HealCam offers new model for health info and support

Medgadget, an El Granada, Calif.-based blog that's maintained by a group of doctors and biomedical engineers from around the world, has announced the beta release of a new interactive online service for people with medical conditions.

HealCam (healcam.com) is a video chat site designed by Medgadget (medgadget.com) members that enables users to speak, on camera and in real time, with other people who share conditions such as diabetes or depression.

Similar in many ways to the Web site Chatroulette, the concept behind HealCam is simple: if a person would like to talk with other users who have the same issues, they log on, press start, and choose a health category. They'll then be connected, at random, with another user who has that condition.

When the conversation is over, one can just press next to be automatically connected to another person with the same condition. A user can speak to as many people as he or she wishes.

The creators of HealCam say they "envision the site as a large meeting place, where people can exchange information, get or give moral support, and learn from others." No registration is required to participate in the video chats.

In its early stages, HealCam offers a few general categories: cancer, depression, diabetes, heart disease, pregnancy and childbirth, and weight loss and dieting. However, developers expect to be opening new health channels in the coming weeks.

In the meantime they're seeking feedback from the site's users, which can be logged at healcam.com/contact.

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