Health / Startups / Wellness

DaoCloud is giving holistic health an online makeover

Holistic health practitioners need an online reboot. Here's how the University of Maryland-based startup is trying to help.

The DaoCloud homepage. (Screenshot)
Eric Green and Max Coleman, the young cofounders of DaoCloud, have a vision about the future of health and medicine.

In this future, there is a certain healthcare paradigm shift. The shift brings healthcare away from its current reactionary model where a company like ZocDoc serves patients’ scheduling needs and towards a proactive model where, you guessed it, a company like DaoCloud serves patients’ needs.
DaoCloud is a social wellness network. Its users are wellness professionals and “wellness enthusiasts” — those with an active interest in alternative healthcare in general, or as a strategy for dealing with chronic health issues as both Green and Coleman have.
Indeed, Green and Coleman’s shared experiences dealing with chronic illness was the original inspiration for DaoCloud. Looking for strategies to improve their health, both took to the internet. However, they quickly discovered that the “information online was overwhelming.” Worse, the information was often conflicting.
Who could they trust?
Both Green and Coleman decided there needed to be an easy way to answer this question. They needed to create a platform where users could find trustworthy information, quickly. So how exactly does DaoCloud encourage trust? Essentially, it looks to the wisdom of the crowd.
For wellness enthusiasts, DaoCloud is a kind of directory — a resource documenting foods, strategies for dealing with various health conditions and practitioners offering treatments. Each food, strategy or practitioner is rated by users according to how well it worked for them.
Wisdom of the crowd.
For wellness professionals DaoCloud provides a marketing service. The network calls itself “word-of-mouth 2.0” as a way to acknowledge how holistic health practitioners have traditionally found their clients.
Green and Coleman acknowledge that many holistic health practitioners lack a solid and modern online presence, a factor that decreases trust. DaoCloud, on the other hand, looks sleek — potentially allowing a way for professionals to overcome the online bias.
Currently in private Beta, DaoCloud is trying to overcome to chicken-and-egg problem with users and professionals by offering professionals (who do and will pay a subscription fee to be listed on the service) a discount when they sign up. Users, meanwhile, can join by invitation only.
DaoCloud currently claims registered professionals in over 30 states — about half in the DMV area and half spread around the country. The goal, Green and Coleman say, is to eventually expand to serve the global community.

Companies: University of Maryland

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