HeartValveSurgery.com Re-launches with 200+ New Features
By Adam Pick on August 22, 2014
Great news everybody!!!
Thanks to your excellent feedback, ideas and suggestions, we just relaunched HeartValveSurgery.com with over 200 new features.
So you know, our team has been working on this project for 10 months. That said, we are very hopeful that this new interactive platform will educate and empower you through heart valve surgery.
To help you learn about some of the highlights of the new website, I just posted this video. (For the hearing impaired members of our community, you can read the video transcript posted below.)
Again, thanks to all of you – the patients, the caregivers, the surgeons, the cardiologists, the nurses and our sponsors for your continued support of this website. I am very hopeful that this new website will help you today and in the future.
- To watch a video guide for Heart Valve Journals 2.0 — our online community for patients, their family members and friends — click here.
Keep on tickin!
P.S. Here is the video transcript for your review:
Hi everybody, my name is Adam Pick. If I’ve yet to meet you, I’m a former patient and founder of HeartValveSurgery.com. Today I’m super excited to share with you the relaunch of our website. Now when I started HeartValveSurgery.com eight years ago, I had a really simple mission. I wanted to educate and empower patients, maybe just like you, through the experience of heart valve surgery from diagnosis to recovery. Today, with the relaunch of our website and the addition of over 200 new features, I’m very encouraged, and I’m very hopeful that today represents a big step in the evolution of our website and the support of our mission. Over the next few minutes, I’m going to walk you and guide you through some of the changes to the website and some of the new features that will hopefully help you learn about maybe your valvular disorders. What are the treatment options available to you? Who are some of the best cardiologists and best surgeons that can provide you some of the most excellent care at leading cardiac centers and heart hospitals? I’m also going to share with you some of the new features in our social network known as the My Community where you’ll have a great opportunity to meet other patients just like you.
Let’s get started. To get started, let’s talk about the look and feel of the website. It’s often known as the interface of the website and when we spoke to patients, the family members and their friends, they gave us a lot of great feedback onto ways that we could approve this design. The first thing we heard was that some of our font sizes were just too darn small. The other thing we heard was that some of our pages had a lot and a lot and a lot of text on them and it made it difficult for patients to figure out what to focus on. Lastly we heard several criticisms about our navigation bar in that it really just blended in a little too much with the top part of our web pages. Patients didn’t even realize that there were other sections available to them at the website. Now going forward, we took these factors and several other considerations to design a completely new interface and you’re going to see that here as we move forward.
Here it is! Right off the bat I hope you see that the font sizes have just gotten significantly bigger to help you read this important information and digest it. You’re also going to notice that we have a new navigation bar in play that’s offset in a dark blue color with big white text that uses drop downs to help you access information at each page inside the various sections. Lastly, we put a big search bar at the top of every page so that if you want to learn about something – let’s say aortic stenosis progression, you can just type that in, hit the search button, and here comes some results for you to start learning.
Here’s some new changes about the look and feel of our website. Next let’s talk about one of my favorite features of this website which is the Heart Valve Journals Community and as you may have already experienced, this is a very special section of the website where patients come to share their stories with each other. They get to learn from each other. They keep their families and friends up to date on all the latest things going on with them, both in and outside the hospital. Since we launched this application back in 2009, we had never really updated it. Today that’s going to change. With all the latest social technologies and tools, we went ahead and just fundamentally transformed this Heart Valve Journals into the My Community. Here you can see that the look and the feel of the website is going to change a little bit. You’re also going to notice a really great new feature called The Patient Updates Section.
This provides our patients access to all the different things that are going on in our community at any given point in time. This is really like your patient newsfeed, just to keep in touch with all the things that are happening in our community. You’re also going to notice that for each user – that’s my son, by the way, when he was a little baby. Each user now gets their own special photo section and photo gallery. This is brand new for us and we have a new My Story. For the first time, you can go ahead and tell us information all about your surgery so that other patients can search for you, whether by location or potentially a valvular disorder or the surgical treatment. That’s just different and it’s new for us.
