OrganizedWisdom Recruits Experts to Filter Health Information on the Web
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how vitamin D might decrease the risk of the eye disease macular degeneration, and another about scientists studying stem cell transplants for muscle regeneration.
But some of the links I was sent were rather extraneous. I chose the “all experts” option for sleep just to see what would happen. I received one article about a shelter dog in California that was saved from being euthanized, and another that contained a link to a photo of a sleeping kitten. Yes, the word “sleep” appeared in both articles, but they didn’t exactly fit the bill of useful health content.
Stoakes says OrganizedWisdom is fine-tuning the alerts system by developing tools that will filter out links to marketing material and useless content of the sleeping-kitten variety. The company is also building a button that users can press to indicate when they like or dislike a particular link they’re sent.
Another new addition is a free mobile toolbox for the 6,000 experts who are featured on the site. Each expert is given an OrganizedWisdom URL, which links to a profile of that expert and a list of all the content from him or her that OrganizedWisdom has collected. “They can then control their profile and help improve it,” Stoakes says. “They can edit the streams, they can add more streams.” The idea is to provide a way for, say, a doctor to refer patients to content on the Web that they have vetted. “Rather than telling a patient to go to Google or WebMD and search for information on a disease, they send them to something that they have created.”
Stoakes says the company is laying the foundation to provide premium services to doctors and other health professionals. And in June it will roll out a new service that incorporates government data into the health alerts. The information will come from healthdata.gov, a recently launched Web site that pulls together claims data and other information from federal agencies ranging from Health and Human Services to the FDA.
“So if you subscribe to anti-aging, the very first thing you’ll get is a welcome package of the best information the government has on anti-aging,” Stoakes says. “Your first exposure to the topic will be a dossier, to help get you up to speed.”
Levin says it was OrganizedWisdom’s evolving strategy that inspired him to get involved. In 2002, Levin, who suffers from Parkinson’s Disease, opened a wellness clinic called Moonview Sanctuary in Santa Monica, CA. He was introduced to OrganizedWisdom by New York entrepreneur Esther Dyson, an earlier investor in the site. (Dyson is also one of our own Xconomists). “Esther knew about my passion for health and wellness,” Levin says. “I got emotionally attached to OrganizedWisdom’s strategy. They have a mission to elevate the standard of care in this country. At Moonview, we have the same mission.”
OrganizedWisdom may not get as much attention as better-known health sites like WebMD, but it’s starting to gain some attention—both online and off. It recently formed a partnership with Reader’s Digest that will bring material from the website into 300,000 doctors’ offices. Starting in the third quarter, issues of Reader’s Digest will be polybagged with wisdom cards that cover some of the most common health conditions, such as diabetes, heart disease, and obesity, Stoakes says. Each card will include 10 or so links to online resources patients can consult on those topics.
Just after our lunch, Stoakes and his co-workers got OrganizedWisdom fully back online. The Amazon cloud disaster was over, and Stoakes turned his attention back to OrganizedWisdom’s master goal. “There’s this big gap between the doctor’s visit and the Internet,” he says. “Our whole mission has been to leverage the technologies and tools out there to close that gap.”
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