AOL Founder to Launch

ByABC News via logo
February 8, 2007, 9:14 AM

Feb. 8, 2007 — -- AOL founder Steve Case is set to launch a Web site that he says will revolutionize health care by giving consumers more knowledge about doctors, treatments and hospitals, he told "Good Morning America" on Thursday.

The site,, will allow consumers to rate doctors and trade advice, in addition to offering expert advice and a symptom check.

Case was inspired to create the site after his brother's experience with brain cancer, he said.

"It was scary and complicated," he said. "It was hard to get information about what to do, about this treatment option."

If it was like that for him and his brother, who he said received great care, Case wondered what navigating the health care system might be like for the average person.

"I left AOL and was wondering what I should do next," he said.

"GMA" medical editor Dr. Tim Johnson expressed some skepticism over the idea of a lay person rating the quality of medical care.

"I think there's probably a reason [we] rate movies and restaurants before health care," Johnson said. "Health care's a little more complicated."

It will be difficult for the average person to accurately assess a doctor's skill, he said.

"Even I have trouble doing it," Johnson said. "The ultimate answer is to be part of a good system that takes care of [rating doctors] for you."

Still, "consumers can certainly talk about some things that are helpful," he said.

Case also hopes that will create a standard for electronic medical health records that the patient owns.

Johnson called the lack of a standardized electronic system for medical records "a shame."

"It really is a tragedy we haven't arrived at that point," he said. "The government will play a role in this."

Case rebuffed critics who say that he is trying to accomplish the impossible.

"That's part of the reason I'm doing it. Health care is so complicated, it's too hard to change," he said. "Health care has to change and has to be revolutionized."