TECH: Things hotting up as Revolution’s official launch coming up

The prospect of Revolution Health’s official launch (it’s actually up already but is relaunching this Thursday) has generated favorable press in the NY Times for Steve Case and crew. Milt Freudenheim’s done his homework, mostly. He essentially says that the pack of contenders includes Revolution, WebMD, Google (although nothing official announced from them yet–stay tuned), Yahoo, About.com (a sop I think to the NYTimes corporate sister) and the big health plans. He talks a bit about the limited use thus far of PHRs (no surprise there other than not mentioning why they might grow). The only surprising thing is that there’s another potential competitor of Google, Revolution et al that has plenty of money, a decent track record in software, a significant online network, and has just bought a health care search engine—But Milt never mentions the boys (and girls) from Redmond. Methinks that there’ll be some shouting from them before the large lady chants.

My only complaint is that Revolution’s board is made up of a bunch of rich people who haven’t exactly covered themselves in glory in their recent business (or political) ventures including it must be said Steve Case himself—(other than the brilliant move of selling AOL at a hugely inflated price to the buffoons at Time Warner). But it doesn’t mention their management team which is pretty steeped in health care and technology and pretty smart. If I was interested in gauging Revolution’s success I’d think that they’re more important than what, say, Carly Fiorina thinks. But she’s got $21m more than most of us…

Categories: Uncategorized

Tagged as:

9 replies »

  1. Have any of you visited Revolution’s site? It is definitely infotainment and trying to be everything for everyone in health information content…..cracks me up, like a People Magazine for health.

  2. I respect what Steve Case is trying to do but I would have thought he’d learned the lessons of AOL. It’s simple: users aren’t as interested in content portals as they are in well-designed tools and focused destinations. AOL grew on the strength of providing Internet and email access, not its hand-picked content (which eventually became a liability). As better and cheaper providers of individual services appeared (Internet access, email, search), AOL watched its value disappear until having an AOL email address became an embarassment.
    Similarly, any patient or physician savvy enough to use the Internet to manage their health interests will seek out the best solution for each problem. That translates to separate vendors for health information search, medical reference, personal health records, physician communications, patient social networking, medical products and services shopping, etc. Trying to be everything for everyone is a recipe for disaster.

  3. The NY Times article really didn’t say anything. More of a PR release disguised as a genuine news article. Still, I am very interested to see how Revolution competes with WebMD and Google.
    WebMD already has some brand name cache with customers and heavily advertises via several different types of media (including TV). The real strategy question is how does Revolution Health focus and implement their ad campaign to create customer awarness and ultimately drive web traffic.
    Either take a more gradual approach or try to slingshot right to the top. It depends on how willing Revolution Health is to increase their cash burn rate. My guess it that it is going to be like a heavyfight in the first 2 rounds. Revolution Health is going to throw alot of jabs and hooks to see what hurts WebMD but no uppercuts in the immediate future.
    Regardless of what WebMD and RevolutionHealth do, everything is really waiting to see the other shoe drop with Google. Google commands a commanding 50% of online market searches and has a pile of cash. Google has tinkered around the edges but hasn’t dropped that killer healthcare app or feature yet. Stay tuned.

  4. What I want to know is why Steve Case pushed aside John Pleasants as CEO. There was not a peep from the company about the most crucial management change you can think of. Yet this is easy to track down, as January press release lists Pleasants as CEO, while now Case is listed in the management bios section.
    Raging sign of confidence in their business plan? You Matthew should really get to the bottom of this as an alpha blogger known for unbiased reporting!
    Let’s see where is the beef!

  5. Revolution Health, like all companies attempting a web 2.0 play, is subject to a significant network effect and thus in a race to build a large base of installed users. There is no such thing as a #2 in this game and they are playing it by the book. Steve Case is everywhere and so are many of RH employees, actively commenting on every blog that mentions their company (as proven by your post). They are also managing consumer expectations using penetration pricing, leveraging Case´s reputation, making product preannouncements. They are ambitious and very active in communicating and praising their company – the right way to play this game.

  6. One of the worst embarassments in the business community and the business press is that Carly Fiorina, who was a mediocre CEO at best, is given any notice. She, in my opinion, perjured herself in the Delaware court testifying about the HP/Compaq merger and instead of pointing that fact out, the press fawned over how composed she was.

  7. I appreciate the post, and would agree that our outstanding healthcare team is one of our greatest assets. Please see this link to take a peek at the 130+ healthcare professionals on the RHG team: http://www.revolutionhealth.com/about/medical-expert-team/
    Also… there’s an exciting new feature (about to be revealed) that allows physicians to customize the site to their needs. In other words, they can click and drag the best of Revolution content (about a given topic) onto a clipboard and use it for patient education purposes. I predict that this will be a particularly valuable and enthusiasm-generating feature! So stay tuned…
    Val Jones, MD, MA
    Senior Medical Director
    Revolution Health