WebMD Health Corp. finally bought into the hype of social networking and has integrated its own community platform into WebMD.com. WebMD Health Exchange allows consumers to connect to others that have similar conditions and health concerns, and to discuss these matters with the help of a physician moderator that can keep the service from becoming a medical rumourville.
From the announcement:
WebMD Health Exchange is being integrated throughout each of the core content areas of WebMD.com, giving members the ability to safely and easily connect with others on topics that are most relevant to them. In addition to expert-led communities, members are empowered to create their own communities and to exchange information with other users. Communities can be created for public access- which are searchable on WebMD and the Internet, or members can create their own private communities to securely exchange information with friends and family by invitation.
Expert Health Exchange communities will take advantage of the knowledge and credibility of leading specialists from renowned health and medical organizations and patient advocacy groups. Physicians from Duke Medicine will provide expertise for communities ranging from asthma to rheumatoid arthritis. Experts from the National Health Council, National Osteoporosis Foundation, American Gastroenterological Association, North American Menopause Society, and the American Veterinary Medical Association will lead related community discussions, as will Dr. Pamela Peeke on diet, Dr. David Colbert on skin and beauty, Dr. Robert Harrington on heart disease, Dr. Susan Evans on skin problems and treatments and bestselling author Richard M. Cohen on living with health issues.
The WebMD Health Exchange will also enable third party sponsors to create branded exchanges and to host consumer discussions on specific health and wellness topics most important to them.