Prevently aims to combine video visits, wearable sensors, social network

By Jonah Comstock
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PreventlyAn ambitious health website, launching Friday, aims to combine a number of different health features -- including telemedicine, personal health records, and health social networks -- into one comprehensive online platform.

Prevently, founded by Harvard University undergraduate students Laurence Girard and Kristen Faulkner, is one of three companies coming through a Long Island-based technology accelerator called COMETS.

"There's companies that just do health content or social networking or e-commerce or telemedicine," Girard told MobiHealthNews. "Prevently's value is the integration of all these products and services into one place. We give you the knowledge, but there's always a way to take action on the knowledge."

Prevently has five main functionalities: contributed health content, an e-commerce platform for purchasing non-pharmaceutical supplements, two-way virtual physician visits, a personal health record that also connects with fitness devices, and a social network.

Some of the health content is licensed from Harvard Medical School and some comes from a staff of freelance contributors. The e-commerce platform, organized through Amazon fulfillment services, will allow users to purchase healthy food, nutritional supplements, or personal care products, but not prescription or over-the-counter drugs. Girard describes it as "an online version of Whole Foods," although the company has no affiliation with the chain store. Users can also buy all the connected devices that integrate with the site's personal health record function.

The personal health record feature is mainly an aggregator for data from connected devices. At launch, the site will connect with Fitbit, Jawbone UP, Nike+ FuelBand, iHealth Labs, Withings, and iBGStar devices. Users will be able to track data, share it with their physicians or care providers, or share it on the social media feature if they choose. The social media portion will at first be built like a Facebook page, where users can share statuses and comments with one another, but it will be expanded to include gamified features that encourage users to share fitness and wellness-related data, Girard said.

The telemedicine component will only support appointments with a dietician at launch. Girard said the company still needs to work out some details, but plans to add primary care doctors next, and eventually physical trainers and mental health professionals too. The visits are powered by Vsee and the providers will be partners, rather than employees, of Prevently. Prevently will charge for the visits ($60 for an hour or $100 for a monthly subscription) and will take a cut of those charges.

Finally, the company plans to have a mobile version of the website in the future. "Because we basically built something that has an insane amount of functionality in three months, it's not perfect on mobile but they're working on it," Girard said, referring to a team of 25 developers. He said that eventually all of the site's functionality would also be accessible from the app.

Prevently was incorporated in June and has raised $1 million in seed funding from undisclosed angel investors, according to the company.

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