HealthTap unveils micropayment system and doctor chat

Faith Merino · June 28, 2012 · Short URL:

The online and mobile health network adds premium features that include private health conversations

Personalized health platform HealthTap is getting a new look, and a few interesting new features.  The company that aims to finally get rid of Dr. Google revealed Thursday some new features for its site and Web apps, including new doctor ratings, private health conversations, and a new micropayment model.

HealthTap’s announcement happens to coincide with the much-anticipated Supreme Court ruling on the Affordable Care Act (or “Obamacare” for those who can’t pronounce “Affordable Care Act”), which was finally delivered Thursday morning (the act has passed constitutional scrutiny and the individual mandate has been upheld).

The fact is: healthcare is expensive.  As the company notes, over 80% of Web users have looked up health information online, and healthcare is now the fastest growing content category among mobile users.  Who wants to waste money on a doctor who might not even know what that rash is when you can just google it?  HealthTap is designed to displace Dr. Google by letting users create their own patient profiles and get their questions answered by real doctors in the HealthTap network.

The new features include doctor ratings—called the “DocScore”—which acts as something of a FICO score based on public data and doctor-to-doctor peer review.  Doctors can even rank one another on their expertise levels.

You can also now check out a directory of over one million doctors and schedule in-person appointments using appointment requests, direct messaging, and phone calls.

And now, HealthTap is offering premium services that users can purchase with a new micropayment system.  Premium services include private health conversations—so you can pose a question to a specific doctor with the peace of mind of knowing it’s secure.  You can also connect with a doctor of your choice for immediate answers to your health questions via a list of who’s “online now.”  And finally, you can also share health records, photos, and documents securely with specific doctors in the HealthTap network.

All of the features are available via the Web or any of HealthTap’s mobile apps.

CEO Ron Gutman says that the network now has over 12,000 vetted physicians spanning 112 different health specialties in all 50 states. 

Launched in April 2011, the company raised $11.5 million in a Series A round led by Mayfield Fund and Mohr Davidow last December, bringing HealthTap’s total raised to nearly $14 million. 

The mobile health market is expected to exceed $400 million by 2016—up from $120 million in 2010, according to ABI Research.

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HealthTap+ has reinvented the way people all over the world manage their health and well-being. Our free web and mobile apps enable 24/7 access to personalized, relevant, and trusted health information in the form of answers, tips, checklists, and news from over 67,000 U.S. doctors.

Members can get expert answers to their personal health questions, read personalized news and tips, and access expert reviews of health apps from HealthTap’s Medical Expert Network of more than 67,000 doctors for free.

In July 2014, HealthTap launched its premium HealthTap Prime subscription service. Prime members pay a monthly subscription fee for unlimited live consults with physicians via HD video, voice, and text chat. The service is available via any mobile device or personal computer.

HealthTap then launched HealthTap Concierge in October 2014, which connects members with their own doctors, via HD video, voice, and text chat for a low, per-consult fee. No monthly subscription is required to use HealthTap Concierge.

HealthTap released its first annual AppRx Report in January 2015. Thousands of doctors on HealthTap independently reviewed tens of thousands of health and wellness apps available in the iOS and Android app stores and provided recommendations for those they deemed the best.

In March 2015, HealthTap launched RateRx, the first free, large-scale resource of doctor ratings and reviews for over 4,000 drugs and medications. It was created by doctors to help consumers understand the effectiveness of drugs and treatments based on doctors' real-world experience.


The company is backed by leading investors such as Khosla Ventures, Eric Schmidt’s Innovation Endeavors, Mayfield Fund, and Mohr Davidow Ventures.


Jason Wreath

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Ron Gutman is an inventor and a serial technology entrepreneur who has built several successful companies in digital health. He's currently the Founder and CEO of HealthTap. He's also a writer, speaker, angel investor and advisor to tech startups.