Have a cold? Nasty rash? You are not alone. According to a recent study by Pew Research, ten million Americans per day use the Internet to search for health-related information. However, the majority are dissatisfied with their search experience: A study by JupiterResearch revealed that only 16% of adults who searched online for health information were satisfied with their findings. iMedix has the ambitious goal of changing that pattern. Say hello to the new digital chicken soup.
Tel Aviv based iMedix announced its official launch today, introducing a new breed to the health verticals on the web. Indexing millions of medical articles, pictures and videos, iMedix is a community-powered health search engine.
How does it work? Unlike sites like Healthline, iMedix built a collaborative community platform on top of its search engine, which allows users to enhance the information retrieved through search with real-time patient-to-patient interaction. iMedix uses patent-pending technology to analyze the users’ interaction with the medical reference material by ranking the pages that have proven to be most useful and relevant to other users searching for the same information. Additionally, iMedix highlights the pages certified by HON (Health On the Net Foundation), URAC (Utilization Review Accreditation Commission) and other organizations to help users make better health related decisions.
iMedix took the social features pretty far. Users can chat with one another in real time to discuss a burning issue. In addition, users can build communities focused on a single topic. While it may sound weird for an adult to discuss a personal health issue with a stranger, I can see this feature being popular with young parents and teenagers looking for information ranging from teething to puberty.
iMedix was co-founded in January of 2007, by CEO Amir Leitersdorf (who previously founded and sold Movota ltd) and CMO Iri Amirav (previously led the marketing division of metacafe.com). With $2M in angel founding thus far, I would say that iMedix is on a healthy path.
I had the chance to conduct a short interview the founders of iMedix. Short and sweet:
1. Can you tell me about imedix’s business model?
Amir Leitersdorf, CEO and Co-Founder said:
iMedix provides advertisers with an effective channel to offer relevant products and services to patients, based on their search queries and profiles. Our system can accurately identify specific individual healthcare needs and will be perfect for marketers in the healthcare industry (pharmaceuticals, insurance companies and health institutions).
2. Given the personal nature of health questions, what do you do to keep the privacy of your users?
3. Today’s social apps are moving more and more towards having a platform – how are you planning to open iMedix to the community?
Iri Amirav, CMO and Co-Founder said:
The Online Consumer Healthcare domain is still in its infancy. We have numerous ideas on further developments of our platform. We plan to examine each idea carefully due to the sensitivity of the material at hand. The current iMedix technology was developed based on a lot of feedback received from early users of the system.