MDiTV launched an online network featuring daily medical news videos hosted by ex-CNN anchors Andrew Holtz and Cathy Marshall. Produced internally, the three- and four-minute news programs look like TV news segments, and cover medical news topics du jour.
The network will also present long-format programming, such as the Charlie Rose-inspired "Second Opinion" program, hosted by MDiTV founder and CEO Robert Lazzara, a cardiac surgeon. "Natural Forces," a weekly health program hosted by Kelly Godell, will cover nutrition, food and healthy eating.
MDiTV also hopes to premiere live surgeries through partnerships with "founding member hospitals," and will broadcast medical meetings live, according to Lazzara. Surgeries and medical meetings will be presented in a way similar to how ESPN presents a sporting event, said Lazzara.
A mobile application is currently in development with Apple, and will enable iPhone and iPad users to access the network's programming, and tune in for live events or watch them on demand. For now, videos are linked to YouTube for mobile viewers.
The revenue model for MDiTV is still undefined, said Lazzara. "Advertising will be introduced on the site within the next 60 days. Until then, we're focused on creating content and collecting user feedback." The company also boasts a "social media division of two [individuals]," which features a blog, and Facebook and Twitter components, said Lazzara.
Advertising will most likely resemble a "broadcast commercial model that's non-obtrusive," akin to Hulu.com, said Lazzara, who resisted being "pigeonholed" by comparison with other revenue models. Possibilities include pre-roll video, program hosts mentioning a sponsor, and scrolling marquee at the bottom of the page, with embedded links, said Lazzara. Pharmaceutical companies, medical supply companies, hospitals, insurance plans and others are all potential clients, he said.
Lazzara said he will use a combination of paid advertising to promote the site to consumers, patients and providers — the latter a blanket term for medical industry workers, physicians, caretakers, hospital administrators and others, according to Lazzara — and internal social media outreach.