One of these companies, Healthology Inc., has already positioned itself as a leading producer of live streaming media content, targeting both the consumer and professional community. The company is one of the first to recognise the enormous potential of the Internet to bring on-line patients into direct contact with a national network of health experts and practising physicians.
Challenged by this aim, Healthology produces in-depth, topic-focused, event-driven content in various formats, including text articles and audio/video Webcast programmes, and offers daily health Webcasts addressing a variety of health issues. Founded in 1997, Healthology is a business-to-business focused company, which provides its streaming media programming to on-line distribution partners who currently include a growing list of leading Web sites, health portals, streaming media portals as well as other popular on-line destinations.
At the end of the past year, Healthology and HealthGate Data Corporation, a leader in quality e-health Internet solutions for health care enterprises and hospitals, closed a strategic partnership. Under the collaborative agreement, the two pioneers in e-health infrastructure started to transmit Healthology content to HealthGate's affiliate sites, including NBCi and the more than 500 hospital sites that are part of HealthGate's CHOICE e-health platform. This contract further enhances Healthology's position as a leading on-line health resource for hospitals and health care providers.
Healthology has become one of the first companies to work in the field of on-line medical content producers. To date, its range of services includes Web site development; production of live events; audio/video Webcasts; encoding; production of text articles; live chat; event promotion; and also transcription services. It is one of the very few on-line companies which applies streaming video technology to showcase new Webcasts daily. The company owns one of the largest collections of streaming health programmes, including in-depth interviews, on-line surgeries, on-location coverage of medical events, as well as expert-authored articles.
Together with this distinguished faculty, the company also has generated an extensive library of streaming health programming on the Internet. It has over 500 archived clips on its Web site and has produced over 150 hours of Webcast programming. Healthology's content is provided by its vast network of physicians and expert medical professionals. These professionals come from all fields of health care, from nutrition to surgery. Unlike most health Web sites which employ health writers, Healthology's articles are written by physicians who belong to its network.
Healthology also acts as a personal publicist for its health professionals, by arranging traditional media and on-line media opportunities, like television and radio appearances. Articles written by its network of leading health professionals supplement all Healthology programming. The company is well positioned to deliver its content production expertise to its customers and professional audiences. Healthology distributes its original content through its own Web site and the sites of distribution partners by co-branding, re-branding, syndication and licensing arrangements.
The interactive programming produced by Healthology is customisable for any Web site. Via its proprietary co-branding and re-branding technology, the company can tailor its content to fit its clients' needs. Consumers can find its content on sites throughout the Web, from portals, Internet Service Providers, and community sites to the most popular health and media sites. Its programmes are extensively promoted on all major Internet event guide sites and streaming media sites. To produce reliable health programmes, Healthology's television production team works closely with its national physician network.
The company also offers physicians the opportunity to feature content from its library on their own existing sites, or on fully-functional, fully-customised associate Web sites which Healthology creates for its members. This service provides health professionals with an easy way to direct patients to reliable and engaging content relevant to patients. Healthology is a privately held, on-line health media company, founded and managed by physicians. In the course of the past year, Healthology secured funding from two main sources.
On March 1st last year, Seal Holdings Corporation completed its first Internet transaction by acquiring a 20 percent ownership position in Healthology. The company received a commitment for 3.2 million dollars in funding from Seal Corporation. Healthology used this investment to expand both its content development and distribution activities, further strengthening its position in providing the highest quality on-line health information.
Shortly afterwards, Healthology received another influx of capital from the Omnicom Group Inc. via its Internet investment arm, Communicade Inc. In conjunction with the Omnicom investment, Seal which changed its name to Le@P Technology Inc., made a further commitment to invest up to $1 million additional capital in Healthology during 2001, at Healthology's option. With the Omnicom/Communicade investment, Le@P today owns a 13.3 percent equity interest in Healthology. In addition to its investment, Omnicom will assist Healthology with the expansion of the company's on-line services and content offerings.
Another likely source of continued funding for Healthology will be advertising and sponsorship. Jupiter Communications, the New York-based e-commerce research firm, predicts a virtual explosion in on-line health care advertising. In its most recent report, issued in May 2000, Jupiter analysts project that on-line medical-related advertising, including business-to-business, will soar to $265 million by 2002, up from $12.3 million in 1997. About half of that advertising revenue is expected to come from the drug companies.
The company has established very successful sponsorship relationships with leading pharmaceutical and drug companies. Healthology's streaming media-based programmes offer marketing professionals interesting opportunities that provide effective and innovative methods of reaching targeted audiences. Companies such as Pharmacia Corporation, GE Medical, and Bristol-Myers Squibb, to name only a few, have already worked with Healthology to reach audiences worldwide. The companies are also invited to provide unrestricted educational grants for Healthology programmes or for events as a creative alternative to banner advertisements.