HealthTap Launches ‘Top Doctor Insights’ Using Artificial Intelligence

HealthTap Launches ‘Top Doctor Insights’ Using Artificial Intelligence powered by 64,000 Doctors to Give People Personalized Medical Information For Free!

HealthTap-Top Doctor Insights

PALO ALTO, Calif.—November 18, 2014—HealthTap, the company reinventing healthcare by connecting patients and doctors anytime, anywhere via web, mobile and video, today announced the launch of Top Doctor Insights, a new digital service that provides skim-friendly, easily digestible lists of the best doctor insights on millions of health and wellness topics, personalized to each user. These lists are curated with content created and rated by the company’s network of 64,000+ top U.S. doctors. Top Doctors Insight lists are customized to each user based on his or her own unique Health Graph, a proprietary digital map of one’s personal health and well-being.

Having served up more than 2.3 billion doctor answers and tips to users on any and all health topics, HealthTap has the world’s most comprehensive database for doctor knowledge. Using artificial intelligence and natural language processing, HealthTap’s cutting edge technology recognizes the contextual content and semantic meaning of queries, organizes billions of data points, aggregates and synthesizes this information, and generates the most relevant insights and wisdom on any health topic, on-demand.

Top Doctor Insights - DiabetesFrom searches on broad categories like “cancer” and “diabetes,” to specific queries like “topical anesthetic for teething babies” and “healthy snacks for traveling abroad,” anyone can find the best and most relevant health and wellness content—including doctor answers, actionable checklists and useful expert tips—listed and ranked by the quality of the information relevant to that user’s needs.

“Quality of information refers not only to HealthTap’s state-of-the-art semantic matching algorithms, but also to the caliber of the doctors who created the content, and their reputation among other leading doctors,” said Geoffrey Rutledge, MD, PhD, HealthTap’s Chief Medical Officer. “Content created by physicians with higher DocScores (as determined by positive peer-reviews they received, as well as reputable awards they won, educational credentials, their level of expertise, and the number of patients they successfully helped) gets weighted more heavily and is displayed more prominently.”

“For patients and people who want to improve their health and well being, sifting through reams of health information online and in mobile apps is often time consuming and very stressful. Now, for the first time ever, users on HealthTap can very quickly and conveniently get multiple insights from top doctors customized to their needs and wants right at their fingertips,” added Ron Gutman, founder and CEO of HealthTap. “By analyzing the meaning and context behind a search, using our powerful extensive ontology, and the the huge amount  of data we’ve amassed serving hundreds of millions of people, we’re now able to present the best doctor insights on any health and wellness topic in the world in milliseconds. In a sea of medical information, HealthTap’s Top Doctor Insights finds the right answers that can help you feel better faster! This is yet another important step in our journey to provide people all over the world real personalized healthcare from highly trusted doctors.”

Starting today, HealthTap’s Top Doctor Insights will be available to everyone, everywhere, via any mobile device or personal computer. To view personalized, comprehensive lists of Top Doctor Insights on millions of health topics, download HealthTap’s free apps on the Apple App Store or Google Play or sign up for a free account at

About HealthTap+

HealthTap+ has reinvented the way people all over the world take care of their health and well-being, connecting millions everywhere with the most trusted health information and doctors. The company is backed by leading investors including Khosla Ventures, Eric Schmidt’s Innovation Endeavors, Mayfield Fund, and Mohr Davidow Ventures. With top-rated web and mobile apps, HealthTap+ offers immediate and free access to relevant, reliable, and trusted health answers from a network of more than 64,000 U.S.-licensed doctors. Sign up today and download HealthTap’s free apps for iPhone, iPad or Android at


HealthTap featured in Fortune Magazine

Shalene Gupta of Fortune Magazine writes:

“Consulting doctors via video is billed as the future. But there are lots of hurdles to overcome before doctors embrace the idea. Sitting in the doctor’s waiting room is all about masochism. You’re sick, you’re waiting, and you’re surrounded by people who are hacking and sneezing. Ron Gutman, CEO of HealthTap, envisions a world where people can meet their doctors from the comfort of their own homes—virtually. Last week, his app, HealthTap, rolled out a new service that lets users consult virtually with doctors for $44 a visit.”

Check out the interview below. And read the full article here:


HealthTap for Heroes

165135051This Veterans Day, HealthTap celebrates the real-life heroes in the military. We thank them for their dedication, loyalty, sacrifice, and service.

Veterans and military families often face unique challenges—from addressing health issues from afar to managing complex injuries, to enduring frequent relocations that impact continuity of care and coping with stress and anxiety.

