Does the world need yet another healthcare-focused portal? Does it need another portal site, period? Entrepreneur Nora Iluri seems to thinks so.
In April, Iluri — an entrepreneur turned McKinsey consultant turned entrepreneur again — began building Clarimed, a site with big ambitions to do two things. First, it aims to provide consumers with greater insight into their own health care. It’s also being designed with an eye toward helping physicians, personal injury attorneys, and anyone else who is looking for hard stats about medical devices and procedures, including the numbers of adverse events relating to both and what was found to cause them.
Put another way, Iluri is targeting consumers, the people who treat them, and even the people who sue the people who treat them.
It’s a tall order, but Iluri has spent the last four months populating the site with publicly available information, as well as the feedback of nutritionists and other specialists who’ve been rating and augmenting the data that’s been culled, including about more than 125,000 medical devices; 200 diseases and related procedures; dozens of diets; and 800 device manufacturers. (Clarimed rates the companies, as well as lists safety issues, reviews, and high-level company performance information.)
Indeed, the site officially launches tomorrow at the fourth annual Health 2.0 conference happening right now in San Francisco.
But what makes Iluri think people want so much healthcare information in one place, versus specialized sites? After all, in many verticals, the trend right now is to specialize rather than be all things to all people.
Iluri says Clarimed’s biggest differentiator is and will always be the information it compiles relating to medical devices. “That’s definitely going to be a big focus for us, and that’s the piece targeted toward institutions” that may ultimately pay for in-depth reports, generated by both Clarimed staff and approved third party providers.
Iluri says she also wants to generate consumer interest in Clarimed because “information is only as useful as the number of people taking advantage of it.” More, says Iluri, “I do think it’s a problem when people are doing healthcare related search by going to Google and trying to see what’s pops up in its top 20 links. I don’t think we plan on providing [every piece of healthcare information in the world]; we’ll syndicate when it makes sense. But I don’t think people want or should have to scour the earth to get healthcare transparency.”
Of course, Clarimed, which Iluri currently runs with the help of roughly two dozen freelance contractors, has plenty of competition, from the established likes of WebMD to the National Institutes of Health to a spate of startups that are trying to address the same issues as Iluri, including HealthTap, which has raised $2.35 million in the last 20 months to personalize health information and create more avenues of communication between users and their physicians.
It also needs money to fulfill the vision of Iluri, who says she’ll soon begin seeking out a round of between $2.5 million to $6 million “depending on how much we want to ramp up.”
In the meantime, she’s doing what she can at the bootstrapped company, including planning out “multiple channels to garner revenue” at Clarimed, including advertising and, assuming it gains traction, the sale of focused reports – some of which will be semi-automated based on publicly available data and others that will be customized. She’s also planning various subscription packages that would allow for users to access Clarimed’s entire database, or purchase specific packets of information.
Does she have a shot? You never know until you do, but Iluri’s academic credentials are certainly worth noting. Before and after founding Zoragen — a molecular diagnostics startup that Iluri later sold to a U.K-based company – Iluri managed to snag a Ph.D. in bioengineering from M.I.T.; a master of philosophy degree in bioscience entrepreneurship from the University of Cambridge; and both a master’s and bachelor degree in electrical engineering from M.I.T.
Before Clarimed’s founding in April, Iluri also spent more than five years as a consultant in the healthcare practice of McKinsey & Co.