Sermo, the physician community site, seems to really be on a roll. I can now tell you what CEO Daniel Palestrand told me a few weeks back.
1) They’ve got 10,000 physicians registered–and there’s a lot of use on the site. Consider that there are only 600K active physicians in the US, and the average physician survey done by market research tends to have fewer than 100 doctors in it.
2) They’re taking aim squarely at Gerson Lehman and the other physician introduction “dating-agencies” which service Wall Street. Essentially they’re allowing their customers to get a view about what physicians are seeing and discussing, and the physicians seem to like it—and don’t seem to want much if any money for their time.
Part of the reason the physician users like it, is that the UI and web tools they’ve put together are really neat. I would love it if Six Apart could knock those off and then my blog users could see things like where they’d commented, who’d commented on their comments. what the most active posts are, etc, etc. Perhaps Sermo should go into the blog hosting business?
Just kidding—I think they have bigger fish to fry.
What really surprises me is that although there are patient social networking sites popping up daily, I see no one else seriously going after physicians. Given how valuable physicians are, and the huge amounts dropped on researching into what they think by pharma, investors, health plans, et al, I cannot imagine why there aren’t more competitors.