Top Players and Rankings
With more and more users going online for quality content on health, fitness, medication, and expert advice, there is a rising demand for healthcare portals. Some of the top sites for health are WebMD Health, NIH.gov, MSN Health, Yahoo! Health and EverydayHealth. Health queries, medication, symptoms are very popular among users.
According to comScore Media Metrix, WebMD Health is the leading health portal with 17.1 million average monthly unique visitors in Q1 2007. NIH.gov was second with 9.8 million average monthly unique visitors in Q1 2007. MSN Health had 8.1 million average monthly unique visitors and Yahoo Health had 6.7 million average monthly unique visitors during the same period.
Online health portals are experiencing rapid growth. Healthline, launched in 2005, grew by 269% to 2.7 million average monthly unique visitors in Q1 2007 from 0.8 million average monthly unique visitors in Q1 2006. QualityHealth grew by 114% to over 2.6 million average monthly unique visitors during the same period.
New entrant Revolution Health has seen its traffic more than double from 239,000 visitors in January 2007 to 486,000 visitors in March 2007.
The increase in the number of health portals and the growing popularity of health verticals can be directly linked to the increasing health consciousness and specific user needs.
New entrants and innovators
Like many other lifestyle segments, the online health sites are also making a shift from the mass to the niche. Sites like SeniorNet deal with age-related syndromes like Cataracts or Glaucoma. Sites like KidsHealth cater to the health related issues of young kids and contain special sections on mental retardation or spelling bee.
Sites like 4collegewomen.org and GirlsHealth.gov are targeted at young college going women or girls in their tween years. They include special sections for community hygiene in dorms or problems induced by hormones during the growing-up years.
HealthGrades is a healthcare ratings, information, and advisory services company. They provide clients with targeted solutions that enable them to measure, assess, enhance, and market healthcare quality.
Online health portals are seeing a new trend with the emergence of vertical search sites. These meta search engines (Helathline, Healia, MammaHealth) are aimed at meeting specific user needs and are competing with traditional health portals.