In the age of value-based care and population health management, keeping patients engaged in healthy habits, like taking their meds correctly and counting their steps, is hugely important.
Sharecare started out life as a health and wellness information site and social network, created in 2010 by Jeff Arnold (the guy who founded WebMD) and television’s Dr. (Mehmet) Oz, in partnership with Harpo Studios, Sony Pictures Television, and Discovery Communications.
The company is now expanding its business-to-business play — which means licensing its platform and content to large enterprises and health providers — and it’s raised a new $20 million of venture capital to do it.
Sharecare’s consumer-facing engagement site has attracted lots of registered users — 87 million, Sharecare says — through various front doors like the RealAge test, AskMD, DoctorOz.com, and through its various social media accounts.
Users can create and access a comprehensive health profile, and connect to medical knowledgebases, evidence-based health programs, and health professionals, for free. All the health information offered on the platform is reviewed and verified by health care professionals.
Large enterprises and health systems can use the engagement platform as a way to connect to employees or patients to promote healthy habits. This can have immediate benefits. It can prevent patients from readmitting to the hospital or having to go to the ER. For employers, it can help cut down on employees missing work because of health problems.
The health care systems HCA and Trinity Health are already using the platform. The Department of Defense has made it available to all members of the U.S. Army.
Sharecare’s revenue comes through sponsorships, ￼content ￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼subscriptions, and licensing arrangements.
Atlanta-based Sharecare will use the new venture capital to continue developing its platform, and to market it to more large companies and health providers around the country. This includes the development of new health apps and services that can be delivered through the platform, the company said.
The new money comes from Wellington Management Company and Trinity Health (which invested in Sharecare in 2013 and decided to bet another $5 million in this round). Sharecare has now taken in a total of $160 million in venture capital investment.
Past investors in the company include Discovery Communications, Harpo Productions, Hearst Corporation, Claritas Capital, and HCA.
Arnold is Sharecare’s CEO, and Dr. Oz sits on the board.