Health Q&A startup HealthTap raises $11.5 million

By: Brian Dolan | Dec 7, 2011        

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healthtapThis week at the mHealth Summit HealthTap announced that it closed $11.5 million in its first round of funding after its $2.5 million angel round this past March. The most recent round was led by Tim Chang of the Mayfield Fund, Rowan Chapman of Mohr Davidow Ventures and former Google CEO Eric Schmidt through his Innovation Endeavors fund. The startups plans to use the funds to grow its platform’s reach and recruit new employees.

HealthTap’s $2.5 million angel round, which was announced in March, was led by Mohr Davidow Ventures and included participation from Esther Dyson, Mark Leslie, Aaron Patzer (founder and former CEO of Mint.com) and others.

HealthTap lets anyone ask any health question online or via mobile apps and receive answers from US physicians across 100 various medical specialties. HealthTap CEO Ron Gutman told MobiHealthNews in an email that the company’s network of physicians now includes more than 6,000 and the number of healthcare facilities represented tops 500, and includes big names like the Cleveland Clinic and Mount Sinai Hospital.

About 80 percent of US adults go online to look up health information, according to Pew, but very little, if any, of the information they read online comes from their own personal physicians — HealthTap aims to change that. This past September HealthTap announced the launch of two free mobile apps, called HealthTap Express — one for patients and one for physicians. The apps are for iPhone and Android users.

Chang stated that he invested in HealthTap because it “embodies the powerful consumer Internet trend of moving high-value mainstream offline experiences, such as doctor-patient interactions, to the online world,” according the company’s press release. Chang stated that HealthTap “leverages the three key innovation drivers that I’m most excited about: mobile apps that enable new kinds of rich, personalized interactions via smartphone and tablet; gamification that enhances user engagement and retention; and social mechanics, such as expert-based Q&A and reputation graphs, that facilitate deep interest and trust.”

MobiHealthNews’ coverage of the mHealth Summit is brought to you by Preventice.

More on the latest round of funding in the press release below:

PALO ALTO, Calif., Dec. 6, 2011 — HealthTap, (www.healthtap.com), the premier Interactive Health Network, announced today that it secured $11.5 million in Series A Funding led by Mayfield Fund, Mohr Davidow Ventures, and Eric Schmidt’s Innovation Endeavors. HealthTap will use Series A funds to accelerate growth, recruit top talent, and engage more physicians and patients in the vibrant online HealthTap community.

HealthTap has successfully created a networked environment where anyone can ask any health question online or via a mobile app and quickly receive credible answers from top U.S. physicians across 100 specialties, for free. HealthTap, which launched its new mobile and online services just two months ago, has experienced massive growth with more than 6,000 leading physicians and 500 top healthcare institutions currently participating in the service.

“We are excited to partner with a serial entrepreneur such as Ron Gutman whose passion, track record, and team will help realize HealthTap’s grand vision,” said Mayfield Managing Director, Tim Chang. “HealthTap embodies the powerful consumer Internet trend of moving high-value mainstream offline experiences, such as doctor-patient interactions, to the online world. The company leverages the three key innovation drivers that I’m most excited about: mobile apps that enable new kinds of rich, personalized interactions via smartphone and tablet; gamification that enhances user engagement and retention; and social mechanics, such as expert-based Q&A and reputation graphs, that facilitate deep interest and trust. It’s this kind of fresh thinking that will accelerate the ‘consumerization’ of Healthcare, and re-invigorate an extremely important and valuable industry that has been behind the IT curve and mired in inefficiency for decades.”

All physicians who participate on HealthTap undergo rigorous background checks verifying their medical licenses and good standing. Approved physicians receive a free Virtual Practice from which they can lead the online health conversation, and the creation of quality health content. Through their Virtual Practices, physicians answer user questions, endorse answers written by other physicians, and help people find the best health information, while creating connections for in-person care.

“HealthTap has become the only place online where medical information is trusted both by physicians and by patients alike,” said Ron Gutman, HealthTap’s Founder and CEO. “Doctors interact with one another and rate each other every day based on the quality of their shared medical knowledge and its helpfulness to patients. This revolutionary approach, which we call ‘Trust Sourcing,’ makes it easy for members of the community to find the most reliable health information and the best doctors in town.”

The rapid adoption of HealthTap by physicians and patients in all 50 states has been complemented by growing demand from medical institutions interested in participating in the virtualization of healthcare. In response, HealthTap today opens its doors to all medical institutions to join the more than 500 healthcare groups who have already signed up. From large institutions such as Cleveland Clinic and The Mount Sinai Hospital, to small practices across the nation like Women’s Care of Beverly Hills Medical Group, to individual physician offices such as the one run by Dr. Robert Kwok in Saratoga, California, HealthTap is revolutionizing healthcare by re-invigorating doctor-patient interactions, and by bringing trustworthy, current health information to people anytime, anywhere—for free.

“Patients and doctors alike have long been frustrated by the one-size-fits-all approach to healthcare and the limited opportunities for finding personally relevant health information online,” said Rowan Chapman, Partner at Mohr Davidow Ventures. “Ron and his team are successfully addressing the critical need for a source of trusted medical information that allows consumers to interact with doctors online in an efficient and meaningful way. The rapid growth of the HealthTap community coupled with this round of funding is further evidence of the tremendous opportunity at the intersection of web-enabled social networks and more personalized, data-driven healthcare.”

About HealthTap

HealthTap is an Interactive Health Network that connects thousands of North America’s best physicians with users to provide trusted answers to health questions anytime anywhere. HealthTap’s free web and mobile applications enable 24/7 access to personalized, relevant and trusted health information from America’s best licensed physicians, helping people find the best doctors and make better decisions about their health and well-being. HealthTap’s experienced team of engineers and doctors have built health and mobile applications that have served hundreds of millions of people. Based in Palo Alto California, HealthTap is funded by Mayfield Fund, Mohr Davidow Ventures, Eric Schmidt’s Innovation Endeavors, and other prominent Silicon Valley investors. For more information, visit www.healthtap.com.

About Mayfield Fund

Mayfield Fund invests in relationships with entrepreneurs, institutions, and the community to transform bold ideas into industry-leading companies. With $2.7 billion under management, Mayfield invests primarily in early-stage companies in the Enterprise, Consumer, Energytech, and Mobile/Telecom sectors. The firm fosters global entrepreneurship by investing in India-based companies through its Mayfield India fund and in China-based companies directly and with its partner GSR Ventures. Over its 42-year history, the firm has invested in more than 500 companies, resulting in over 100 IPOs and more than 100 mergers or acquisitions. For more information, visit www.mayfield.com.

About Mohr Davidow Ventures

For more than 25 years, the Mohr Davidow team has invested in early stage startups and worked closely with exceptional entrepreneurs to create venture returns by developing and bringing to market new, technology-based ideas, products and services. The firm invests in companies that transform industries whether through better infrastructure for our rapidly evolving data-intensive digital world, more efficient power for our planet, or better, more personalized medicine. The firm has $1.85 billion under management. For more information, visit www.mdv.com.