Telehealth startup Ro's Health Guide challenges rivals with physician-backed info

In contrast to competitors such as WebMD, an online health resource launched by direct-to-consumer pharmacy startup Ro on Feb. 12 boasts a platform free of pharmaceutical ads, with all articles reviewed by physicians, TechCrunch reports.

Health Guide comprises a collection of articles about health conditions, wellness trends and medical treatments. Each article comes with a disclaimer recommending readers seek further advice from a medical professional and refrains from advertising even Roman's own pharmaceutical products to readers.

About one-third of all Health Guide articles are written by physicians, and 100 percent are reviewed by them, with the reviewer's name printed alongside the author's on each page and all related academic studies and other source materials listed at the bottom. Ro has reportedly promised to review and update each article at least once per year.

Despite the fact that these significant efforts are not mitigated by omnipresent ads — even for the company's own offerings — Roman founder Zachariah Reitano told TechCrunch that Health Guide is "a significant investment in trust."

He continued, "Providing education to patients will serve Ro really well in the long-run. … For something like vaccines where there is a potential for misinformation, you'll see us take a strong stance. We won't let the potential for misinformation spread through Health Guide."

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