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Originally published Monday, February 2, 2009 at 12:00 AM

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Trusera helps patients share health solutions

A weekly column profiling companies and personalities.

What: Trusera, Seattle

Who: Keith Schorsch, 44, founder and CEO

Mission: Create a social-networking environment for sharing health-care information.

Second opinions: No ache or pain is ever unique; someone has had it before you and may have something that might help. Trusera tries to connect people with others who have dealt with ailments and have gathered solutions doctors may not always suggest.

Secondhand cure: "We are connecting people facing disease with other people who have already been through the same thing," Schorsch said. "We use social-networking tools so they can connect online. We give them access to all the information they need in order to make up their mind about a specific health option."

Add to your cart: Schorsch started Trusera after a five-year stint with Amazon.com, which pioneered the process of user-supplied product reviews. Trusera has a stricter information vetting process and doesn't allow reckless information to go unchallenged. At the same time, Schorsch thinks "getting information about the latest health-care options should be as easy as shopping for a book online."

Employees: 13

Financials: The private company doesn't supply specific revenue or Web stats, other than that it is not yet profitable but attracts tens of thousands of users each month. Its financial model is simple and old-fashioned: Content is free but includes a word from sponsors. For now Schorsch said an extensive group of angel investors is keeping the company afloat.

Not all bad: Trusera is finding an economic silver lining in customers who are seeking less expensive solutions that are available online. "A lot of people are going through health experiences that are shared by others," Schorsch said."They are looking to conserve their savings so they go online to see exactly what they are facing. As a result, the economic downturn has provided a real opportunity for us to get more customers."

— Charles Bermant

Copyright © 2009 The Seattle Times Company

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