Worldone+Sermo’s next steps

Worldone+Sermo is the combination created last year of physician research company Worldone Interactive and the physician community Sermo. Sermo was an early Health 2.0 favorite that somewhat lost its way with both its early business model and a dive into politics, but behind it was an interesting experiment in clinical crowdsourcing.

Peter Kirk is the CEO of the combined business and I spoke to him in advance of his appearance at Health 2.0 Europe today in London. What’s clear is that Sermo is both poised to expand internationally and going to grow as a serious platform for clinical exchanges among professionals Watch the interview above to learn much more.

And one charity Sermo is supporting, called Floating Doctors, is showing really innovative use of the platform to help patients in very remote regions get expert diagnoses. The second video is well worth watching and gives a great example of the iConsult product. And if you are in London today, Peter will tell you more!


3 replies »

  1. Anon Physician. I’m really unsure about what you’re referring to. In the prior regime at Sermo they instituted some controls on physician authentication following some criticism in MedGadget. Why exactly anyone would want to pose as a physician anonymously with no prospect of significant reward I don’t understand, but since WorldOne took over the physician verification procedures have been further strengthened. I’m sure any physicians (if you are one) banned (presumably including you) have violated TOS and community behavior norms. If you don’t like it, set up your own community.

    The goal of the Sermo community now, as I learned from this interview, is to share clinical cases–as has been made clear with their iConsult work with Floating Doctors. Whether they succeed or fail longer term will depend on the value of the results they deliver, judged by the doctors who use the responses–anonymous or not. But unless the Floating Doctors story in the film is a total outlier, it appears to be very helpful indeed. And 500 votes in a poll is not a small number. 200K registered members obviously doesn’t mean they are all participating at once. Anyone with any understanding of how online communities work know that there’s a wide distribution in terms of activity versus membership.

    But your line about criminals/sex offenders is obviously pure conjecture intended to smear WorldoneSermo, and I have no interest in getting into a discussion with you–other than to state that I believe Sermo to be an interesting and valuable Health 2.0 community, and one worthy of publishing such an interview on THCB.

    I’m closing comments on this thread now.

  2. Where to start? The number of untrue statements in the interview is astounding.
    Sermo is NOT physician-only. The makeup of the community is manipulated by non-physician administrators who censor posts and decide which physicians are allowed to use the forum. Further, it is NOT open to all US licensed physicians. Many long term contributors have been banned for purely political reasons.
    The physician credentials are poorly verified. Several non-physicians have joined. Physicians with revoked licenses have been allowed to join. Physicians without an active license participate. The community also includes physicians who have committed fraud and spent time in federal prison, registered sex offenders, pedophiles, active addicts, plaintiff’s attorneys and physicians who do not practice.
    The anonymous nature of the community leads to abuse by these non-physicians and unlicensed criminals. Why any ethical physician would risk trusting such a group with patient care is beyond me. Anonymity equals no accountability.
    The membership statistics are laughable. The are nowhere near 200K active members. The majority of polls have less than 500 responses.
    Finally, the website security is poor to non-existent.