Don Gibbons, Harvard Medical School, 617-432-0442,
Jill Griffiths, Aetna U.S. Healthcare, 215-775-6890, ([email protected])
Elizabeth Sell, Aetna U.S. Healthcare, 215-775/5523, ([email protected])
Harvard Medical School and Aetna U.S. Healthcare Sign Agreement to Craft Uniquely Usable Website as HMS Becomes InteliHealth's Flagship Content Partner
InteliHealth and HMS to Empower Consumers with Enhanced Health Information and Tools for Managing Their Health while Protecting Their Privacy
Boston, MA--July 27, 2000--Harvard Medical School (HMS) and Aetna U.S. Healthcare today announced that they have entered into an agreement for HMS to become the flagship medical content partner of InteliHealth (www.intelihealth.com), Aetna U.S. Healthcare's online health information subsidiary. HMS will bring its expertise to the award-winning InteliHealth web site to enhance its content and usability, while partnering with InteliHealth in giving consumers the highest level of privacy protections.
The two organizations will further enhance consumer confidence in the objectivity of their internet health information by clearly separating advertising from editorial content in ways that should raise standards for the web. In addition, the site intends to focus increased attention on the health issues facing underserved populations.
"The Web has become an integral part of our healthcare system so it is important for Harvard Medical School to take this step to enhance the quality of the health information available to consumers online," said Joseph B. Martin, M.D., Ph.D., dean of Harvard Medical School.
"As more and more consumers turn to the Internet for health information, it is of utmost importance that web-surfers be able to trust the information they are accessing. While InteliHealth already leads the way in providing credible, reliable health information, we're excited to join with the world's leading medical school in enhancing InteliHealth's content, usability, and privacy features," said Arthur Leibowitz, M.D., Aetna U.S. Healthcare's chief medical officer.
Harvard Medical School will have full editorial independence in developing and reviewing medical content for the site. Content developed specifically by HMS will be included throughout the site and will be clearly labeled.
Over 70 Harvard Medical School faculty -- with expertise ranging from pediatrics to geriatrics-- will develop and provide editorial review for health content for the site, and help in developing software to give consumers rapid, thorough, and credible answers to their specific health questions.
As part of the relationship, the editorial team will work to create content designed for underserved populations. "I believe that the digital divide will disappear as Internet technology becomes both less expensive and easier to use; that will allow us to reach vast populations that currently have no access to information about health," said Anthony L. Komaroff, M.D., professor of medicine at HMS who has overall editorial responsibility for HMS's print and electronic publishing for the general public.
In addition to Dr. Komaroff, other HMS contributors to InteliHealth are expected to include: Dr. Howard LeWine, Editor-in-Chief of the program, and Senior Editors Drs. Henry Bernstein, Daniel Federman, Thomas Lee, Michael Miller, Kenneth Minaker, and Robert Shmerling.
InteliHealth will be the exclusive commercial online home for a comprehensive array of original HMS consumer health information. InteliHealth expects to license for the site selected information excerpted from such publications as the Harvard Medical School Family Health Guide (Simon & Schuster, 1999) and forthcoming S&S/HMS titles on subjects including fertility, arthritis, nutrition and women's health, and from HMS's five Consumer Health Newsletters and its Special Health Reports, published by StayWell.
InteliHealth and HMS subscribe to the privacy principles of an international group, Health Internet Ethics (Hi-Ethics), and have imposed additional privacy standards on their relationship. For example, the site will provide a clear description of what uses can be made of information offered by the user, and users will have to give explicit permission before any personally-identifiable information will be released to a third party. InteliHealth will enhance its already strict policy of clearly separating advertising and editorial content, and both InteliHealth and HMS have conflict of interest policies that employees in editorial positions must adhere to.
"We want InteliHealth to be the most up-to-date, user friendly, and valuable consumer health site on the web," said Sal Uglietta, president of InteliHealth. "Our relationship with Harvard Medical School, and the expertise of the over 70 HMS professionals who share our vision, will enable us to surpass the ambitious goals that we've set for the site. I encourage consumers to add InteliHealth to their favorites list and gauge our progress for themselves as we enhance the site over the next 18 months."
InteliHealth Inc. (www.intelihealth.com), an Internet company, delivers content through an in-house editorial staff and licensing agreements with more than 400 major broadcast, print and interactive media outlets. InteliHealth also works with more than 150 top health organizations - including the National Institutes of Health - key health associations, and major medical publishing companies. InteliHealth is the winner of the 1999 Webby Award for "best health site on the Internet" and the 2000 "People's Voice" Webby Award, and has been called by Newsweek "altogether the best health site on the Web." InteliHealth is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Aetna U.S. Healthcare Inc.
About Harvard Medical School
The Harvard Medical School faculty - the world's largest - includes a total of 8,000 physicians with teaching and research or patient care responsibility. The research carried out by HMS faculty is at the forefront of basic biomedical science and clinical research. To learn more about Harvard Medical School, visit its web site at www.med.harvard.edu.
About Aetna U.S. Healthcare
Aetna U.S. Healthcare Inc., the health benefits unit of Aetna Inc. (NYSE: AET), is the nation's leading health and related benefits organization, providing a full spectrum of products ranging from health maintenance organizations (HMOs) to indemnity health insurance, group life and disability products, and dental, vision, and pharmacy benefits. The company provides products and services to 19.5 million health, 11.5 million group insurance, and 14.8 million dental members nationwide. To learn more about Aetna U.S. Healthcare, visit its web site at www.aetnaushc.com.