SOURCE: Healthline Networks, Inc.

July 16, 2007 09:00 ET

Healthline Marks a Major Expansion of Its Partner Network to Include Leading Publishers, Health Plans, Search Engines and Online Media Companies

Aetna, AOL, Ask.com, and NBC Universal's iVillage Total Health Adopt Healthline's Industry-Leading Medically Guided Platform to Transform the Way Consumers Interact With Health Information

SAN FRANCISCO, CA--(Marketwire - July 16, 2007) - Healthline Networks (www.healthline.com), the leading provider of intelligent health information services, announced today a series of technology distribution agreements that will enable a broad spectrum of blue chip consumer-facing businesses to improve the way their customers find, understand, and manage health-related information.

To improve the user experience offered on their web sites and empower their visitors to make better healthcare decisions, industry leaders Aetna, AOL, Ask.com, and NBC Universal have partnered with Healthline to use its industry-pioneering search, navigation and content technology to address the shortcomings of general search engines when it comes to health-related information and transform the way in which consumers search and discover contextually relevant medical resources.

"Healthline recognizes the importance of improving health literacy to the health of our nation," said Richard H. Carmona, M.D., M.P.H, FACS, 17th Surgeon General of the United States (2002-2006), and member of Healthline Networks' board of directors. "Healthline and its expanded partner network are helping more families -- here in America and across the globe -- access health information that they can use to better manage their health."

According to the Harris Poll, out of 136 million Americans using the Internet to search health-related topics, 60% feel they get too much, too little, or irrelevant information. By adopting Healthline's taxonomy-driven medically guided search platform, top brands in traditional and online publishing, healthcare and search media, will bridge the gap between everyday consumer language and medical terminology, providing their online audiences with more relevant and medically accurate health-related resources.

"Healthline is the clear leader in vertical health search and iVillage has a long history of providing our users with the best in class health information," said Deborah Fine, President, iVillage Properties. "This partnership gives us a new opportunity to create a superior experience at iVillage Total Health; ensuring that our users have the most pertinent and targeted information they need to best manage their family's healthcare."

With newly formed partnerships and existing agreements with Eons, the Health Central Network, Info.com, Locate-a-Doc, Merck, Merriam Webster, OmniMedical Search, PacifiCare, a United Healthcare company, Televox, and US News and World Report, Healthline is well positioned to reach a collective audience of more than 30 million monthly unique health information seekers by the end of 2007, significantly expanding its market share.

"Having effective search and navigation tools on health.usnews.com significantly improves user experience, builds customer loyalty, and helps further our mission of providing consumers with News You Can Use®," said Bill Holiber, president, U.S. News & World Report. "Healthline's superior platform is becoming an industry standard for quality health search. It enables us to provide our health.usnews.com visitors with the most feature-rich and comprehensive health search on the Web as well as the licensed content assets."

To meet this growing demand for its industry-leading health search technology, Healthline has secured $21 million in strategic financing, also announced today. The round was led by GE/NBC Universal's Peacock Equity, and included investments from Aetna Ventures LLC, Kaiser Permanente Ventures, Reed Elsevier Ventures, U.S. News and World Report, and VantagePoint Venture Partners. Proceeds from the Series B round will be used to accelerate the company's research and development, engineering, sales and network services, enabling Healthline to extend its product offerings even further.

"Top publishers, portals, search engines and health plans all partner with Healthline to deliver exactly what consumers are looking for in health information search -- trusted, comprehensive and relevant medical information that enables them to make better healthcare decisions," said West Shell III, chairman and chief executive officer of Healthline. "By integrating our semantic search technology, Healthline's partners will provide their users with superior health search experience, transforming today's generation of busy parents and aging baby boomers into a legion of better educated consumers of health."

About Healthline

Healthline Networks offers an innovative approach to meeting the needs of today's health information seeker. The company's unique consumer healthcare taxonomy, the largest of its kind, powers a suite of intelligent health search, navigation and content services. Combining advanced search technology with deep medical expertise, Healthline and its business partners -- a network of trusted destination sites that include publishers, portals, search engines, employers and health plans -- help consumers navigate the complex world of healthcare information, empowering them to make more confident, informed decisions. Headquartered in San Francisco, Healthline is backed by Aetna Ventures, Peacock Equity, JHK Investments LLC, Kaiser Permanente Ventures, Mitsui & Co., Ltd., Reed Elsevier Ventures, U.S. News and World Report, and VantagePoint Venture Partners.

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