First there were line command messages between physicists (early 90’s), then email (mid-late 90’s), then Instant Messaging (98-’02), then social networks (’03) that combined messaging + profiles, and now we have messaging and interacting between people with chronic conditions.
Prescription4Love.com is a dating site for people with diabetes, cancer, obesity, STDs and a variety of other chronic conditions. It’s intended to be a safe space for people who risk serious embarrassment talking about their medical conditions with people who cannot relate.
Types of Users
Apparently people with other chronic conditions have been most interested in Prescription4Love. It was started by a guy in Atlanta to see how difficult it was for his brother to get a date with Crohn’s disease. Other types of people they customize for are:
- AIDS/HIV, Obesity, Deafness, Diabetes, IBS, Infertility/Impotence, Allergies, Herpes, Hepatitis, Recovering alcoholic
This is a lot of people too. The estimate is that there will be 300 million people around the world with diabetes in 2025. The functionality is fairly basic dating site stuff. For example, messages are be sent through a nickname, instead of their full real names (just like Match).
If the 90’s and early 2000’s broght major technological change (faster chips, broadband, etc.), I’ve always thought that this is the time where the web begins to address and change the way people interact. This is the “social age” of the web which is why today’s internet successes aren’t necessarily computer scientists but marketers, anthropoligists, and others who create ways for users to talk, message, and truly interact. Look at how teenager’s interact with each other over IM – completely different than the days of calling each other on (gasp!) a landline. Just imagine how people will interact once there’s a social networking for everyone.