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Physician collaborative community launched : Will it work?

With the announcement they’ve received $3 million in VC money, Sermo, a physician online collaborative community was launched today.

Never available before, and never more needed, Sermo enables physicians to consult with hundreds of colleagues, instantly, and deliver better patient care, earlier. On Sermo, physicians share new clinical observations, get their questions answered and learn how colleagues are applying innovative approaches to treating patients in real time.

Named after the Latin word for conversation, Sermo is like no other community as physicians in even the most remote locations exponentially expand their access to colleagues. Physicians post what they believe to be a noteworthy observation or question to Sermo, broadcasting it nationwide. Next, colleagues rank the importance and relevance of that observation and Sermo reports the consensus in real time. This approach is grassroots and predictive. We maintain complete objectivity; there is no editorial interference. Instead, we let the collective knowledge of the physicians’ community speak for itself.

I do not like the fluff nor the boasting of VC money but the concept is an interesting one. The idea of getting professionals to post content and for other professionals to rank it ala Digg is a good one. The challenges will be getting the best physicians to contribute content. Professionals only contribute content when ‘incented.’

Sermo ‘incents’ through an information arbitrage where it appears third parties pay for access to the physician generated content.

Our clients include some of the nation’s most prestigious financial institutions, healthcare companies, and government agencies: any organization that benefits from early insight into clinical events. These parties create a financial incentive that is used to generate, sustain, and support participation in an online physician community.

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