Debgupta, a former senior director at the Corporate Executive Board in Arlington, is launching a Web site called WiserTogether (http://wisertogether.com) that allows expectant parents to gauge the experiences of other people in their age group and circumstances who face a range of pregnancy-related issues, including abdominal and back pain, gestational diabetes and hypertension, mood swings and urinary tract infection.
WiserTogether is among several online health sites that began in or have a presence in the Washington area, including HealthCentral, Everyday Health, Revolution Health and Inspire. With the health-care reform debate centered in the nation's capital, experts say they think more sites will start up in the region.
Online health sites have been booming in the past five years, experts say, driven by the popularity of social networking and patients' desire to become more empowered in the increasingly complex medical field. Many of the sites have recently experienced heavy traffic from users seeking information on the H1N1 virus. Officials of the Health 2.0 Conference, which tracks the industry, estimate that the number of such sites climbed to nearly 500 from about 35 four years ago.
The sites generally have evolved from the encyclopedic-styled WebMD, becoming more interactive and case-study- oriented, such as Inspire, PatientsLikeMe and CureTogether.
With the health care reform debate alive and well in the Nation's capitol, more people are thinking about the subject. And the article says that a lot of the questions people ask have to do with the H1N1 flu.
What a great time it is to have the Internet around to help keep us all healthier than we might be otherwise. Be well. . .