Medivizor Takes on WebMD, Dr. Google, With Customized Health Service

8/21/13Follow @benthefidler

When people are diagnosed with a disease, the first move they, or their family members typically make is to book a long appointment with Dr. Google or WebMD. A New York-based startup named Medivizor thinks they’re making a mistake. Now it will get its shot to prove it.

Yesterday, the one-year old startup began offering its personalized medical information service, Medivizor, to the general public—specifically, people with one of these conditions: lung, colorectal, breast, or prostate cancer; melanoma; diabetes; coronary artery disease; hypertension; or stroke. Rather than leaving subscribers to sift through a whole Internet’s worth of medical information for relevant details, Medivizor promises to answer their questions about their specific conditions. Signing up is free; the company plans to turn the service into a moneymaker through referral fees and other means, according to co-founder and CEO Tal Givoly.

Givoly, med tech investor Oren Fuerst, and Weill Cornell Medical College urology professor Stephen Kaplan formed the idea for Medivizor a few years ago. Givoly and Fuerst had watched friends and loved ones cope with serious illnesses, and noted how time-consuming it was to stay abreast of the latest information about those diseases. And Kaplan had seen patients come in with printouts having incorrectly diagnosed themselves based on information they gleaned from Dr. Google.

Tal Givoly, CEO of Medivizor

Tal Givoly, CEO of Medivizor

“We realized that there’s a problem with health information. It’s not personal, and it’s not understandable,” Givoly says. “There’s a lot of great health information out there, but it’s generic.”

So with an unspecified investment from themselves and certain angels (Givoly wouldn’t specify who), the group founded Medivizor in 2012 with the plan to tailor that information to individuals based on their already-diagnosed conditions.

The idea is for Medivizor to serve as a personalized filter for people with specific diseases. Rather than blindly search the Internet, unearthing information that could be irrelevant, outdated, too general, or just inaccurate, people would rely on a team of Medivizor’s in-house doctors, PhDs, and medical writers—as well as outside specialists the company consults with—to sift through online resources, find the latest credible, relevant information, and send a detailed e-mail to the subscriber. Those reports are peer-reviewed internally before they are sent, according to Givoly.

Here’s how that would work. A person would go to Medivizor’s site and … Next Page »

Ben Fidler is Xconomy's Deputy Biotechnology Editor. You can e-mail him at bfidler@xconomy.com Follow @benthefidler

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