Is RealAge a big time brand?

Take the RealAge test and the next time you go to the site you get news and notes customized to your age, your condition, and your self-described medical history. Lots of Web sites are trying to build such resources but they lack a branding hook. RealAge is a branding hook.

Dr. Michael Roizen, RealAge co-founder and Cleveland Clinic director of wellnessOne curious fact about the medical industry is its shortage of big time brands.

As my friend Rob Frankel likes to explain it, a big time brand is perceived as the only solution to a defined problem. So you're sick, you need a doctor, what brand hits your mind?

Exactly.

In lining up partners for Google Health one big brand stood out -- the Cleveland Clinic. Never heard of it? Maybe you've heard of the brand created by its "director of wellness" -- Michael Roizen.

RealAge.

Dr. Roizen has parlayed two best-sellers into a series of books under the RealAge name. Meanwhile RealAge, based in San Diego, has become a treasure trove of user data, backed by corporate sponsors, expanding into animal health.

Most of his advice -- eat right, exercise, reduce stress, lose weight -- is typical wellness jargon. What's unique is the vast data bank Roizen's multimedia empire has created around the concept.

For instance. Take the RealAge test and the next time you go to the site you get news and notes customized to your age, your condition, and your self-described medical history. Lots of Web sites are trying to build such resources but they lack a branding hook.

RealAge is a branding hook.

Google Health already has a link with the Cleveland Clinic. Will it expand that relationship with its director of wellness? If it does it may be building medicine's first big time brand.