Oh, how the health-related websites proliferate. They're popping up faster than frozen yogurt shops in the 1980's. At least a dozen new health-focused search engines and patient community sites have graciously contacted me in recent weeks asking for feedback on their functionality and patient karma. Sadly, I haven't been able to do them all justice.

Community_online Which makes me think they can't possibly all survive. I'm guessing that most of you are as busy as I am. At some point, we'll all wheedle our online activities down to a handful of health-related sites that feel like home.

So what exactly determines which of these "houses" feel like "homes"? Credibility, high-quality content, and friendly interface design are givens, of course. But what else are we really looking for? A place that is exclusively devoted to our own condition (for us PWDs, dLife, Talkfest, or TuDiabetes.com)? Or are we interested in spending time on the diabetes pages of a broader health network like HealthCentral.com or Revolution Health?

Seeing as I'll be hosting a panel on "Social Media for Patients" at the upcoming Health 2.0 Conference in San Francisco — which explores the convergence of the Health Boom and Web 2.0 -- I'd like to hear your thoughts on the topic.

So tell me, Dear Target Audience (that's how they see you):

- What makes a patient community site work for you?

- Do you want to post "your story" in detail, or read a multitude of bloggers on a single medical site?

- Are you interested in a search engine where a real live medical expert "walks you through" your research?

- Or are you doing just fine with the Google/WebMD combo?

- What makes any health/medical site bookmark-worthy for you?

- And/or what would you like to ask (or tell) the country's top web-health luminaries if you could?

Not familiar with any of the current offerings? Check out a few of these before you answer:

Health Community Sites:


Revolution Health

HeathCare Your Way


Patients Like Me




Organized Wisdom

OurHeatlhCircle (from UC Berkeley)


Health-Related Search Engines:




MedHelp International (also with community forums)




Epocrates MedSearch

Coming Soon:


** UPDATE: Check out Hospital Impact's posts on Healthcare for the Facebook Generation (why do we need to build NEW sites for health stuff?) and Is RevolutionHealth's Revolution Dead? (user fatigue - you try out a new site, but do you go back?). Excellent points, both. **

Disclaimer: Content created by the Diabetes Mine team. For more details click here.


This content is created for Diabetes Mine, a consumer health blog focused on the diabetes community. The content is not medically reviewed and doesn't adhere to Healthline's editorial guidelines. For more information about Healthline's partnership with Diabetes Mine, please click here.