This is part of our Creative Destruction 7 Act play series. The market we are currently focused on is Healthcare. In Part 1 we looked at the big picture. In this Part 2 we drill into consumer health sites that are leveraging semantic web technology. In Part 3 we will look at innovation in the enterprise space, how semantic web technology is being used by researchers in pharma and biotech firms.

This is part of our Creative Destruction 7 Act play series. The market we are currently focused on is Healthcare. In Part 1 we looked at the big picture. In this Part 2 we drill into consumer health sites that are leveraging semantic web technology. In Part 3 we will look at innovation in the enterprise space, how semantic web technology is being used by researchers in pharma and biotech firms.

The Power Of Structure

Health information is ideally suited to RDF structure. Most of it can be represented by something like this graph:

- this Disease comes from

- these Causes

- has the following Symptoms

- can be detected via these Diagnoses

- and can be helped by these Treatments

- which you can get from these Sources

Traditional text search is only useful for finding sites that have these words and page rank is a reasonable proxy for credibility of the sites. But that is very limited. It is fine for simple searches such as finding a restaurant or new shoes. But health information is complex.

Most patients start their search with symptoms. So that is a common entry node to the graph. But a patient can come in at other nodes. They may search on a specific treatment to get a “second opinion” on something that has been recommended. Or they may start with Disease that they have just been diagnosed with.

The monetization all happens at the last part – Sources of drugs or specialist medical services.

Healthline: White Label Strategy

Everybody is concerned about their health to some degree. The focus may vary by age – a totally healthy 20 year old might be more concerned with increasing athletic capability than researching a debilitating disease – but we all want better health. So you tend to find health information on mainstream consumer web sites such as Yahoo, AOL, AARP and iVillage. Those sites cannot afford to be deep domain experts in health information. So many of them use a “white label” provider such as Healthline.

Healthline also powers healthcare specific services from insurance companies such as UnitedHealth and Aetna as well as medical publishers such as Gale Cengage, StayWell and ADAM.

HealthMash: Looks Like Real Semantic Web

Linked Data is all about mashups. And that is what a new entry to the health information services is called – HealthMash.

HealthMash has built a proprietary Health Knowledge Base that “automatically generated from trusted health content sites and diverse knowledge sources, such as MeSH and UMLS (Unified Medical Language System)”. They claim “60,000 concepts and millions of concept-pair associations”. They are aiming for 4 million concepts with tens of millions of relationships.

If you search on say “Diabetes” you see these more structured drill down search option:

HealthMash1.png
HealthMash2.png
HealthMash3.png

HealthMash is also taking a white label approach as they explain on their site:
“The Health Knowledge Base is also available through an API or as a web service. The HealthMash search widget can be added to websites for free. ”

WebMD, RightHealth and EveryDayHealth

Here is what Compete shows for the 3 biggest consumer health information sites Unique Visitors:

- WebMD: 13.2m

- RightHealth: 4.8m

- EveryDayHealth: 5.8m

WebMD, an early pioneer, clearly keeps their lead. with over 13 million unique visitors per month.

The ability of these sites to add better searching via semantic web technology is likely to be a differentiator in the future and they will have the option of building internally or partnering with a white label provider such as HealthLine and HealthMash.

Google Not Leveraging Rich Snippets Yet

Some people may have favorite health sites. Others may start from sites such as Yahoo or iVillage. But most still jump first to that Google search bar. So that is the bar that the specialists have to jump over (sorry about the pun). So how does a Google search on diabetes compare with the same search on HealthMash?

Badly. You might expect to see links to the nodes related to the disease – symptoms, causes, treatments. Nope. Not yet.

Google has left this market wide open for now.

Microsoft Medstory

The gorilla battle in consumer healthcare is between Google and Microsoft.

Microsoft acquired Medstory. That service is still in Beta.

But check out their search on diabetes:

Medstory.png
Medstory2.png

Wow! Google is way better than Microsoft at search, right? Not in healthcare, that is for sure!

Time for Google to buy HealthMash? This is one case where ontologies are a core competitive advantage.

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CONVERT BREAKS: __default__

The Power Of Structure

Health information is ideally suited to RDF structure. Most of it can be represented by something like this graph:

- this Disease comes from

- these Causes

- has the following Symptoms

- can be detected via these Diagnoses

- and can be helped by these Treatments

- which you can get from these Sources

Traditional text search is only useful for finding sites that have these words and page rank is a reasonable proxy for credibility of the sites. But that is very limited. It is fine for simple searches such as finding a restaurant or new shoes. But health information is complex.

Most patients start their search with symptoms. So that is a common entry node to the graph. But a patient can come in at other nodes. They may search on a specific treatment to get a “second opinion” on something that has been recommended. Or they may start with Disease that they have just been diagnosed with.

The monetization all happens at the last part – Sources of drugs or specialist medical services.

Healthline: White Label Strategy

Everybody is concerned about their health to some degree. The focus may vary by age – a totally healthy 20 year old might be more concerned with increasing athletic capability than researching a debilitating disease – but we all want better health. So you tend to find health information on mainstream consumer web sites such as Yahoo, AOL, AARP and iVillage. Those sites cannot afford to be deep domain experts in health information. So many of them use a “white label” provider such as Healthline.

Healthline also powers healthcare specific services from insurance companies such as UnitedHealth and Aetna as well as medical publishers such as Gale Cengage, StayWell and ADAM.

HealthMash: Looks Like Real Semantic Web

Linked Data is all about mashups. And that is what a new entry to the health information services is called – HealthMash.

HealthMash has built a proprietary Health Knowledge Base that “automatically generated from trusted health content sites and diverse knowledge sources, such as MeSH and UMLS (Unified Medical Language System)”. They claim “60,000 concepts and millions of concept-pair associations”. They are aiming for 4 million concepts with tens of millions of relationships.

If you search on say “Diabetes” you see these more structured drill down search option:

HealthMash1.png
HealthMash2.png
HealthMash3.png

HealthMash is also taking a white label approach as they explain on their site:
“The Health Knowledge Base is also available through an API or as a web service. The HealthMash search widget can be added to websites for free. ”

WebMD, RightHealth and EveryDayHealth

Here is what Compete shows for the 3 biggest consumer health information sites Unique Visitors:

- WebMD: 13.2m

- RightHealth: 4.8m

- EveryDayHealth: 5.8m

WebMD, an early pioneer, clearly keeps their lead. with over 13 million unique visitors per month.

The ability of these sites to add better searching via semantic web technology is likely to be a differentiator in the future and they will have the option of building internally or partnering with a white label provider such as HealthLine and HealthMash.

Google Not Leveraging Rich Snippets Yet

Some people may have favorite health sites. Others may start from sites such as Yahoo or iVillage. But most still jump first to that Google search bar. So that is the bar that the specialists have to jump over (sorry about the pun). So how does a Google search on diabetes compare with the same search on HealthMash?

Badly. You might expect to see links to the nodes related to the disease – symptoms, causes, treatments. Nope. Not yet.

Google has left this market wide open for now.

Microsoft Medstory

The gorilla battle in consumer healthcare is between Google and Microsoft.

Microsoft acquired Medstory. That service is still in Beta.

But check out their search on diabetes:

Medstory.png
Medstory2.png

Wow! Google is way better than Microsoft at search, right? Not in healthcare, that is for sure!

Time for Google to buy HealthMash? This is one case where ontologies are a core competitive advantage.

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• Don’t forget to propose your startup for our Semantic Web Impact Awards. The deadline is Sept. 15.

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