Below are 5 of the most common questions asked by veterans on HealthTap:

1641111051. What resources are available for disabled veterans?

Here are some that may help:

  • http://www.VA.Gov (can apply to VA and receive care)
  • Disabled american veterans
  • Veterans of foreign wars
  • http://www.Halfofus.Com/veterans
  • http://usmilitary.About.Com/od/benefits/a/vetbenefits.Htm

Good luck! - Dr. Evan Altman

2. Are there benefits for diabetic veterans?

Any and all including eye, feet care, meds, supplies, glucosometers, insulin, and all supplemental care. (My dad is a veteran. He gets this directly from the locl VA clinic.) - Dr. Luis Villaplana

If your diabetes can be attributed to or tied to your time in service (such as agent orange in particular), then there are significant VA benefits. Check with the counselor at the VA hospital near you or with your veterans organizations like the VFW. - Dr. Richard Bensinger

3. How does post traumatic stress disorder affect war veterans and families?

PTSD can be damaging for veteran and family. Combat capacity can be reduced, endurance reduced as soldier is not at perfect health before engaging action. Mind not as sharp though already in hyper-arousal state. Wrongful decision-making hurt split second decision in life and death matter. Family harmony disturbed by extreme tension of untreated ptsd which aggravates with time. - Dr. Truc Dao

4. Who can I talk to about getting help as a veteran with PTSD?

There is a national network of therapists who treat vets for free and confidentially. To find one in your area, go to - Dr. Christine Musello

If there is a “vet center” in your community -it is a great place to start. The department of veterans affairs has a massive structure to provide services. Start with AM Vets, DAV, VA rep or other service officers to assist you with completing an application for services. You will need to have your condition “service -connected” to receive treatment. Even a 0% rating will get you services for life for that particular condition. I would start working on your application ASAP. - Dr. Heidi Fowler

5. Will the VA provide guide dogs for blinded veterans?

_PetDogEach veteran’s case is reviewed and evaluated by a prescribing clinician for the following:

  • ability and means, including family or caregiver, to care for the dog currently and in the future
  • goals that are to accomplished through the use of the dog
  • goals that are to be accomplished through other assistive technology or therapy the veteran will be informed of an approval or disapproval

Answer courtesy of Dr. Guy Da Silva

To all our military families and veterans, our heartfelt thanks for your sacrifice and service. Now, it’s out turn to serve you with trusted, personalized health information, whenever you need it most. Our HealthTap doctors are here to support you—our heroes—today and always!

Ask our doctors any health question, anytime, anywhere.


50 Fun Facts About Your Skin

Did you know?

The skin is human body’s largest organ, accounting for around 15% of your body weight. Here are 10 other interesting, incredible facts about your skin:

  1. Mature-Woman-SkincareThe average skin, when stretched out, is 2 square meters
  2. Every inch of your skin has an exact stretchiness and strength for its location
  3. The thinnest skin is found on your eyelids. The thickest skin is found on your feet
  4. Over 50% of the dust in your home is actually dead skin
  5. Every minute, your skin sheds over 30,000 dead skin
  6. Your skin has its own bacteria microbiome of over 1000 species
  7. On average, 14 species of Fungi live between your toes
  8. It takes up to 6 months for babies to develop their permanent skin tone
  9. 1 in 20 women suffer acne, while only 1 in 100 men do
  10. For healthy skin, you need Vitamin A, D, C, and E

For the complete list of 50, check out the Infographic below from Beauty Flash.

50 Incredible Facts About Your Skin

Infographic from Beauty Flash

Ebola FAQ: Top 21 Questions Asked by Doctors

HealthTap hosted a summit of Infectious Diseases experts who discussed current developments in the Ebola outbreak in West Africa, and our preparedness and ability to treat any Ebola-exposed travelers from Africa.

How can HealthTap help provide guidelines and recommendations for the monitoring of Ebola?

EbolaInfographic_jpgBy creating a forum for the discussion of current medical events and emergencies, HealthTap facilitates the dissemination of up-to-date medical information to doctors across specialties. This type of discussion and collaboration fosters the development of improved practices by enabling doctors across the nation to connect and gather the most relevant health information for their practice. Doctors are invited to join the Medical Expert Network: Healthtap doctors perform an important service during this Ebola outbreak, by providing  timely information and advice to anxious patients who would have otherwise tried to contact overwhelmed emergency departments, urgent care centers, and primary care offices for answers. Doctors are invited to use the HealthTap platform to deliver virtual care to their patients:

How is Ebola diagnosed and treated?

Early diagnosis is based on initial serology, which is confirmed by ELISA testing, PCR, and virus isolation test. Later in the disease course, IgM and IgG diagnostic tests can be performed for diagnosis. Supportive treatment for Ebola includes IV fluids and electrolyte management, oxygen and blood pressure maintenance, and ongoing treatment of secondary infections. Experimental vaccines and treatments for Ebola are in progress, but none have been fully tested for effectiveness.

What is the length of the incubation period for Ebola?

Incubation can be as short as a few days. Typical incubation time is 8-9 days. Occasionally incubation has lasted up to 20 days. We declare the risk of infection as nil after 21 days.

