Yet one more way to talk to a doctor.  There’s a free version and then you can also enroll for a paid service.  The one good thing the site has is access to the entire PubMed database indexed with relevant information searched.  They are talking about their HIPAA complaint message service as well with being able to upload images and documents to the doctor imageto help answer your questions, although this is not slated as a diagnosis service so an opinion I guess is the better choice of words here?  Also I would think this communication is right inline with the government “Direct” program.  Doctor’s have up to 72 hours to answer messages in their queue.  It says here doctors get paid for their time and said the potential is up to $100.00 an hour so I guess this means selling de-identified data somewhere along the line as the small subscription fee doesn’t seem like it’s going to cover the doctor’s time.  I could be wrong but from what I read that’s probably a good indication here that data will be sold. 

I see also where doctors can answer question if they want without being reimbursed too, so how many will jump in that line?  I did see where they open it up to medical students so that could be helpful for educational purposes in that area.  Doctors get points for answering questions and this is supposed to increase their business and networking capabilities. This will be interesting to see if this catches on or not and doctors can have their own HealthTap page.  I received an email telling me they were giving me the opportunity to install their widget and said they have over 14,000 doctors licensed…and they are just starting up?  They certainly didn’t want to pay a poor little blogger to advertise either.   In closing, I’ll let you figure out if this has value and if doctors have the time to rate each other on the website as it states they are rated by their peers.  BD   

, an app allowing users to ask questions of a community of more than 15,000 medical doctors, is beefing up its mobile and Web application. It is integrating the wealth of published medical data in the National Library of Medicine’s PubMed database with its existing services.

The doctors cannot offer diagnoses to patients on HealthTap, but they can answer questions as more people turn to the Web for medical information.

The explanations doctors provide are — like their advice — rated by their peers. The better the community deems their colleague’s contribution to be, the higher their rating. In that way, the app serves as both informative for users who need advice on health issues and, potentially, great public relations for doctors in search of new patients.


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