Health 2.0 on Location in NYC by Indu Subaiya

Indu
The
Health 2.0 team converged in NYC this week for a day of
meetings with the New York Times, Digitas Health and a host of our favorite
Health 2.0 companies based in the Big Apple.  First it was lunch with
Carly Kuper and VP Patrick Denton of Digitas at the Gramercy Tavern. Among other things, we
discussed the regulatory and legal challenges that hamstring many
pharma companies from becoming full-fledged Health 2.0 players, despite
the many progressive people within their walls.

Next, we caught up
with Sarah Greene, Product Director Health at the New York Times to talk about some
exciting new online features at the Times. Sarah told us she is ecstatic about the reception so far for “Well”” the new blog by ex-WSJ’er Tara Parker-Pope.  The Times obviously doesn’t share metrics, but she could tell us that  Tara is moving up swiftly in the rankings of their in-house blogs.  We were thrilled  to meet science editor Laura Chang. (Matthew is a huge fan!) And also had a chance to meet with NYT.com Health section editor Michael Mason.

Unity Stoakes from Organized Wisdom helped organize our happy
hour at the Swift Hibernian lounge.  He and partner Steven Krein (Promotions.com, Law.com) are pushing full
steam ahead building out the new face of Organized Wisdom on a
wikimedia platform, hiring for a bunch of new positions and getting all
sorts of attention from the investment community.

Bill Allman from Healthcentral also stopped by. How many sites live under the Healthcentral brand? I think it’s 40 and growing! Bill’s point is that consumers want sites that are condition-specific
in addition to general health reference sites, so they’re off delivering on that need.

Virgin USA was in the house as well. Paul Gollash and Julie Peters represented and told us about Virgin Life Care, that offers a rewards program for getting fit. You can accumulate healthmiles through your employer, the way we accumulate skymiles. We can also expect a new service around health advocacy sometime in early 2008. We suggested their rock star CEO make an appearance at Health 2.0 in the Fall. They couldn’t promise anything, but we personally think he’d enjoy the company, and he could fly in on a Sermo blimp.

Speaking of Sermo, Gina Ashe and company were on hand to talk about recent successes. Sermo is kicking up the dust wherever they go. At a recent conference, they had a bunch of girls on rollerblades with t-shirts emblazoned with “Diagnose This” handing out actual intellectually challenging case studies. The doctors followed the girls into the parking lot; those medical cases must have been really compelling!

Dan Kogan, Fard Johmar, Barry Carroll a veteran contributor to THCB also joined us. Dan Kogan is building Health World Web a site to rate doctors and develop profiles.  Fard is busy with his growing  health media empire and with his TV show, Digital Health Revolution.

We were sad to leave NYC, but we’ll be back. Stay tuned for us to pop up in a city near you!

Indu Subaiya

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