Everyday Health

With the explosion of the internet there are now countless places to get health information. Clearly there is one leader: WebMD. It has become a media behemoth. WebMD is to health websites what McDonalds is to hamburgers--but clearly with a more heart health approach. But McDonalds has Burger King, what’s the equivalent in the web health world? Maybe it’s this: everydayhealth.com. The site has been beta testing over the past three months and officially launched two weeks ago.

Dr. Holly Atkinson, Medical Editor in Chief of EverydayHealth.com says, “Part of the problem people have is sorting through he clutter, where’s my real risk and where do I get the biggest bang for the buck in terms of what behavior should I really be concentrating on what should I really care about.”

“Everyday Health is really a site to go and manage your health on line, (05:42) we found that there really wasn’t a good place for someone to go to manage their diabetes,” says Ben Wolin, CEO of Waterfront Media, the company which launched EverydayHealth.com. This is a personalized site--to your medical conditions, once you register.

The first step: the three minute health check. “Whether your immunizations are up to date, it also gets at some important family history heart disease diabetes cancer in the family, whether or not you wear a seatbelts. We give you a rank priority list of what you’re issues are and what suggestions are where to go on the site to get going to make a difference,” states Dr. Atkinson.

 So for example, say you have high cholesterol and diabetes. “Every time you come on to everyday health your personal home page will show you the new material that has come onto the site that is applicable to those conditions. For example you will see stories that are relevant to diabetes and heart disease, you can go into the recipe area and see new additions there so it really does help focus you,” Dr. Atkinson says.

 And those personal home pages change every day. So amidst the Yahoo’s and Ask.coms, which also have a health web presence, how long before Everydayheath truly becomes the number two to WebMD? “I think we are already there, we have 3 million people already registered for everyday health, we are growing at an amazing clip,” says Mr. Wolin.

 “WebMD has 8 million people registered on their core site, 14 million people in their network so we are already moving in the right direction.” We contacted WebMD to try to get their viewpoint on the health space on the web, and they declined an interview. There is no question, the purest health information is on government websites like that of the CDC.

However, they vary in how user friendly they are, and whether they are a pure encyclopedia of facts or something to help a person change a lifestyle. That being said, you do have to be careful about where you get information from on the web, and the NIH has guidelines for using website below. Know for profit sites are often paid for by pharmaceutical ads, but so is WebMD; it 4doesn’t make it bad, it can, however, influence the content on the site.

For more information on assessing health websites, visit "National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine(NCCAM)."


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