The last thing that I just want to make sure that we all know is that for the first time, we’ve embedded sharing capabilities, both using the add this capability in the left side margin. We’ve also embedded them, as you’re going to see, here in every single post. Finally, this is a great new feature. You’ve asked for this for, jeez, probably about two years. It’s a New Surgery Calendar. Every time somebody completes their My Story, it’s going to popular in the up-coming surgery section so that we know when we can support people like Beth, or let’s say myself for example, if I’m going through surgery again. This is some of the new features at our My Community section.
Moving onto the learning center, you should know that our website had grown from three pages when we started out, to now over 5,000 pages of information. One of the challenges that we’ve had is creating ways that patients can access meaningful information quickly. We’ve used this learning center as a way to do that. The challenge with this is that the information here is relatively static. We spent some time thinking about how could we get patients, get their family members, get their friends – not only this information, but some of the newer information. We created a new system, a new learning center that you’re going to see here.
All that information that you saw on the last page is now provided for patients just using simple drop-downs. Then what we have is a very interesting system where our website looks for the latest and greatest information and then goes ahead and publishes that based upon chronological order at times. You’re going to notice here, in the Latest News and Patient Update section – here’s a story from my blog, here’s a story from the community, here’s another story from my blog and so on and so forth, in addition to having additional educational videos that patients can watch at any time. This is new and this is different, but we really think this is going to help bring patients, much like CNN or CNBC, some of the latest and greatest information as soon as possible. That’s in the Learning Center.
If there’s one thing that I’ve learned over the past 36 months, it is that our patients, their friends and their families love to learn through videos. To give you some idea, our YouTube channel has now had, not 5,000, not 50,000, not 100,000, not 200,000, but 235,000 video playbacks since we launched that YouTube channel. Here at our website, we have Adam’s Heart Valve Video Section. This is where you can go to access information, you can search and find videos based upon a particular category or if you see a thumbnail that interests you, you can simply click on that thumbnail and the video automatically for you. This is the new video section that you can access in the navigation.
One of the biggest, and I think one of the most important questions for patients with valve disorders is about the care that they’re going to ultimately find to help them with their particular disorder. For this reason, we’ve done two things. The first is in 2008, we started the surgeon finder. This is, as far as we know, the world’s first and only database of surgeons who are patient recommended for heart valve therapy. To find surgeons in your area, you can go ahead and search by zip code, city, or surgeon last name. You can also search, if you’re in the United States by state or internationally by country. Lastly, you can search by the number of patient reviews. If you wanted to look at Dr. Patric McCarthy, for example, you’ll be taken to his surgeon profile page. Here you have access to a video if he has one, which Dr. McCarthy does. You get to see patient reviews for Dr. McCarthy which is helpful. You can do additional research like learning about specialties and interests, his education and training and lastly, if you like to, you can make an appointment with Dr. McCarthy by either picking up the phone and calling or by clicking the Make an Appointment button over here.
The other thing that we did, which is relatively a new part of the website is our Heart Hospital section. These are centers that we’ve been working with now for several years. They specialize in heart valve therapy. We’re bringing on several new sponsors in the near future here, but you can click on any of these cardiac centers to learn about them. For example, I’m just going to click on Mount Sinai and this is where Dr. David Adams who specializes in mitral valve repair, and Dr. Allan Stewart who specializes in aortic valve, and Dr. Paul Stelzer who specializes in the Ross procedures. You get access to all this good information about them and again, if you want to watch a video, if they have it posted here, you can get direct access to learn more about Dr. Stelzer and the Ross procedure for example.
You also get to learn about what their patients say about their experiences at the heart hospital. There’s clinic references and lastly again, if you want to learn more about the center or schedule an appointment, you can do that as well. That’s in the Heart Hospitals section.
There you have it. There are some of the highlights of the new HeartValveSurgery.com. I’m very hopeful that these new features on this new interactive platform is very helpful in educating and empowering you through the heart valve surgery process. In particular, I’d also like to thank you for your support and your encouraging words as this incredible project now enters its ninth year. For that I want to thank your patients, their families, their friends, the nurses, the cardiologists, the surgeons, the heart hospitals, valve clinics, and of course, our sponsors who without their incredible support, none of this – literally none of this would be possible. On behalf of the entire team of HeartValveSurgery.com, thank you so much. As we always say here, keep on ticking.