iVillage Health Launches

A survey conducted by Harris Interactive for iVillage found that 82 percent of women believed there were reasons to feel uncomfortable when discussing health concerns or questions with friends or family members; 59 percent said discussing health concerns with people they know can be embarrassing; 62 percent would turn to a Website with health concerns or questions that were not extremely serious; 64 percent use online communities to discuss health concerns or questions they have not discussed with anyone else; and 49 percent said online is the first place they would go to research a health question, nearly double the number who would go to the doctor first (25 percent), and much higher than those who would first turn to a family member (15 percent), or a friend with a similar condition/issue (6 percent).

Armed with that information, the NBC Universal-owned online community for women launched iVillage Health Thursday, aimed at combining medical expertise and original health content with community conversations and interactive tools to help women manage their health needs online.

iVillage health editor Jennifer Barrett, who recently joined the women’s site from Newsweek, will oversee iVillage Health’s content, including fare from Cleveland Clinic. Expert contributors will include: best-selling author Dr. Michael F. Roizen of Cleveland Clinic; author, professor and Today nutrition expert Dr. Madelyn Fernstrom, PhD.; psychiatrist and Today contributor Dr. Gail Saltz, M.D.; dermatologist and book author Dr. Doris Day, M.D.; and celebrity fitness trainer and nutritionist Jeanette Jenkins.

GE is the launch sponsor for iVillage Health as part of its Healthymagination initiative, aimed at providing better health for more people through technology and innovation.

iVillage executive vice president Jodi Kahn said:

Women make 75 percent of healthcare decisions, and the majority of those women are consulting the Internet for health information. As the only online health site designed specifically for women, iVillage Health caters to the chief healthcare decision maker in every household. It’s a unique destination that brings women together — where they can share experiences with others just like them, and access tools and expert advice to manage their health needs in one convenient place.

The survey cited above was conducted online within the United States by Harris Interactive on behalf of iVillage Feb. 18-22 via the QuickQuery online omnibus service among 2,618 U.S. adults age 18 and older, of whom 1,342 were women 18 and older and 310 were mothers.