MedHelp is a multifaceted application for use in learning more about health topics, communicating with experts and/or others, providing trackers for health conditions and fitness, mobile apps for a variety of health topics, and more.
Medhelp was founded by Cindy Thompson and Phil Garfinkel in 1994. Cindy and Phil created MedHelp to give people a safe and reliable place to ask medical questions and receive personal answers from leading physicians and medical professionals as well as to connect with others with shared medical interests. John de Souza became MedHelp's president and CEO in 2006 and remains in that position today. The goal of the site is to connect people and provide education and answers. The site boasts an average of 12 million unique visitors each month. It stays on the cutting edge of medical websites by adding mobile apps for various medical/health issues.
The main competitor for MedHelp would likely be WebMD. While WebMD has more traffic, the interface is more crowded and less appealing. Comparing home pages, Medhelp provides a snapshot of what is available inside the site and WebMD overwhelms a site visitor with more information than can be processed.
MedHelp may not have as much data as WebMD, but it has the jump on web apps which is a definite advantage to users.
After registration, the user is taken to a profile page to upload a photo, enter birthdate, gender, city and state of residence, zip code, country, interests, a short bio, and some interest tags. Once entered, MedHelp provides a quick tour of features provided on the user's home page. The theme may be customized, shortcuts to communities, forums, trackers, and watchlist are provided. Quick access to account settings, including block list and email preferences is available. A link to messages is also on the top toolbar.
Also on the user's home page are links to forums and groups, questions from other members, posts on forums, a watch list for discussions the user has elected to monitor for new information, trackers for mood, allergies, anxiety, blood pressure, diabetes, cholesterol, exercise, food diary, MS tracker, and many more. There are also journals, photos, notes, and personal health record tools.
The Profile page summarizes what information the user has entered, including trackers, posts, and status updates.
There are literally hundreds of medical support communities and "ask a doctor" forums sorted into medical conditions for categories. Users can view current forum information and/or search the forum for information. Users may also post questions.
Health topics may be searched via the Health Information tab. Users can search common tags or conditions, drugs, or the medical glossary for terms their doctors may have used during diagnosis.
The Experts section includes blog entries from a variety of doctors, a schedule of upcoming doctor chats, and a doctor search to find a doctor in the user's area.
MedHelp also has health device integration. They have partnered with a number of device companies that allow users to use those devices and have their data feed into the MedHelp Personal Health Platform so they are able to see all of their entered health data in one simple, central place.
In addition to forums, user groups are available for those seeking additional support from their peers.
There are a few unobtrusive advertisements on the site, but they are not overly distracting.
Overall, this is a very clean looking site with a lot of information to offer in a way that is NOT overwhelming or too much. Along with the ongoing development of mobile apps, this is a very helpful website.
Users may sign up via Facebook connect or create an account with a nickname, email, and password. A verification email is sent with link.
MedHelp is completely free to use.
This is the kind of application that anyone will find helpful. It has trackers for people who want to monitor fitness, news, information and forums for several disorders, an ask the expert feature, and mobile apps. Literally anyone can benefit from using it.