Physicians Interactive Acquires MedHelp In Move to Bridge Consumer and Provider Worlds

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Earlier this week, Health 2.0 promised some big news showing how the provider and consumer facing worlds of Health 2.0 are coming together. Today, they officially shared that Physicians Interactive has acquired MedHelp. Both companies are stalwarts in the Health 2.0 world, and their merging serves as further evidence that consumer and professional facing tools are continuing to connect in new and meaningful ways.

Physicians Interactive has been onstage at Health 2.0 multiples times, but always in a professional facing role. Tools like Omnio, a provider-to-provider content sharing app, play to Physicians Interactive strengths, which center on accessing and communicating with an extensive provider network — some 300,000 doctors to be exact.

MedHelp, on the other hand, another Health 2.0 staple, is nothing if not a consumer-oriented tool. Their web-based online health community helps individuals actively manage their health with a host of tools, including patient forums, physician search engines, provider communication tools, and personalized trackers.

MedHelp has grown organically (CEO John deSouza always tells us “no bought traffic”!) and gone from communities to trackers to an active health data utility layer that takes in data from many devices and trackers. In one recent partnership, demoed at Health 2.0 last fall, MedHelp took a step towards connecting consumers and providers with an app that delivers both lab results and an expert opinion, if the consumer elects to receive one. However, connecting to providers was still on the edges of MedHelp’s capabilities.

Now, together, Physicians Interactive and MedHelp will be working to better facilitate online communication and interaction between consumers and physicians.

Health 2.0 tools for providers and consumers have traditionally looked and functioned very differently, and been developed by very different companies. However, we’ve consistently seen the lines between these two buckets blurring, highlighting the trend we illustrated last year at Health 2.0 with the following chart showing the merging segments of these two worlds, represented as two different sets of colored bubbles. The meeting of these two worlds is a significant step towards engaging consumers in their health in the 99% of time they spend away from the health system via — what else — Health 2.0 tools and services.


 Kim Krueger is a Research Analyst at Health 2.0.