Revolution Health is a fairly new Web site created by Steve Case, the founder of America Online. It appears to have excellent information on a huge variety of medical afflictions, and it aspires to become the first stop on the Internet for consumers who are searching either for information or for a medical provider. Here is an excerpt from Case’s blog about why he started Revolution Health:
After leaving AOL, I thought long and hard about what I should do next. I felt that health care was in dire need of transformative change, and decided to build another company that could be a change agent, with the goal of shifting power into the hands of people themselves.
I see this as a business opportunity, to be sure, and we’re aiming to build Revolution Health into a major company. But I also see this as an opportunity to do some good, by tackling a health care system that is a mess, in the way I know best: by building a company that can change the world.
Frankly, I have a personal motivation as well. As a parent of five kids, and with family members living thousands of miles away, I, like many of you, have struggled to be a responsible caregiver – and have learned how hard it is. Sometimes it’s like landing in a foreign country, where you aren’t sure where to turn, and you often don’t even understand what people are saying. And since you’re dealing with your health, or the health of a loved one, it can be scary, as well as intimidating.
I saw this first hand in 2001 when my brother Dan was diagnosed with a brain tumor, and was told he only had 6-12 months to live. After our family recovered from the initial shock, we began to ask questions. What causes brain tumors? Nobody knew. How do you treat them? The alternatives were confusing – and often contradictory.
And that was just the beginning. Watching Dan struggle within the health care system was maddening. He was fighting for his life, but had to divert much of his already-sapped energy to deal with bureaucracies, filling out forms, waiting in lines, trying to keep track of his medications, all the while seeking out other patients, and exchanging perspectives on treatment options, both in terms of traditional medicine, and more integrative approaches.
The deeper our family moved into the health care system, the more I came to realize that today’s system is challenging to everyone. Even though the United States has many of the world’s best doctors, hospitals, and technologies, the “system” continues to make things difficult, cumbersome and frustrating.
The system doesn’t need incremental bandaid type approaches. It needs fresh thinking. It needs a revolution, led by the people, for the people. And that’s what we’re hoping to catalyze at Revolution Health.