Healthline Media, Inc. is an American website and provider of health information headquartered in San Francisco, CA. It was founded in 2006, and established as a standalone entity in January 2016.
Type of site
|Founded||1999 (as YourDoctor.com)|
|Headquarters||San Francisco, California & New York, New York, United States|
|Owner||Healthline Media (Red Ventures)|
|Products||Health information services|
In 2011, Healthline was losing money, and rather than produce its own content, was licensing its content from others, resulting in quality problems. In response, the company invested US$1 million in developing its own content.
By 2013, it had over $21 million in revenue and 105 employees, with offices in New York City and San Francisco. Deloitte ranked Healthline Media as one of the top 500 fastest growing technology companies in North America in 2010, 2011, 2012, and 2013.
In January 2016, Healthline raised $95 million in growth equity financing through Summit Partners. Under the terms of the agreement, Healthline's media business was established as a standalone entity with David Kopp as CEO. The firm acquired health news website Medical News Today and reference website MediLexicon in May 2016.
In 2018, the company revenue exceeded US$100 million, with audience growth at 60% over the prior year, and was approaching surpassing WebMD as the dominant online health information website. In late 2018, when Google re-evaluated and re-ranked health information websites, based on content quality, Healthline saw "more organic traffic" routed to it.
Healthline Media's website publishes health and wellness information, and is a competitor to WebMD, Verywellmind, and CalmSage. In 2009, Kim Komando, a technology columnist with USA Today, listed Healthline.com as a top health information website.
The company also provides health-related content and tools to more than 40 other sites. In 2010, Healthline Media signed an agreement to provide medical and health-related content to Yahoo! Health. Other partners include AARP.com and DoctorOz.com. Healthline Networks software also powers Aetna's patient portal.
Questions have been raised about the quality and neutrality of the articles in Healthline. One critic noted that a Healthline article about a new drug used promotional language, copied from the drug-maker's press release, neglected to cite adverse side effects, and framed the drugs claimed benefits in misleading language not correctly representing the evidence reported in a classical peer-reviewed medical journal.
Other critics have noted:
- headlines that exaggerate the substance of the article;
- inadequate journalistic and scientific skepticism, when reporting "news";
- failure to balance quotes from vested interests with quotes from interviews of independent sources;
- reported medical "news" that had not yet validated by publication in a peer-reviewed journal;
- implied clinical applicability for developments not yet so scientifically validated;
- failure to balance reports of claimed theoretical benefits, of a new treatment, with a corresponding report of the associated cost or required frequency of treatment;
- failure to cite sources;
- failure to link to source of studies cited in the article;
In a 2019 interview with AdExchanger.com, Healthline Media CEO David Kopp claimed that his site had received, out of 40,000 comments, "a few hundred" critiques from consumers -- triggering changes to "several hundred articles" on Healthline.
He further noted that Healthline provided advertisers with ads matched to "content... relevant to the product."
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- Healthline Media Grows Digital Reach with Acquisition of #1 Website for Medical News Information http://www.prweb.com/releases/2016/04/prweb13368746.htm
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- Victory, Joy (Deputy Managing Editor): "When ‘fact-checked’ health news doesn’t tell the whole story," March 28, 2018, HealthNewsReview.org, retrieved November 15, 2020
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- Lomangino, Kevin and Kathlyn Stone: "'Real-life gaydar'? A news release sparks headlines that get ahead of the evidence," October 9, 2015, HealthNewsReview.org retrieved November 15, 2020
- DeMonaco, Harold:"Words of caution about 'simple tests could save lives and money' story," June 5, 2014, HealthNewsReview.org retrieved November 15, 2020
- Manouchehri, Kimya and Julia Schmid, reviewers: "Healthline uses multiple perspectives to illuminate findings related to neurological influences on depressive disorders," February 26, 2020, SciFeye retrieved November 15, 2020