Yahoo feeds health care craving

Yahoo joins the online health information bandwagon, adding Yahoo Health to its array of topic-specific areas.

Yahoo today joined the online health information bandwagon, adding Yahoo Health to its array of topic-specific areas.

Similar in look and functionality to other Yahoo areas, Yahoo Health offers news, links to relevant chats, advice from experts, and search capabilities, among other functions. It also features a nutritional food area and a personal health test, Yahoo said.

Yahoo is getting into the online health space just as it is taking off. Earlier today, Fox Entertainment said it plans to launch a new media company in July dubbed the Health Network. It will offer health information and products for consumers, physicians, and hospitals through an integrated Internet and cable platform, the company said.

Last week, Healtheon and WebMD agreed to merge in an effort to build the Web's largest health site.

The flurry of activity in this space is not surprising, given the current and potential demand for health content on the Web. Earlier this week, research firm Jupiter Communications released a report that predicted the online consumer health care market would grow to $1.7 billion by 2003.

With its Yahoo Health offering, the portal giant has leveraged its abundant traffic to garner content aggregation deals with an array of health content players, including Adam.com, Cooking Light magazine, DrKoop.com, HealthCentral.com, Healtheon, iVillage, and Women.com Networks, among others.

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