tidbits...

Connect With Us