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HEALTH 2.0: Healthline personalizes Aetna (and more)

Healthline Networks is pursuing a really interesting strategy as it attempts to "dance with the elephants" in vertical search in health care. Today, it’s announcing a number of new partnerships and perhaps most interestingly a deal with Aetna, where the information in the members’ PHR will personalize their online experience. I sat down with Chairman and CEO West Shell yesterday to talk about what it means for the industry, for health plans and where he sees Healthline going.

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JoshDoubtergjuddAnonDoubter Recent comment authors
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Josh
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Josh

The CPM supported ad model is dead, or about to be dead. Pharma and Med Device are seeing very low if not negative ROIs on these types of campaigns. The only thing they care about is the cost per action they can gain and they would have to buy way too many impressions to make the CPM game work. The CTR on those ads is just way too low. As for PHR’s no consumer is interested in putting all that crap onto the internet. That is what we pay doctors for and deal with all their crap. Part of my… Read more »

gjudd
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gjudd

Anon, I like your spunk. But I don’t understand your obsession with my ‘not getting’ your ‘original point’, inasmuch as I took no issue with it. License away, Healthline, and fare thee well! I believe one of the many, many challenges they’ll encounter – as will the would-be PHR vendors – is the diffuse nature of the health care market. Just because one dollar of every 8 in our GDP is labeled ‘health care’ does not mean there is something even close to a homogenous market for ‘health care’. What are the ‘correct’ subdivisions? Beats me – but I predict… Read more »

Anon
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Anon

gjudd – I see that you are up to your normal witty posts. I never said that PHRs through advertising was a sure fire business model. It is an alternative though that should be tried since consumers have repeatedly refused to spend even nominal fees out of pocket for them. If anything, it is going to be difficult for even Microsoft or Google to generate significant online advertising revenues through their PHR applications directly. Going to take alot of traffic to do that and I doubt even in next 2-3 years that takes place (if ever). We will go back… Read more »

gjudd
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gjudd

Anon, sure wish I could be sure I’m following your ‘reasoning’ – your drunken grammar & spelling, along with your scrambled math, make it a challenge. Your enthusiasm is evident, though – so keep trying! And you’ve missed my central point – there is not nor is there likely ever to be enough traffic thru PHRs to energize the kinds of advertisers you mention – not unless they price that focused, motivated attention much, much higher than your $3.50 CPM. (I would argue that’s what Rxcos et al should do). Unless that change happens, ad-supported PHR is a non-starter –… Read more »

Anon
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Anon

Doubter – Agreed on that. Healthline needs to continue to build traffic through their site and parternships to prove to advertisers that they can compete with some of the other big alternatives out there in the healthcare online space and other alternative sites. Also need to build out the licensing side too.

Doubter
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Doubter

Those are big “if’s”…

Anon
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Anon

Doubter – Even though Healthline raised $35M in venture capital even of their investors probably contributed a max of $5M a piece. Probably less.
Let’s say Healthline’s revenue reaches $20M this year (doubled from 5 to 10 to 20). Now if they stay on course to have a successful IPO in two years/sell in two years, the 5-10x multiple for their venture capital investors will be repaid and probably then some depending upon a few factors.

Doubter
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Doubter

What was Healthline’s revenue last year?
To what did it double?
When can the “big media firms” expect their 5-10X pay back for investing?

Anon
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Anon

gjudd – One last thing. You are right about adoption and utilization rates of PHRs by health plan members. They are pretty horrendous (1-5% in almost all cases unless your talking a staff model HMO like GroupHealth or KP that is utilizing the MyChart app as their PHR application). Health plans have realized this and are trying several methods to increase utilization. Ultimately though they realize they need access to providers though and too provider data. Employers’ PHR adoption is a mixed bag. See a much wider variation here depending upon what type of incentives the employer is using to… Read more »

Anon
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Anon

The mystery is how Google is going to generate revenue from their PHR play right now. They supposedly aren’t going to charge customers (no DTC) or anyone for the matter, they aren’t going to make money from charging any fees to third-party applications, and they aren’t going to advertise on it supposedly. While Google gives away many things for free (because they can’t figure out a way to succesfully monetize them for the most part), Google is not a NPF. They ultimately are doing this for the good of society. They have to be looking at a way to monetize… Read more »

Anon
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Anon

gjudd – You completely missed the point. Healthline’s deal with Aetna is a LICENSING sitaution. Revenues are not dependent upon any advertising dollars in any aspect. That is why is a diversification of revenue streams away from advertising dollars. Heathline is also not a PHR company either. ActiveHealth Management is the company (now owned by Aenta) that is powering Aetna’s PHR record to their members. Healthline is going to make advertising revenues throw their direct ad sales force selling advertising to pharma/biotech, medical device, and consumer product goods companies among others. Now it depends on how they price their online… Read more »

gjudd
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gjudd

Doubter – see Dr. Shreeve’s long-tail digression further down the page. Any network can cost a bunch to build, but at some point (probably well before $35m worth), the marginal cost of adding each additional participant rapidly becomes vanishingly small. The value, if it is there – I’ll grant you there’s been relatively little road-testing as yet – will come in the extent to which a number of people with heretofore unmanaged or undermanaged conditions benefit from effective & very-low-unit-cost monitoring/multidirectional information exchange. Their good health is good for everybody, because providing them recurrent rescue care sucks big resources from… Read more »

Anon
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Anon

“I guess I’m kind of at a loss as to why someone would invest – did he say – $35M (!) in this… ” Doubter doesn’t have a clue. Shell said that revenue doubled last year and looking to double again this year. More importantly, Healthline is diversifying into a more solid revenue stream by going after licensing fees from health insurers (one of the few sources spending real money in Health IT) and providers (likely through the form of deals with EMR/PMS vendors or in some cases large delivery systems directly). On the advertising side, Healthline has been working… Read more »

Doubter
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Doubter

Would the seventeen people who use Aetna’s PHR please provide feedback as to whether their online experience has been “personalized” as a result of this?
What is the ROI for Aetna or others for providing this?
I guess I’m kind of at a loss as to why someone would invest – did he say – $35M (!) in this…