Online health getting hot, DailyStrength raises millions quickly

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Over 113 million Americans search for health information online, and internet companies dealing with consumer health are drawing lots of attention.

Santa-Cruz, Calif. based DailyStrength, the social network that connects people through their health problems, has recently closed its first round of venture financing with Redpoint Ventures. While the company declined to give a precise figure, it’s estimated to be in the $5-7 million range. The funding came easily. Co-founder Josh DeFord said he got the check two months after making the first pitch.

We previously covered the company last November, and according to Josh, traction has been improving. He wouldn’t disclose exact numbers, but said that unique visits are growing at 25% a month, with pageviews growing at 60%. With the influx of cash, the company intends to expand its team, make partnerships, and add features like personalized news. Widgets are on the way.

DailyStrengths’s funding is just part of the considerable buzz around consumer health recently. Last February, PatientsLikeMe a competitor to DailyStrength, raised a $5 million round. Earlier this month, PeerWisdom, another site dedicated to helping people find health-related information, also raised money, though it has yet to launch. (It also has changed its name to Trusera.) Likewise, AnswersMedia raised an undisclosed amount to make expensive health information videos. Consumer health search engine Healia today said it was acquired by the media and marketing company, Meredith Corporation. Finally, Kosmix is trying to spin-off its health search into a new brand.

(Update: More details on Trusera. It is run by two former Amazon.com employees Keith Schorsch and Ruben Ortega, and raised $2 million in seed funding from Seattle venture firm Benaroya Capital, along with TerraPass chief executive Erik Blachford, Ackerly Partners’ Christopher Ackerley, Amazon.com executive Kim Rachmeler and Washington Mutual’s corporate development executive, Craig Tall. See more here.

And on AnswersMedia: it raised its funding from Talon Asset management, a Chicago venture firm, along with founder Jeff Bohnson and other company executives. More here.)

One might worry that within this growing plethora of sources, some harmful misinformation will find its way to the top. We hope that in the race to take the lead, companies don’t lose sight of the fact that, in this vertical market, they’re dealing with people’s lives.