Sharecare

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Sharecare
Type Private
Founded 2009
Headquarters Atlanta, USA
Key people Jeffrey T. Arnold (CEO), Dawn Whaley (Co-President), Justin Ferrero (Co-President), Russ Johannesson (COO), Dr. Keith Roach (Chief Medical Officer)
Industry Digital Health
Website www.sharecare.com

Sharecare is a health and wellness engagement platform that provides consumers with personalized information, programs and resources to improve their health. The personalized information served to the site's users is based on their responses to the RealAge Test, the company's scientifically-based health risk assessment. Sharecare also offers a clinical decision support tool, AskMD, to help people determine what might be wrong with them. Headquartered in Atlanta, Sharecare was founded in 2009 by Jeffrey T. Arnold (founder of WebMD) and Dr. Mehmet Oz, in partnership with Harpo Studios, Sony Pictures Television and Discovery Communications.[1][2]

Services[edit]

While Sharecare began as an interactive question-and-answer (Q&A) platform allowing visitors to “ask, learn and act upon” questions about health and wellness,[3] the company has expanded its products and services over the last several years, both through internal development and strategic acquisitions of companies including RealAge, The Little Blue Book, PKC Corporation and BACTES Imaging Solutions. [4][5][6][7]

Sharecare.com is built on a social content platform that aims to simplify the search for health information by curating the collective wisdom of vetted medical experts. Much of the content on Sharecare is contributed by organizations like AARP, the American Cancer Society, the American Heart Association, the American Red Cross, the National Academy of Sports Medicine, and medical professionals like Dr. Mehmet Oz, Dr. Dean Ornish and Dr. Michael Roizen.[8] Questions are also answered by medical centers such as the Cleveland Clinic and Johns Hopkins.[9] These contributors are known as “experts” on the site, and the Sharecare platform allows these experts to answer questions and engage in conversations about health.[10]

The RealAge Test is a scientifically-based health risk assessment created by doctors including Dr. Mike Roizen, Dr. Mehmet Oz and Dr. Keith Roach which determines the biological age of a person's body based on an online questionnaire about their health status, and good and bad health habits. Taken by more than 35 million people, the RealAge Test examines up to 125 factors related to a person's overall health, including health, feelings, diet, and fitness. Questions range from how often people eat fish versus red meat to exercise and sleep habits, asthma, smoking, aspirin use, cancer history, parental longevity, and conditions such as high blood pressure and diabetes. In January 2014, PLOS ONE published a study validating the RealAge Test as a more accurate predictor of mortality than calendar age and the Framingham Risk Score.[11]

AskMD, launched in December 2013, is a web-based application, as well as a free app for iPhone and iPod touch that helps people collect information about symptoms, learn more about common causes, and connect them to the doctors and specialists qualified to treat them. AskMD aims to help consumers get organized around their health and have a more productive doctor's visit by guiding users through a personalized questionnaire that takes into account symptoms and other factors, like medications and known conditions, and matches answers against the latest clinical research. AskMD’s clinical knowledge management system was developed through Sharecare’s acquisition of PKC Corporation, with the vision of bringing evidence-based medicine to patients and providers, and enabling clinically-informed communications. AskMD has received multiple awards, including Best Medical App at the 4th Annual Appy Awards, and was named an official 2014 Webby Award honoree in Mobile & Apps: Health & Fitness.[12][13]

Knowledge Partners[edit]

Concerns have been raised regarding the bias of answers provided on Sharecare.com by “knowledge partners," or paid sponsors.[14] Such knowledge partners include (among others): Colgate-Palmolive; Pfizer; Unilever (Dove skin-care products); health insurer UnitedHealthcare; and Walgreens drug stores.[15] In June 2013, the American Dental Association (ADA) withdrew as a knowledge partner in response to what it considered an irresponsible attack on the "Dr. Oz Show" on the use of dental amalgam. ADA President Dr. Robert A Faiella summed up the group's reaction by stating: "As a science-based organization, we should always welcome inquiry, but we should not be seen as supporting the promotion of misleading information unsupported by the best science." [16]

Answers provided by knowledge partners are labeled to distinguish from other contributions.

Advisory Board[edit]

Sharecare's Advisory Board members provide guidance and input on matters of content, scope and evolving issues of health education for Sharecare's consumer and professional audiences. Their contributions are not limited to the area of content and editorial; they also represent Sharecare in an official capacity as media representatives, advisors, and moderators in each member's clinical specialty.

Featured Experts and Knowledge Partners[edit]

Some of the featured experts and knowledge partners found on Sharecare.com include:

See also[edit]

  • HealthTap – a mobile health platform with Q&A and tips from 38,000 U.S. doctors
  • Answers.com – a similar QA resource
  • WebMD – a similar health care information resource

External links[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Elliott, Stuart (2010-10-06). "Web Site to Offer Health Advice, Some of It From Marketers". New York Times. Retrieved 2011-04-02. 
  2. ^ "Dr. Mehmet Oz and Internet Entrepreneur, Jeff Arnold, Announce Sharecare Inc.,a Web 3.0 Platform, Organizing and Answering the Questions of Health". Bloomberg. November 2, 2009. Retrieved 2011-04-02. 
  3. ^ "Sharecare aims to be humble host for health apps". MobiHealthNews. 2010-10-21. Retrieved 2011-04-02. 
  4. ^ "Sharecare Announces $14 Million Growth Equity Financing Led by Galen Partners, the Acquisition of The Little Blue Book Physician Reference and Jeff Arnold to be CEO". Sharecare. 2012-01-17. 
  5. ^ "Sharecare Announces the Acquisition of RealAge". Sharecare. 2012-03-12. 
  6. ^ "Sharecare Announces the Acquisition of PKC Corporation". Sharecare. 2012-06-18. 
  7. ^ "Sharecare Announces Acquisition of BACTES". Sharecare. 2013-07-01. 
  8. ^ Elliott, Stuart (2010-10-06). "Web Site to Offer Health Advice, Some of It From Marketers". ’’The New York Times’’. 
  9. ^ Moukheiber, Zina (2010-11-16). "Names You Need To Know In 2011: Sharecare". Forbes. 
  10. ^ "Dr. Mehmet Oz and Jeff Arnold launch Sharecare.com, where experts share their knowledge with consumers". Health in 30. 2010-10-08. Retrieved 2011-03-28. 
  11. ^ "Prediction of Mortality Using On-Line, Self-Reported Health Data: Empirical Test of the Realage Score". PLOS ONE. 2014-01-17. 
  12. ^ "Sharecare’s AskMD Wins Appy Award for Best Medical App". VentureBeat. 2014-05-23. 
  13. ^ "Mobile health apps from EHR to diabetes picked as Webby award honorees". MedCityNews. 2014-04-18. 
  14. ^ Burkitt, Laurie (2009-11-19). "WebMD Founder Matches Marketers With Consumers Who Have Health Concerns". Forbes. 
  15. ^ Elliott, Stuart (2010-10-06). "Web Site to Offer Health Advice, Some of It From Marketers". The New York Times. 
  16. ^ Soderland, Kelly (2013-06-10). "ADA and Sharecare part ways". ADA News.