ATLANTA, GA and SAN FRANCISCO, CA--(Marketwire -07/17/12)- In support of the 14 million Americans with a self-reported visual impairment, SharecareNow, powered by WCG, today announced the "SharecareNow 10 - Eye Health" list, recognizing the leading voices online who share valuable information about treating and improving eye health.
The release of the "SharecareNow 10 - Eye Health" list coincides with National Fireworks Safety Month, which is sponsored annually by Prevent Blindness America. The aim of the designated month is to not only inform the public about firework safety, but to also raise special awareness for how fireworks can affect the eyes, a body part that can suffer serious injuries from firework explosions. In fact, fireworks are the source of approximately 12,000 injuries and cause 400 people to lose vision in one or both eyes each year.(1)
The top ten online influencers included in "SharecareNow 10 - Eye Health" range from accredited ophthalmologists to patient bloggers to reporters at well-known professional publications, and address eye health topics, including protection, treatments and care.
"In order to recognize potential eye problems early and preserve one's vision for the long-term, it's essential to stay well-informed about your eye health," said Keith Steward, M.D., senior vice president of medical affairs at Sharecare. "For individuals seeking information online about their eyes -- from annual exams to disease prevention to treatment options -- our goal is to connect people with the top experts in the space to ensure they obtain reliable answers to their eye-related questions and more efficiently consult the proper medical professionals."
While eye injuries are a common cause of impaired vision, poor eye health can also lead to serious eye conditions, such as: cataracts, glaucoma, macular degeneration, dry eye and blindness. In order to increase eye health and prevent the on-set of potentially debilitating diseases, regular eye exams, a healthy weight and diet, smoking cessation, protective eyewear, rest and family history intelligence are recommended.(2)
To be included in the SharecareNow 10 - Eye Health list, influencers must have demonstrated a consistent impact on eye health-specific conversations online over the past year. An individual's influence is measured and quantified through a proprietary algorithm based on more than 40 individual metrics, including eye health relevance, syndication, presence and reach. These influencers are then ranked from most to least influential based on a unique scoring structure.
The following top influencers make up the SharecareNow 10 - Eye Health list:
1. Leonard J. Press, O.D. - http://visionhelp.wordpress.com
2. Troy Bedinghaus, O.D. - http://vision.about.com
3. Rebecca Petris - http://dryeyezone.com
4. Irv Arons - http://irvaronsjournal.blogspot.com
5. Andrew A. Dahl, MD - http://medicinenet.com
6. Gary Heiting, O.D. - http://allaboutvision.com
7. Amy Hellem - http://revoptom.com
8. Marilyn Haddrill - http://allaboutvision.com
9. Benjamin C. Winters, O.D. - http://covdblog.wordpress.com
10. Vanessa Caceres - http://eyeworld.org
A downloadable version of the SharecareNow 10 - Eye Health list can be found here: http://www.sharecare.com/static/sharecare-now-eye-health-top-ten-infographic. Additional information, including bios and the methodology behind the influencer list, is available at http://now.sharecare.com.
About SharecareNow, powered by WCG
SharecareNow, powered by WCG was developed in partnership with Sharecare, an interactive social Q&A platform, and WCG, a market-leading digital communications agency. SharecareNow, powered by WCG is an online platform developed to access real-time analytics on various health topics, conversations and influencers, and to use these insights to meaningfully impact the conversation through strategic engagement. The platform allows health and wellness professionals, organizations and brands to leverage the most accurate data, solutions and best practices to participate in the social service of expert health and wellness content and communities.
Launched in 2010 and based in Atlanta, GA, Sharecare is an interactive, social Q & A platform that allows people to ask, learn and act upon questions of health and wellness. Created by Jeff Arnold and Dr. Mehmet Oz, in partnership with Harpo Studios, Remark Media (MARK), Sony Pictures Television, and Discovery Communications, the company's innovative approach provides the consumer access to a wide array of health and wellness experts ranging from hospitals to doctors, specialists to non-profits, to healthcare companies and active health consumers, creating a thriving community where healthcare knowledge is built, shared and put into practice.
Founded and led by chairman and CEO Jim Weiss, WCG is focused on integrated business solutions in the areas of innovation, change and growth for the world's leading companies and brands. WCG serves clients through a network of offices in San Francisco, New York, Chicago, Washington, D.C., Austin, Los Angeles and London. For more than a decade, WCG's seasoned professionals have specialized in providing analytics, content, engagement and strategy to a diverse set of clients across the consumer, technology, healthcare and pharmaceutical industries. For more information, please visit http://wcgworld.com.
(1) Johns Hopkins Medicine. Fireworks Safety. http://esgweb1.nts.jhu.edu/press/2000/JUNE/000621.HTM. Accessed July 11, 2012.
(2) National Eye Institute, National Institutes of Health. Eye Health Tips. http://www.nei.nih.gov/healthyeyes/eyehealthtips.asp. Accessed July 11, 2012.
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