The folks over at Health Content Advisors talk about the business side of online consumer health firms. With big firms like Revolution Health not doing well, it’s getting a little scarier if you don’t have deep pockets to make the advertising model work.
As a blogger whose been around the block and online for a while I get lots of new ideas pitched to me from all the various healthcare technology companies and I get excited about new consumer plays but by the time I’ve finished interviewing and talking to the firms about their business models I’m less enamored because many of the firms have no clear path to profitability. It reminds me of my old dotcom days.
An important observation from Health Content Advisors that I’ve been speaking about recently includes:
while many of the new players rely on advertising dollars from pharmaceutical companies, pharma advertising hasn’t migrated to the Web as quickly as most analysts had predicted.
This of course puts may companies’ business models at risk and those without supplementary sources of income have a issue during the short term at least.
Their conclude by indicating:
We regard the current shakeout as a correction, not a collapse. Too many companies are chasing the same customers and advertisers. The survivors will have done their homework and will bring technology and editorial experience to bear to solve an information overload or scarcity problem that someone is willing to pay for-either directly via paid content or indirectly via advertising or sponsorship.
I still think there is tons of money to be made in consumer health "done right" (meaning useful to people). But it’s clear nobody has struck the right chord (yet).