Medpedia, a free online medical encyclopedia went live today. (New York Times, iHealthBeat reports)
According to the new website, the Medpedia Project is a long-term, worldwide project to evolve a new model for sharing and advancing knowledge about health, medicine and the body among medical professionals and the general public. This model is founded on providing a free online technology platform that is collaborative, interdisciplinary and transparent. It’s goal is to produce the world’s most comprehensive health resource.”
As Medpedia grows over the next few years, it will become a repository of up-to-date unbiased medical information, contributed and maintained by health experts around the world, and freely available to everyone. The information in this clearinghouse will be easy to discover and navigate, and the technology platform will expand as the community invents more uses for it.”
Unlike most social encyclopedias, Medipedia has limitations on submission. Only trained professionals will be able to write and edit pages on the Website, and all contributors will have individual author pages detailing their qualifications and backgrounds.
Medpedia was developed in association with some high powered organizations:
- Harvard Medical School
- Stanford School of Medicine
- University of California Berkeley School of Public Health
- University of Michigan Medical School
And there are many others prestigious charter organizations. See the Record of Merit.
Benefits to medical professionals will include:
- being part of a professional network and directory–a “Linked-in” so to speak for the medical community.
- credit and recognition by expertise
- article publishing network
Organizations benefit by receiving recognition for contribution and providing a free professional network for members. Everyone else, including consumers, will be able to receive up to date health information, sign up for automatic updates on topics of interest, join condition communities and directly engage with the physicians editing Medpedia’s content.
While we’d expect the early adopters of Medpedia’s approach to appeal to the younger and new crop of doctors finishing their residencies–those most fluent with the Internet and communicating in online communities– time will tell how fast the rest of the medical community jumps on board…(After all, most MD’s take a ‘wait and see’ approach and are not known for being early adopters)…But judging by the significant support it has garnered to date by the medical community and the growth of other social communities such as FaceBook, Linked-In etc., it may not take long…
On the consumer front, Janet Johnson’s recent blog outlined the latest Pew Internet Trust data reporting the sheer numbers of consumers across generations that are using the web and searching for health information. Those 33-63 years old are the most active web searchers for health information with adults 33-44 showing the highest use at 82%.
So what will this mean for other healthcare sites such as WebMD, Healthline, Revolution Health and MayoClinic.com?