Site Takes Worldwide View of Healthcare Content

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GlobalHealth2000.com, which provides broad health content to medical professionals and consumers, thinks it can succeed where others failed by taking a worldwide approach to e-healthcare marketing.


The site is collecting marketing data from consumers in 30 countries by posting health content in 10 languages. About 60 percent of GlobalHealth2000's users are in North America, while another 20 percent are in Europe, the company said.


Launched in late August, GlobalHealth2000 has since collected a database of more than 70,000 registered users, who are profiled according to profession, specialty, age, gender, interests and country. Nearly 80 percent are physicians, nurses and nonclinical medical administrators. Consumers make up 16 percent.


The site comes to the scene at a time when well-funded, online health megasites are floundering. A recent example was Drkoop.com, which in August was forced to cut about one-third of its 120-employee staff in an effort to stay afloat.


But GlobalHealth2000 is in a position to take advantage of the growing base of foreign users when the U.S. market is fully saturated, said Mukesh D. Hariawala, cardiac surgeon and founder of GlobalHealth2000, Boston. Non-U.S. users inevitably will outnumber U.S. users simply because the population base outside the United States is larger, Hariawala said.


"There is such a population that is underserved by health education," Hariawala said. "In the U.S., we have access to so much health education, but not around the world."


Nearly all of GlobalHealth2000's sponsors are multinational firms seeking more access abroad, so often shaky foreign markets can be profitable for the site, Hariawala said. Medical professionals and administrators will continue to be the site's mainstay, and Europe and South America look to be areas in which membership can grow.


The site is aiming for 200,000 users and $1 million in sponsorship revenues in its first year. Some 70 percent of GlobalHealth2000's membership comes from member-to-member referrals, Hariawala said. The site is keeping promotions to a minimum for now in an effort to stay profitable and avoid the fate of its predecessors.


"Profitability must always be there before you even spend a dollar," he said.


GlobalHealth2000 charges $100 for 1,000 impressions. The site is touting a list of corporate sponsors, including Eli Lilly, Johnson & Johnson, Kodak, Pfizer and Schering-Plough. Hariawala admitted his site charges a higher cost per thousand than most sites but said his targeted marketing system will give sponsors more for their money.


Users who log on are tracked by their password and are delivered only banner ads that fit their specific user profiles. For example, a sponsor can have banner ads sent only to male cardiologists in the New York area, and only those members who fit that profile will see the ads.


So far, the company has drawn most of its revenue from banner ad sales, Hariawala said. It also allows ad clients to sponsor its weekly member newsletter and plans to allow corporate sponsors to run opt-in e-mail campaigns to members, although a rate schedule has not been set.
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