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Alliance Health Networks Selected as a Collaborator in Choosing Wisely Campaign to Raise Awareness of Unnecessary Medical Tests
[May 10, 2012]

Alliance Health Networks Selected as a Collaborator in Choosing Wisely Campaign to Raise Awareness of Unnecessary Medical Tests


SALT LAKE CITY --(Business Wire)--

Alliance Health Networks, the leading social networking company serving consumers and the healthcare industry, today announced that it has been selected by Consumer Reports, the world's largest independent product-testing organization, as a consumer communications collaborator in the Choosing Wisely campaign, a project recently launched by the ABIM Foundation to raise awareness of medical tests and procedures that may be unnecessary.

Alliance Health is one of 11 organizations - including AARP, the Wikipedia community and the National Business Coalition on Health - selected to disseminate information and educate consumers about Choosing Wisely. Through its social networks the company will help encourage patients to understand their options and engage in more informed discussions with their physicians. Alliance Health owns and operates more than 50 social networks that connect more than 1.5 million registered members. It is the only digital health company selected as a Choosing Wisely collaborator to date.

"We are honored to have been selected by Consumer Reports to serve as one of its content collaborators on this far-reaching initiative," said Stead Burwell, CEO of Alliance Health. "It underscores the role social networks can play in empowering patients to engage in important conversations with their physicians and ultimately improve their healthcare."

Beginning this summer, Alliance Health will launch topic pages within its online communities dedicated entirely to the Choosing Wisely campaign. The pages will feature articles, videos, discussion boards, interactive polls and other content relevant to Choosing Wisely and will be promoted on each site's home page and through newsletters to community members.

The Choosing Wisely topic pages wll initially launch on several of the company's most popular social networks, including Diabetic Connect, Heart Connect, Sleep Connect and Arthritis Connect, among others.



The Choosing Wisely initiative has been embraced by nine leading physician specialty societies, including the American College of Physicians, the American College of Radiology, and the American Academy of Family Physicians. These nine associations have identified specific tests or procedures that are commonly used but not always necessary in their respective fields.

A 2010 survey of Consumer Reports readers - nearly 1,200 healthy 40-60 year old men and women, with no known heart disease, risk factors or symptoms - showed that 44 percent had received screening tests for heart disease rated by Consumer Reports as unlikely or very unlikely to have benefits that outweigh the risks.


"When choosing consumer-focused collaborators to help us communicate the importance of the Choosing Wisely campaign, it was critical that we include organizations with the ability to reach at least a million people in a meaningful way," said John Santa, director of the Consumer Reports Health Ratings Center. "Alliance Health's wide array of health-related online communities uniquely enable patients to learn more about their individual conditions and engage in conversations with peers who share their health challenges. It is critical that consumers have the most useful and timely information to help them make smart decisions about their healthcare. The Choosing Wisely campaign helps them to do just that."

The complete list of the specialty societies and communication collaborators involved in the campaign is available at www.ChoosingWisely.org. The site includes a list of 45 commonly prescribed tests and procedures that may be unnecessary, along with information of when a particular test may be appropriate based on clinical evidence and guidelines.

About Alliance Health Networks

Alliance Health Networks is building a free and independent social engagement platform that gives people the power to navigate their personal health journey. The company owns and operates more than 50 social networks and 20 mobile versions serving over 1.5 million registered members. Alliance Health leverages social networks to help consumers more actively manage their care through personal connections, powerful tools, and deeper insights. The company's investors include New World Ventures, Physic Ventures, Highway 12 Ventures, and EPIC Ventures. For more information, visit: www.alliancehealthnetworks.com.


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