Healthcare Technology Featured Article

March 12, 2015

RateRx by HealthTap+ to Give Patients Reliable Web Feedback for Medications


The inherent Democracy of the Web has lead to countless forums for rating services, products, places, and even people. Giving voices to billions of worldwide consumers is a beautiful thing. And yet, it also means any half-baked Web user can smatter otherwise great forums with complete hogwash. We can easily shrug off the potential dangers of low-stakes scenarios, like deciding if the new falafel joint is worth trying. But many of these forums, say, which medications are safest for controlling cholesterol, are far more topically significant. There’s a lot more than potential heartburn and a few wasted bucks at risk. 

HealthTap+—a company focused on connecting doctors and patients with new technologies—has announced that it will create an online rating platform dedicated to helping patients making the right decisions regarding of medications and treatments. Called RateRx, the forum will act as a safe harbor in the ocean of online noise for medication-related advice from doctors and other professionals in medical communities.

RateRx will ask doctor to rate the effectiveness of certain medications to treat specific illnesses and conditions. Doctors may only rate medications they have used to treat said illnesses and conditions, and are free to add supplementary comments to allow for greater specificity or explain certain choices. All of the ratings are polled into an overall summary score. Patients are free to see the results of these ratings, as well as individual comments. Each doctor using the platform will have a profile outlining his or her credentials, areas of specialty, etc—also viewable by users. 

Patients are already utilizing their freedom of speech in virtual domains through medication-rating sites such as “rateadrug.com,” or “askapatient.com,” by weighing in on the value of certain medications based on personal experiences. RateRx isn’t necessarily aimed at eclipsing these accounts, but rather serving as a reference area replete with professional advice. For the Web-savvy patient, this should help separate the balderdash and the beneficial.

The advantages of the forum are not exclusively implicit in its ability to provide consumers with reliable ratings of medications. Bringing so many medical professionals into one online could hypothetically foster improved communications between medical contemporaries, and possibly even generate new findings, or prevent medication mishaps by catching them before patients are heavily impacted.  RateRx can also help practices improve patient care by factoring online ratings into their treatment strategies. 

Once the system is up and running smoothly, RateRx will hopefully dispel any bad medication myths circulating the Internet, and help patients make more informed decisions.  Until then, we implore Web-users seeking out medical advice online to always consult a doctor before making any decisions about medications or treatments.

The quest to enhance the credibility of Web content goes on, one industry at a time.




Edited by Maurice Nagle




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