"You get sick. You Google. You get scared."
Words we can all relate to from Steve Alperin, CEO of SurvivorNet -- a new platform reimaging how we access information about healthcare.
"The issue with Dr. Google is that you don't really know what you are getting and the experience can be terrifying," he told Campaign US.
"At best, there is boilerplate information distilled into dry entries that resemble Wikipedia. More often, the information is incomplete, inaccurate, and misleading."
SurvivorNet, in partnership with creative agency BBH, is fixing this by arming its audience with highly-curated, vetted information straight from some of the leading physicians in America.
It offers patients and caregivers a revolutionary alternative with empowering and informative content from more than 200 doctors and researchers from the world’s leading cancer institutions.
The website has only been up and running for a year, but last month attracted more than 1.2 million unique visitors.
"SurvivorNet Co-Founder Tim Langloss and I care deeply about fostering a sense of comfort and empathy in everything we do," he continued. "If you make a better decision about your health after seeing our content, that's fantastic. If you're even a little less anxious, we've done our jobs."
The platform was embraced first by a really engaged group of people who have cancer and needed help on treatment decisions, as well as issues around body image and mental health during and after cancer. This community spread the word.
SurvivorNet’s short-form documentaries are also major entry points to the site. Recently, the team’s saw a major uptick in traffic when it made news, as it did when NBC's Tom Brokaw told the website he uses medical marijuana to help with the side effects of his treatment for multiple myeloma. Google News and the aggregator app Smart News are becoming significant traffic drivers.
Its success comes as the platform announces a $2 million investment as well as sponsorship with an oncology focused biopharma company.
BBH has managed to help create a Webby-award winning website and brand design from scratch.
Sarah Watson, BBH chairman, global and New York chief strategy officer, said: "BBH worked in close partnership with Steve and his team to create an experience that is completely unlike any other in this space.
"Firstly, we followed the natural discovery process of patients and caregivers to create an experience totally removed from the overwhelming mountain of research they encounter elsewhere. Then we created a visual language that is warm and nurturing whilst also being clear and professional. The result is a flexible design world that can grow with the platform.
"This project was a labor of love for BBH, we just fell in love with Steve's vision. We genuinely believe SurvivorNet represents a whole new future for the way specialist subjects are communicated with a mass audience."
SurvivorNet’s plan over the next year is to expand its distribution footprint to be available to people wherever its content is relevant. This includes over the top video platforms and collaborations with cancer centers.
On the commercial side, it is also expanding partnerships with major pharmaceutical companies focused on oncology because they play such a critical role in developing treatments that save lives.