Health Soul,the world's largest directory of healthcare reviews, just got even better. Now registered users on the site can earn social points by contributing to the site. These points can be redeemed either for Amazon gift cards or for discounts from products sold by third party vendors on the site. Social badges (like a user rank) have always been available as rewards, but it’s safe to say this new system should inspire more activity.
For the uninitiated, Health Soul is a website that collects user reviews of their experiences with doctors, hospitals, and insurance companies. Founded byDr. Ish Singla and his wife, the site’s aim was to essentially become the Yelp.com of the healthcare industry. After months of platform development and pre-launch client acquisition throughout 2016, the site made many improvements throughout 2017 based on received feedback. The site launched fully in 2017, and it is currently free for all users.
When a user first logs into the site, the main focus is exactly what is expected. There are prominent and convenient category links to doctors, hospitals, and insurance companies. These are listed from the most recent reviews on down. Users are able to search each category for specific states and cities to narrow results down to their local area. There are also fairly straightforward instructions for registered users to post their own reviews, though there are naturally some basic rules of etiquette.
While these reviews are the main draw of the site, to assume they are all that’s offered would be incorrect. The site provides convenient calculators to determine things likeBMI and BMR. The site is also home to a forum where users can discuss their experience with the site as well as their medical experiences. There is a blog that is regularly updated by the Health Soul team featuring the latest in healthcare news. Perhaps most interesting of its additional features is the ability to directly ask questions of the medical professionals on the site’s team. While this is nowhere near as good as an official diagnosis, it can be extremely useful for general healthcare questions.
Healthcare providers are also welcome to use the site and will receive different benefits from doing so. Providers can also join for free and create a page on the site for their business. This can have many benefits, one of the most important being higherpriority placement in search engines. Providers are also notified when they are reviewed so they can see how they’re doing on the site. Providers can also purchase a premium account for additional benefits. These can include targeted ads on the site as well as allowing patients to sign up for appointment 24 hours a day.
There are some limitations on what can be posted to the site during certain time frames. This is an attempt to eliminatefraudulent reviews, which have become a continuous nuisance on the internet. For example, in the case of hospital reviews, it needs to involve a hospitalization that occurred within the last 24 months, and only the patient is eligible to write it. Similarly, for health insurance reviews, the policy needs to have been used in the past 18 months. Finally, all users are limited to reviewing two entities per month. This largely eliminates the ability to “review spam” any particular doctor, hospital, or insurance company with positive or negative feedback.
Health Soul is certainly a revolutionary platform in the healthcare space. While some features remain in the beta stage, it continues to make well-recommended doctors available for patients, and provide transparency for consumers in the healthcare industry.