Trusera, a ‘Health 2.0′ site founded by former Amazon exec Keith Schorsch, is facing tough times. The startup is nearly out of money, and Schorsch says that unless it can raise more funding by the end of April, it will have to shut down on April 30.
Trusera launched ten months ago, offering users a community where they can share their stories about how they’ve dealt with health conditions. Instead of simply segmenting users into different groups according to the disease they are dealing with, Trusera also takes other information into account, including a user’s hobbies, location, and age. Using this data it tries to match users up with each other, so that their experiences and tips can be shared with the people who stand to gain the most from them. The other benefit of this matching system is that users can elect to receive Email updates whenever a new match submits a story or tip, which means that users don’t have to worry about constantly searching the site for new information.
Trusera is well designed, with a friendly interface that lends a sense of community that makes the site seem like more than just a reference guide. It also has a few innovative features in the works, like a writing assistant that offers users tips as they write about their experiences (Schorsch assures me that it is nowhere near as annoying as Microsoft’s infamous Clippy).
But while it has grown a dedicated user base, it is still fairly small (which isn’t too surprising given that it has been around less than a year). The site faces off with a plethora of competitors in this space, which include everything from similar online portals to more basic forums. Many sites also revolve around individual diseases, which can further segment these communities.
While Trusera may be forced to close at the end of next month, Schorsch says that the company will continue to maintain the website content and platform on private servers, which they can reactivate down the line should they come across new funding.