Revolution Health and the Wisdom of Crowds A New Health Portal Web Site

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A conversation with Jay Silverstein, COO of Revolution Health, about its new health portal web site. I am particularly interested in the “social networking” aspect of the site where users can rate products and post comments. Will pharmaceutical marketers warm up this site for advertising and sponsorship opportunities?

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BackgroundRevolution Health was founded in March 2005 by Steve Case, best known as the co-founder and former chief executive officer and chairman of America Online (AOL). According to the press release, Revolution Health’s goal is “to create products and services that empower people by putting them at the center of the health system.” A year and a half ago, when Revolution Health was pitching its services to pharma companies, some executives thought it would have a huge impact on healthcare, but others pooh-poohed the idea.

Now comes the portal site. I am particularly interested in the “social networking” aspect of the site where users can rate products and post comments, specifically in the Conditions & Treatments.

Questions/Topics Discussed

  • Has the launch been successful? Can you share with us some numbers regarding visits and registrations? Where do you expect to be 6 months from now, a year from now?
  • What are the most popular features of the site? Can you describe these?
  • The treatment rating system is interesting, but scary. There seems to be no way, for example, to rate the raters. One comment I received to my blog post was to break it down into ratings by consumers vs. healthcare profesionals, for example. Can you give us your views on this? Is this a work in progress?


  • I suppose would like to attract ads and sponsorships from pharmaceutical companies. However, many pharmaceutical marketers are shying away from user-generated content sites because of adverse even reporting issues or fear of eleiciting more negative comments about their products along side the ads. How are you responding to these concerns?

Guest Bio

Jay Silverstein , President and COO.  Mr. Silverstein joins RHG from Health Net Inc., where he was Chief Branding Officer. Prior to Health Net Inc., Mr. Silverstein was chief marketing officer and member of the Executive Council at UnitedHealthcare. Over his 20-year tenure, Mr. Silverstein has been instrumental in major sector shifts, including the development of the Point-of-Service category, the integration of complementary medicine into mainstream insurance, and the launch of physician report cards. Before joining UnitedHealthcare, Jay was the EVP, Chief Imagineer at Oxford Health Plans.  Mr. Silverstein is on the Strategic Advisory Board for Health Horizons/Institute for the Future.

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