HealthTap Links Physicians With Patients

HealthTap, having recently emerged from beta, is an app that links nervous patients with physicians. The network has expanded to include over 35,000 doctors waiting to answer any question from any user. The service only costs money if the question exceeds 150 characters, at which point a 99 cent charity donation is required; if you want to have a private conversation with a doctor, that will set you back $9.99. But for free, most users can find answers to pretty much any medical question imaginable. And although doctors aren’t paid, they’re signing onto the service almost as fast as users – partly because of the incentives HealthTap have enabled. They’ve created a rating system for doctors, called “Docscore,” that boosts the online reputation of any M.D., that takes into account the number of patients reached, reviews from other doctors, and more. In short, DocScore is a readymade system for young doctors to extend their reputations into the digital world, and for some, as a resume-padding tool. And by incentivizing the system for doctors, more potential patients are drawn to the network, and so the cycle continues.