The advertising engine

Making an impression via relevant and targeted ads

The advertising engine (AE) we are launching is both a rethink of how to approach marketing within Healthica without being intrusive, and how to make the advertising text relevant to the content into which it get embedded. What we really wanted to achieve was an ad system that doesn't annoy people. This article is a deep dive into what we're doing with the AE — intended to explain it to our pro clients, and to the user base as a whole.

To use the AE, you need to convert your account to Healthica Pro. Contact us for details and pricing.


Two core principles are inherent in the rules. (1) All ads have the same priority. We don't appreciate auctions where you have no chance to be “seen” unless you have a massive ad-spend. (2) We think ads, in the context of a professional network like Healthica, should be designed for branding (making impressions) via subtle and relevant content.


We support (and recommend) creating a basic template to start with. You might begin with a basic description of your business model, and some contact information. You can save this as a template, and use it to create new ads that you actually run as campaigns.

new ad template
A new ad template

When you are ready to create a new ad, you have the option to start with a template, or just create an all new ad. In this case, we have an ad with 193 characters, a simple branding statement, and our contact information.

new ad
New ad ready to save and launch

The next step is to target the ad via a “channel”. The minimum requirement for a channel is a manufacturer and modality, but you can get more precise about the areas (refererred to in the AE as “sub-channels”) where you want the ad to appear. In this campaign, we are targeting both parts for sale and parts requested in the Siemens Medical Systems MRI channel.

new channel
Targeting the new campaign

Once that the ad has at least one targeted channel, it is ready to launch.

new channel
The campaign now has a channel set
To launch an ad, you need to purchase a block of views. For the purpose of this post, the client has purchased 10,000 views and has allocated 5000 of them to this campaign. The moment your campaign goes active and views are allocated, the AE places it into the rotation.


When Healthica sends out client communications (i.e. a new parts request has been made), the people who receive the content are selected by their channels. The AE uses exactly the same selection mechanism.

If the current context is a Siemens Medical Systems/MRI/parts request, the alert is only going to users who subscribe to that channel. What the AE scheduler does is this:

  1. Locate all users subscribing to this channel, and all ads that use the same channel settings.
  2. Load the alert template.
  3. Starting with the first user found, load the ad which has the longest duration since it was last shown and has at least one available view, and insert the ad content into the alert.
  4. Decrement the available views for this ad by one view.
  5. Repeat steps 3-4 until there are no more alerts to send, or no more eligible ads (on this channel with 1+ available views).
To clarify step #5, what the AE does is use as many views as are available for the first ad in rotation, and then repeats with subsequent qualified ads, until either it runs out of eligible ads, or everyone on the alert list has been processed.


This is a sample email (rendered in Gmail). You can see the ad has been inserted just under the logo.

embedded ad
New request alert with embedded ad
The design here is intentionally discreet. We embed it just below our logo, using a smaller font and different background, so it's noticeable, but not intrusive. We see ads in the context of making “impressions” — building awareness of your brand, but not dominating the main content.


This is a sample text message (rendered in iMessage) for users who receive alerts this way. The ad appears below ********.

embedded ad
New request alert with embedded ad
Referring back to the 200 character, text-only limit, this is the reason. We want ads to be relevant, and to not distract from the main content. Also, a banner ad will not display in the text message version.


We hope this article provides you with a good understanding of the Healthica ad model. The most important points are:

There are more aspects such as running multiple ads on the same channel, updating an ad “on the fly”, tranferring unused views, and more. We will get into these more specific subjects in the help section. For now, if you have questions about participating in the ads program, please contact us at

Clark Wilkins, Simplexable 2022.06.23