What’s the best way to distinguish a patient who has Ebola or the flu?

If someone has been exposed to a person with active Ebola infection (meaning that they traveled recently from one of the affected African countries), then that person should be assumed to have Ebola. If no such exposure occurred, then no additional testing for Ebola is required.

How infectious are different body fluids, ie. sweat, semen, blood, etc?

All body fluids from someone with Ebola infection are potentially infectious. Blood, vomit, and stool are the most common fluids that transmit the infection.

How long is Ebola viable on surfaces outside of the body?

Ebola can be long lived in fluids at room temperature. Full dessication and exposure to ultraviolet light (sunlight) appears to kill the virus, as does application of bleach.

Can the Ebola virus be transmitted by mosquitos and fleas?

The virus is carried in mammals (for example, humans, bats, monkeys and apes).  There have been no documented cases of transmission via mosquitos or fleas.

Is Ebola an airborne virus (contradicting statements)?

Ebola is not airborne the way measles or chicken pox is. You could acquire Ebola if you stand within several feet of an infected person who is actively coughing, vomiting, or experiencing explosive diarrhea, and the droplets reach you. Droplets must come in contact with your eyes or mouth, or land on your hand or skin, if you then touch your eyes or mouth.

Is it safe to fly at this time?

There is no risk of contracting Ebola from travel on airplanes for flights that originate in the U.S. Flight on airlines in African countries that have Ebola epidemics could have individuals on board who were previously exposed, but are not showing signs of infection, because the airlines are screening passengers for symptoms prior to boarding. In prior documented cases of a person with active Ebola infection traveling by air on a flight originating in Africa, no one on the flights traveling with those patients acquired the infection.

What is the best advice to protect myself, my patients, and my family?

The best advice is to have everyone understand that the risk of Ebola is vanishingly small. Unless you yourself have traveled to a country with an outbreak, or you come in contact with someone who did and who is showing signs of infection, such as a fever, you are more likely to be killed by lightning, and you are more than 1000 times more likely to die in a car accident this year than to acquire Ebola in the U.S. (you are even more likely to die from a shark attack than from Ebola).

What are the risks with newborns and children with Ebola and what are best practices for keeping them safe?

The only way to contract Ebola is to be exposed personally to the bodily fluids of a person infected with and showing symptoms of Ebola. Newborns and children will not be exposed or at risk unless they come in direct contact with someone who is symptomatic after coming in contact with someone with Ebola. Currently, only people returning from the affected African nations, who took care of Ebola patients there, are potential source of contact.

What advice is given pregnant women during this Ebola outbreak?

Pregnant women should avoid contact with symptomatic individuals who have returned from African countries after taking care of Ebola patients.

Are survival rates inversely proportional to the initial contaminating viral load? If so, do we have a quantitative viral test?

We do not have good evidence on this issue, but it does appear that very high viral load in body fluids that occur at the terminal phase of infection is more likely to transmit the infection to those who come in direct contact. After the infection begins, the illness is just as severe in anyone, independent of the dosage of the initial inoculum.

What is the most frequent cause of death from Ebola? Coagulopathy?

Ebola virus affects every cell in body, and severe fluid loss occurs from diarrhea and vomiting. Coagulopathy and internal bleeding are common, and encephalopathy often precedes systemic collapse and death.

Is there a cure for Ebola?

The survival rate for Ebola is 30-50%, improved with symptomatic and full supportive care. Multiple experimental treatments are being tried now, including serum transfusion from survivors, and new medications like ZMapp, but their effectiveness is still under investigation.

How close are we to developing an effective vaccination, and why have there been problems with this so far?

There are multiple vaccines under development, and clinical trials are underway. More extensive human trials are being planned for as early as January, 2015.

What is the best way to screen for Ebola rapidly?

Taking a history and excluding travel from Africa, or direct contact with anyone who is symptomatic with Ebola infection is a sufficient screen – absent that contact, there is no risk of Ebola.

What are the current statistics about trial worldwide cases, percent deaths, doubling time, projected for the coming months?

See this discussion from the CDC

What are the national and state quarantine regulations for managing Ebola?

As of October 27th, new guidelines are expected to be unveiled by the White House in the coming days. According to a white house official, the administration is consulting with the states as they develop new rules.

What can and should ambulatory medical practices (physician offices, urgent care etc.) do to prepare for Ebola?

The main goals of preparing ambulatory medical practice for Ebola are identifying, containing and supportively managing the infected patient. You can read about best Ebola management practices for ambulatory care settings from the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response here:

How should we respond in our offices when a patient is positive for screening questions of symptoms and possible exposure?

If a person who has traveled from an epidemic area (one of the following countries: Sierra Leone, Liberia, Guinea, Mali) where they came in direct contact with people suffering from Ebola presents with fever or other systemic symptoms, isolate the patient and notify the public health department. Note:  Nigeria previously had Ebola but is now free of any one with the disease.