Customer Discovery: Iodine

Product:

Iodine mines clinical open government data to provide consumers with more information to make better decisions about drugs.  Existing sites such as WebMD and Drugs.com reportedly do not provide the same quality of information that can help consumers find 1) accurate and complete information about drugs’ efficacy, side effects, and costs, and 2) the right drug.  Iodine essentially mines FDA datasets to obtain and publish the ‘right’ information consumers are looking for but cannot readily find on currently available web resources.

Market Type:

Iodine is an information technology company providing data to consumers of pharmaceutical products.  The company is primarily an IT firm but participates in the backdrop of the healthcare industry. 

Customer and Problem:

The customer is any consumer using or seeking information on prescription drugs.  The problem is that these users apparently frequently encounter difficulty in finding the right information on drugs before buying them.  Iodine seeks to alleviate consumers’ pain by providing better information, more readily in an easy to use format.

Competition:

Existing websites such as WebMD and Drugs.com provide information and reviews on various prescription drugs.  Per Iodine these sources do not provide adequate information and are often primarily motivated to sell ad space, not help consumers.  It is not clear to me how these competitors will be precluded from providing a similar service should Iodine begin to take market share.  Doctors seem like another form of competition, as some drug users are likely to trust the word of their doctors and not independently seek information via the web.

Is it a Pain Killer or Gain Creator?

Iodine is primarily a pain killer.  Consumers are reportedly frustrated because they cannot easily find the right information via current resources on the web, and this information is not readily accessible via the government’s published resources.  Iodine aims to reduce this pain with easily accessible information.

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