By gathering personal health data, companies like HealthTap and WebMD are looking to customize health information online.
If you go online to look for health information – as about a third of Americans do – chances are the information targets a general audience, not someone with your specific medical history, risk profile or needs. But if you’re looking up diabetes complications, for example, it makes a difference if you’re an older man juggling different medications or a pregnant young woman with no other health conditions.
The larger promise of personalized medicine that considers genomic data on top of medical history and clinical data is still on the verge of reality. But, in the meantime, a few companies are at least beginning to bring a new level of personalization in health care to the web.