This week Sharecare announced that it had raised $14 million from Galen Partners and TomorrowVentures. The company has also acquired The Little Blue Book (TLBB) from Galen Partners and other investors in exchange for shares in Sharecare.
TLBB has been a popular reference tool for physicians for more than 20 years. Sharecare will make some of TLBB’s content available on its platform so that users can locate physicians, practices, and hospitals. TLBB counts 400,000 physicians in its database and 140,000 practices. Sharecare will offer each physician its suite of provider-focused offerings designed to enhance their practices, including digital business cards, lead generation and search optimization tools. Sharecare also mentioned SharecarePro, its soon-to-launch expert membership product.
The Little Blue Book is offered as a free app for iPhone, Android, and BlackBerry devices. The Android version just launched last October. The app is useful to both physicians and consumers — similar to a yellow pages app, but just for finding contact information for healthcare providers.
In the fall of 2010, Jef Arnold, founder of WebMD, launched a new health site for consumers and healthcare professionals, called Sharecare. Sharecare’s core offering is an interactive question and answer platform that allows people to “ask, learn and act upon” hundreds of thousands of questions about health and wellness. The answers to the questions are provided by various experts from hospitals, physicians, non-profits, healthcare companies and more. Brands that sponsors the site can also answer the questions.
Sharecare’s offering bares some basic similarities to another health-focused Q&A startup, HealthTap. Ron Gutman, HealthTap’s CEO explained some of the differences to MobiHealthNews last year.
Arnold has previously said that Sharecare will be a platform upon which other mobile health apps could communicate. The site is also mobile optimized, specifically for iPad users, Arnold said.
Sharecare intends to become more than a Q&A site — in his original demonstration, Arnold announced plans for a wide range of applications and services, including future plans for one-on-one video consultations between patients and physicians. At the time Sharecare was piloting those video consultations with physicians in Atlanta, Georgia, where the company is based.
Arnold created Sharecare in collaboration with television personality and physician Dr. Mehmet Oz, in partnership with Oprah Winfrey’s Harpo Studios, Remark Media, Sony Pictures Television, and Discovery Communications.
As part of the recent announcement, Arnold is assuming the title of CEO of the company, too.
More in the press release below: Keep reading>>