PORTLAND -- A Portland start-up website, MDiTV, hopes to use the indispensable Google model to create around-the-clock health advice via video programming and social media.
"What we see is the development of a 24/7 health information broadcast network utilizing real time web 3.0 technologies," said Dr. Robert R. Lazzara, CEO of MDiTV.
Lazzara came up with the idea after producing the first live web cast of an open heart surgery more than a decade ago. But, now broadband technology has caught up to his vision.
"We've got multiple channels, we can deliver those channels and we can deliver those channels to any end point," said Lazzara.
To help launch the network. Andrew Holtz, a veteran from CNN. was picked as the site's main anchor and senior news editor. He said he's used to taking chances.
"I started with CNN when it was only six weeks old," said Holtz between shooting news updates at the company's headquarters at the Leftbank Building in Portland.
MDiTV's programs target women, surgeons and physicians. A cadre of content producers use social media to find an audience that compliment the web shows.
"That's a work in progress, they can find us on Facebook, the can find us on Twitter", said social media director, Drew Hanson.
The company uses blogs to create virtual communities for people to share and explore options and information regarding health care. An iPhone app is in the works.
But, like the cost of health care, this venture is pricey, upwards to $10 million.
Dr. Lazzara took a cue from other websites, like Google. Build content first, and then find a way to make it pay.
To get sponsors interested in the new venture, MDiTV was offering potential clients free commercials for a limited time.