WebMD is conducting a root-and-branch redesign of its platform to allow for greater searchability, the incorporation of new technologies like broadband video and new opportunities for advertisers. The revamped consumer site, set to launch later this month, will feature beefed-up search and symptom-check functions, greater personalization based on family health histories and 1,300 new broadcast-quality videos available through 60-some topical “health and wellness centers.”
Eighteen months in the making, it's the first overhaul of WebMD's infrastructure since the 1998 launch of the health portal, said president and CEO Wayne Gattinella. “This will enrich the user experience and enable us to incorporate next-generation 2.0 personalization and community applications that our older platform couldn't support,” he said.
The new platform will boost the site's ranking in external searches, driving in more traffic, while the improved internal search function will allow advertisers to better segment the WebMD audience and fine-tune messaging based on search.
The consumer site will offer a free Personal Health Record service, inviting users to store family health info in a secure, centralized place.