New website aims to be the 'Facebook of health'
A new website launching this Friday hopes to become what its Harvard University undergraduate developers dub the "Facebook of health."
Founded by students Laurence Girard and Kristen Faulker, the new site, Prevently.com, has the ambitious aim to provide its userbase with health content, health products, telemedicine, an online personal health record, and social networking. Prevently is one of three companies developed through a New York-based technology accelerator called COMETS.
Girard and Faulker say that the site's content -- written by Harvard Medical School and a staff of freelance contributors, they say -- is reviewed by physicians for scientific accuracy, including its database of articles on nutrition and personal care products. Much like its name suggests, the site will focus on prevention and healthy living.
The telemedicine portal will allow users to book sessions with registered dietitians or pay a subscription fee for their dietitian or primary care doctor to monitor their online personal health record and contact users via an online inbox or live video consultation if the user starts to slip into unhealthy habits.
The personal health record allows users to sync and upload data from wearable fitness devices such as FitBit, Jawbone UP, Nike Fuel Band, iHealth Labs, Withings, and iBGStar. Notifications are sent to the users' doctor or dietitian if they are not exercising enough, not sleeping properly, or gaining weight, or if other unhealthy symptoms are detected.
Plus each user has a social networking profile, which lets them join groups with other users who are working toward similar health goals.
"Facebook's goal is to make the world an open and more connected place, while Prevently's goal is to make the world a healthier and more connected place," the founders said in a press release. "Prevently will one day hopefully help 1 billion people improve their health and prevent disease the same way that Facebook helped 1 billion people stay more connected."